|Project by PASs||posted 06-16-2012 04:20 AM||6111 views||7 times favorited||6 comments|
A lady and her husband talked with me at a craft show about finishing a military “Shadow Box” for them.
Her son had made the basic box, but had never finished it.
Due to a misunderstanding about the dimensions of a folded flag the part of the box designed to hold the flag was too small.
They decided to convert it into a coin display and had already purchased some 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch oak strips to insert into the frame.
The basic box was made of soft pine and had a 1/4 inch Plexiglas for the front and 1/2 pine plywood for the back. It was put together with 16 gauge finishing nails.
I was going to use an oak stain for the entire assembly but after getting it into the shop and looking at it I decided to stain the inside of the box with ebony and the oak strips and outside with American Walnut to give a contrast. Since the Plexiglas was captive within the frame I was concerned the stain would affect it. I did a couple of tests on some plexi I had in the shop and the stain didn’t affect it. As the Walnut stain was somewhat darker than the pine I had to flood the groove so the difference in color would not be noticeable.
I cut two groove into each strip (using a biscuit jointer), trimmed the ends to fit into the frame. I also mitered pieces to work around the flag holder.
Since the box was assembled with finishing nails shot in with a nail gun I attached the coin strips with 18 gauge finishing nails.
The lid for the box was too small, and the joints were too loose, to trust hinges so I decided to try something different. I used 1/2 inch diameter rare earth magnets epoxied into the lid and the frame to hold the cover on.
That worked so well I will use in in my own boxes in the future. They held the lid firmly to the frame and in exact alignment. To take the lid off you just put a hand on one side of the frame and push the lid to the side with the other hand. As soon as the lid moves about 1/4 inch the attractive force is small enough to pull the lid away from the box.
I sealed the wood with a couple of coats of 2 pound shellac, and top-coated with quick dry polyurethane.
Each coin strip has two slots, but using just the front slot I was able to put 81 coins in. I recommended to the customer that they stagger the coins front and back with a gap between the front coins. It should hold about 120 coins that way.
And I had a spare flag to play with and found I could actually stuff the folded flag into the holder.
The customer was happy, so that made me happy….and a few bucks richer!
Additional photos are available at: https://plus.google.com/photos/106338834595233608122/albums/5754480591420569153
-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."