A Flag Display Box #1: Another Honor and Privilege...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 02-03-2010 12:21 AM 1634 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A Flag Display Box series Part 2: The Jointing Begins »

I haven’t had a whole lot of time lately but began work on making a box for my Dad’s Burial Flag. It’s been going agonizingly slow, with so little time available…
He earned his Flag as a 20-year Naval Reservist, one of hundreds of thousands of young men who volunteered for service when things were heating up over in Korea. Patriotic Fervor about our country was still wide-spread and strong, happening so soon after WWII, and so many volunteered that the Services didn’t have room!! But, if they were still resolved to their decisions, they were gladly taken into the Reserves. My Dad, with engineer aptitudes, ended up training for work in the Seabees, spending his On Board time with stops in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama, and Cuba. My Mom, who had waited patiently at Home with my older Brother, received the flag December 26, 2009.
I found some suitable Wood in my Parent’s Cellar. I’m not sure where they came from, but they were down there for at least 25 years, that I can remember. Red Oak from my Parent's House My Dad’s thought was that it’s Red Oak. It is as dense as can be, very heavy for its size… I began to clean it up a little with my Belt SanderRough Sanding with Belt Sander Yeah, I know, wouldn’t you just love me for a tenant, working right on the carpet! To my defense though, when I moved in over ten years ago the carpets were already 25 years old, if they were a day! It actually makes a great non-skid surface for a shop besides, and is far better for my poor old ankles and feet to stand on for long periods of time than the concrete floor I stand on at work!
Looking at the two boards, I saw that they had been split on one side, rather than sawn…Boards were split, rather than sawn
Which means that this Box is already predetermining its own height, by the lowest common denominator.
I went ahead and cut the boards to width on the Table Saw and, while I was at it, cut the Groove or Dado where the Lexan will fit later on… Somewhere in there, I also cut the longer of the two in half…After Sizing and Cutting Slots, Sanding begins...
I’ll spare you the grisly details, but then began the sanding in earnest… While I worked, I pondered the first of the decisions that needed to be made here. I took some quick measurements off of one I had previously madeClick for detailsDecisions, decisions...
This box is a Right Angle, which will be stood on its hypotenuse. The only dimension I need, for my purposes, is the inside measurement of the hypotenuse. The last ones I made, measured at 23”, and left about a half inch of space between the resting flag and the box. I’d like to “close that up” some, but shortening the longest part of the triangle is tricky business!! A little bit will go a long way… Add to that, I’m already thinking ahead to the hardware for this! I hate that, when I’m distracted by a later part of a project instead of concentrating on the work at hand. For Hinges I know what I want to do, but I’ve got an idea for some sort of Wooden Closures and my mind wants to race ahead and think about this new and different thing…Thinking about a Closure...
While I was pondering these things, I thought I’d sneak in one of my shop projects. As most of you know, my Table Saw is definitely on the low end of the scale, but I made it marginally useful for my small projects by simply mounting it on a very burly end table, one of my neighbors was kind enough to cast away. I located four wooden pegs in the appropriate spotsTable for Table Saw
And it just slides into place…Table Saw in place I have a large, glued-up slab of 1 1/8” Oak that fits the top pretty well and, when not in use, it becomes a passable work bench too…
The sanding not withstanding, I couldn’t wait and began the marking of these the other night, marking what will become the base of the triangle. The Old Guys knew what they were about when they used the pieces themselves to do the marking and I do that wherever possible.Marking using the Boards themselvesMarking the other side
I’ll be using a sort of radical 45° finger or box joint and ultimately decided to shave a half an inch off of the inside length to 22 1/2”.After MarkingAfter marking one end
And that’s the story so far, collectively about two hours work, but spaced out in bits and pieces. I’m using tape and a pen this time for nice, crisp lines. It might even help with splintering, as Old Oak like this is wont to do… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

11 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3320 days

#1 posted 02-03-2010 12:25 AM

Just love reading about your projects… they always have an interesting story attached…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4212 days

#2 posted 02-03-2010 12:43 AM

Me too Mike, your Dad had to be going through your mind too. A bit of distraction. A great project I wish I could have done for my father, unfortunately he decided to move to California and have his ashes scattered at sea. Big deal huh. I always had feelings about that. Like we (the family) never really had a chance to say goodbye. You are very fortunate. You are also a great guy!! mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3307 days

#3 posted 02-03-2010 01:45 AM

looking good , mike .
i know you will come up with something different ,
you always do .

new hinging sounds fun !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3468 days

#4 posted 02-03-2010 01:53 AM

Thanks, my Friends, but I’m just your humble reporter, the stories are what they are. I’m not nearly imaginative enough to make them up!! Like one of my Dad’s favorites: He was a BIG Meat-eater and when on leave, he found a place in Venezuela where they served a steak literally bigger than the plate and over 2” thick!! His favorite part: it only cost $1.79!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View lew's profile


12018 posts in 3721 days

#5 posted 02-03-2010 02:20 AM

Great story, Mike!

Your Dad would be proud of the display case.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#6 posted 02-03-2010 02:41 AM

Good blog Mike

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3411 days

#7 posted 02-03-2010 03:29 AM

Great blog & even greater tribute to your father.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3157 days

#8 posted 02-03-2010 08:39 AM

Looks good so far….I know what you mean about the 25 year old carpet…

Ours was like that I had to break down and pay half so we could get a new one.

Look mforward to seeing the end result.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#9 posted 02-03-2010 11:32 AM

A great way to pay your respects to you father Mike and as always a good blog on your project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3044 days

#10 posted 02-04-2010 04:15 AM

It is a great honor and privilege to serve the greatest country we love. What measures a country’s greatness (according to our late Pres. Ronald Reagan) is by the number of people flocking to it. On the other end of the scale are those countries that won’t allow anyone to leave. good job, Littlecope.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3700 days

#11 posted 03-10-2010 02:49 AM

My own father was a Navy man during WWII, touring the Mediterranean and then Panama and Cuba in ‘45 and ‘46. He knew lots of Seabees, and there was some sort of office for Seabees in Nashua which I remember going with him there when I was young. He had a full military funeral in 1968, and I’ve had my eye on the flag the Commander gave my Mom ever since. The flag is in a trunk now which hasn’t been opened in 40 years. Your story reminds me that I should once again try to get that flag, measure and build a case for it like you did. Thank you, Mike, for honoring our Vets. As you mentioned in a PM to me once, it is indeed a small world!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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