I dub thee "painful XI" - cherry shadowbox with walnut accents

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Project by lawrence posted 05-28-2012 04:39 AM 1564 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think I’m going to start signing and naming my pieces after how many times they made me bleed…. my poor fingers are full of cherry splinters, a hole from a pin nailer, and several scrapes and bashes. It all started when I dropped a large cherry slab on my fingers at the lumberyard and it hasn’t gotten any better…

So the customer, a referral from a person on another forum, asked for some very specific things for this shadow box for his Father for Father’s day… he wanted

1. the “old” MSgt stripes in the background… in cherry
2. A curved top and bottom… no curved facade over a square box like I normally make
3. Lights… battery powered lights…

This created several challenges, but I got ‘er done (just in time for vacation)

The “stripes” are in a 1/4 piece of cherry ply- on a 1/2 piece of MDF – to attach the pieces in the shadowbox, 1/2 inch rare earth magnets are attached to the back of the ply through holes in the mdf. The top and bottom are attached to the MDF and were created by cutting cherry veneer and cold forming a sandwich into the desired shape with a form made from 3/4 MDF. The sides come on and off to reveal the battery pack on each side. They are held in place with rare earth magnets. The front glass and frame are held on with pocket screws attached to the sides which are covered up by the panels. The switch is on the bottom and I’ve included a plug in case he ever wants to run off mains power instead of batteries. The plexiglass (broke 3 pieces of real glass trying to cut the convex on top of the stripes) is cut, but has been removed for pictures/finish. The whole thing hangs on a french cleat that has been hard mounted through the MDF for a secure hold. The finish is a very light 1/2 # shellac washcoat buffed out with a 3m pad – then 5 coats of oil/poly mix wet sanded in followed by one final coat. All the carvings were done with my Carvewright CNC.

Thanks for looking, this one was a genuine challenge on several levels and I hope the customer will be pleased with both the overall piece and way I met his design challenges.


5 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30128 posts in 2573 days

#1 posted 05-28-2012 12:12 PM

I appreciate what you went through to build this (I have been accused of leaving DNA on every piece). But considering the sacrifice they are willing to make for us however maybe it’s worth it.

Beautiful piece. very well done.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 05-28-2012 01:54 PM

This is really beautiful! I really like your sign work, especially on the MSG. I see that you used a CNC machine! Normally I am against such things because the craftsman gets lost but I think your use of one here is well thought through and your work is definitely no lost! Next time I would contact your local glass company and have them cut the glass. On a piece this sophisticated it really demands glass. But that is my humble opinion. Well done! I like your work!

Very Respectfully,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View lew's profile


12495 posts in 3990 days

#3 posted 05-28-2012 02:05 PM

Gorgeous! Super design and lighting idea!

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

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3039 days

#4 posted 05-29-2012 03:24 AM

Very slick. Lighting is a gr8 idea

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2797 days

#5 posted 06-18-2012 07:03 PM

Awesome work and idea.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

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