F18 shadow box

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Project by DeMike posted 11-15-2015 03:51 AM 3371 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first contracted job, and it was for a retiring Navy Chief. He didn’t want the typical shadow box, instead he wanted something unique that nobody has. He told me that he wanted an f18 silhouette on top of an anchor and this is what I came up with. It was a huge hit at his retirement ceremony and everybody loved it. It was a huge learning curve for me but I really enjoyed making it. I learned a lot in the 50+ hours that it took me to make it, although most of it was me scratching my head on how to do something. All of the shaping was done by hand with files, rasps and sanding blocks, and it is black walnut and hard maple. I hope you guys like it!

15 comments so far

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12764 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 11-15-2015 06:14 AM

That is one impressive shadow box! Love the way you incorporated the jet and anchor. Very nice work…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View DonB's profile


541 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 11-15-2015 01:02 PM

Unique indeed. Intensive hand-tool work that came out very nice. I like the idea behind the shadow box. Chiefs’ think outside the box anyway.

-- DonB

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


703 posts in 2931 days

#3 posted 11-15-2015 01:57 PM

Great job…..I know the recipient will cherish it for many years. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. I’m an F-18 guy as well…check out some of my work when you get a chance.

-- -Al, Oak Harbor, WA

View DeMike's profile


15 posts in 1895 days

#4 posted 11-15-2015 03:39 PM

Thanks for all of the comments! After spending about 8 hours contouring and shaping the anchor and parts the hornet I decided it was time for some new tools, so I ordered the arbor tech turboplane. It took about 20 minutes to do the contouring on the shadow box I am making now for another retiring chief but he wants an f14 tomcat on his. So it is well worth the $130 price tag. I love excuses to buy new tools!!!

View lnxusr's profile


15 posts in 1443 days

#5 posted 11-15-2015 03:47 PM

This is just beautiful! The workmanship and design are both outstanding. As a retired Navy AT myself, I can say I’d have given both my left and right (who needs them at this age, eh?) for something a fraction as beautiful as this.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 11-15-2015 08:57 PM

It’s a real nice shadow box and it looks great.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View RenditionJake's profile


8 posts in 1173 days

#7 posted 11-19-2015 01:04 AM

You nailed it! This will be his cornerstone piece for sure!

-- Ideas are things!

View Mike3888's profile


4 posts in 1001 days

#8 posted 04-26-2016 06:47 PM

Retiring from the Navy June 2017 and really like this shadowbox you did. How big is this without the anchor if you don’t mind me asking. Also how much would it cost without the anchor?

View DeMike's profile


15 posts in 1895 days

#9 posted 04-27-2016 02:43 AM

Thanks for the comments! It is about 35 inches tall with just the hornet. Total with the anchor it’s about 48” tall. Price varies greatly on the type of wood, and what all you want in it. Where are you stationed now? I am in Pensacola Florida currently but I will be in va beach this November when I transfer. Feel free to pm me if you want some details and more pictures of it!

View Mike3888's profile


4 posts in 1001 days

#10 posted 04-27-2016 03:43 PM

Currently stationed at NAS Jax. I would want the hornet only and for it to look just like you have it here. I like the coin part to put my command coins I have been at. I don’t need the Blue Angel deal above the flag, but if you are part of the Blue Angels I am always open to get one of you all’s coins. I would want to put the ranks on their as well. Would I provide you with that and the coins to put in? Also not really sure which would to use, I want it to look nice but don’t want the price to crazy either. If you have price options that would be great. Email me if you want I am in Global, David M Bailey with a 1. Thank you.

View SoCalFaze's profile


1 post in 974 days

#11 posted 05-24-2016 05:47 AM

I’d like a quote for this shadowbox but can’t find a way to message you. Do you have a link to inquire? My husband was also Aviation Structural Mechanic on the F/A-18 Hornet and I wanted to see about getting this for his retirement. Thank you!

View Ok2wire's profile


5 posts in 943 days

#12 posted 06-24-2016 01:54 AM

Great job. I would be interested in talking to you about one with just the Hornet.

View Mike3888's profile


4 posts in 1001 days

#13 posted 01-20-2017 03:05 PM

Hey DeMike, I am interested in this piece if you still make it. Please let me know and I can contact you at your earliest convenience please.

View sfwsp's profile


1 post in 706 days

#14 posted 02-15-2017 05:35 PM

Hey DeMike, I’d like to buy a copy of this shadow box too if you are interested (hornet only – no anchor). If so, please let me know – I’m in the global (Robert Kihm). If not, no worries – it’s a great piece!

View lillynoble's profile


1 post in 503 days

#15 posted 09-06-2017 06:55 PM

Hey Mike! I am looking for a shadow box for my husband who is retiring in april 2018. He was a prior crew chief for the blue angels and this beauty you have created seems almost to good to be true. Is there a way to replicate this exactly with tiny detail changes? Please msssage me. Thank you. :)

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