|Project by WVWoodshed||posted 07-31-2014 09:00 PM||1005 views||3 times favorited||4 comments|
This project was requested by a student graduating from the local college. He had played baseball and collected game balls since he was in peewees and wanted a way to display several balls in place. The neat thing was all the balls had interesting facts about each game written right on the ball. I thought it was really cool how he had started doing this at such a young age. While he had 30-50 total we decided a 25 piece display cabinet would work best. He chose and paid for the walnut & hard maple and we discussed several potential designs before we agreed on a final direction.
The basic carcass is made from hard maple and this is the first project I used 100% hand cut dovetails. It is also the first time I had a formal (Veritas) dovetail saw to cut them. I must say the the saw made a tremendous difference and I was really excited with how they came out. After I had the carcass prepare I cut shallow mortises in the inside of the sides of the box. These were used to hold the walnut glass shelf supports for the 4 glass shelves. I made three book matched ship lapped walnut boards to serve as the back. These were placed in small rabbets in the case and held it in with a half lapped frame screwed into the back. The half lapped frame was screwed to the back of the case and has a french cleat recess in it to mount the case to the wall. Now the 1/4” glass shelves and how to hold the balls in position. My solution was to purchase 12” long 1” diameter acrylic rods, cut them into 1/2” disks and drill a counter sink into them at the drill press. I then made a positioning template out of 1/8” plywood that matched the dimensions of the shelves and drill equally spaced 1” holes across the template. Additionally I added small strips of the 1/8” material in 3 locations on the template to raise the template just above the surface of the glass. Then I epoxied five disks to each shelf. I could complete two shelves a day so it only took two days to complete all 4 glass shelves. Using the same positioning template I drilled 1/8” recesses in the bottom shelf of the case and epoxied the disks in as before. With the case and shelves all completed I moved to the glass face frame. I laminated 2 pieces of maple, walnut & maple to make the l-shaped face frame. I used splined miters in the corners to reinforce the frame. I cut a 3/16” groove on the inside of the frame for the 1/8” glass and glue it together. Now I was struggling with how to attach the face frame to carcass. He wanted to be able to mount the case on the wall and then access it to place the balls in their positions as we both thought moving the case with the balls in position may prove tricky if not risky. I thought about hinges but the way I built the face frame wouldn’t allow the hinges, then the idea of pegs through the sides didn’t pass because I did like the thought of them being visible. My final decision was rare earth magnets. I installed 3 in the top and the bottom of the frame and matched them in the case with 3 on the top and bottom. Works perfectly!!! Last part of this project was coming up with a way to mount two baseball gloves to the wall for display. I wanted them to appear ready from action, so I decided to simply create mounts with posts the hold the gloves. I used keyhole slots on the back of the mounts for hanging them and again they worked great!!!
All in all this has been one of my most satisfying projects to date simply because there were minimal avoidable mistakes and I tried may new and challenging techniques. Thinking outside your comfort zone and having it work is a tremendous confidence booster.
The other great thing was the satisfaction I got when I gave the box to him. He was totally thrilled (last picture) and was smiling ear to ear. Few things beat the feeling of receiving or providing satisfaction!!!
Keep your mind on your fingers and your fingers on your hands!!!
-- Keep your mind on your fingers and your fingers on your hands...