The current project I’m working on is a military flag display case.
My grandfather passed away last February. He served in the Navy during WWII and was stationed in the Pacific. I’ve had this on the to-do list for awhile.
This is my first project that I am starting from scratch with a blank sheet…although it’s a pretty simplistic design.
Here is the current SketchUp rendition of the project: (click on image to download the SketchUp project file)
There’s basically two seperate components to the design:
- Triangular Display Case
- Solid Cherry Base w/ pullout drawers
The display case and base are seperate stackable units that will be alligned with removable dowels. I wanted to make the design flexible to allow the holder to be either wall mountable without the base or displayed as a single unit suitable for a shelf.
The base will be built from a solid block of 12/4 cherry. The drawer recesses will be mortised 3” deep into the base (actually 3 1/2” inches including the 1/2” drawer front).
The display case will be made up of 6/4 cherry milled to 1” thickness and will receive a 3/8” rabbet on the back to receive the display backing. There will also be a 1/4” x 1/4” slot cut to receive the 1/4” glass display front.
The handles are going to be made from 4” x 1” x 1/2” blocks of ebony with 1/4” cove finger recesses.
There will be a few other decorative additions, including a brass name plate that will be mounted in a chisseled recess on the front of the display case along with a US Navy Veterans challenge coin mounted in the middle of the front of the base.
For the finish I’m planning on giving the final pieces of cherry a few hours in the sun to help bring out some more color prior to finishing. I’m planning on using General Finshes Seal-A-Cell and Gloss Arm-R-Seal to hopefully produce a durable finish that will let the nautural wood speak for itself.
Current StatusTo this point I have procured the:
- 1/4” glass front from Alpine Stained Glass here in Plainfield. Carol was extremely nice and was able to turn the order around quickly.
- I have also made the trip to the Owl Lumber store in Lombard last week and picked out the cherry pieces that I think will work out great. Besides the 12/4 and 6/4 cherry, they had some 1/4” cherry stock that will work out great for the drawers. The 1/4” pieces were primarily heartwood, with a little bit of sapwood that I can definitely work around.
- The nameplate came in from Halex Awards. Very painless purchasing process. One nice feature they provide is the ability to have a proof emailed for your approval…very nice!
- I’m still waiting on the challenge coin, but it was purchased on eBay and has been shipped…should see it show up in the next few days.
The first component I want to start with is the drawers for the base. I’m wanting to use box joints for the drawer joinery. As this is a new joint that I have never done before, I did some research to find a jig that I can make that will make the job easier. So I spent last weekend building this box joint jig from ShopNotes. Most of the time was spent trying to locally source the hardware for the jigs at the local big-box stores. I think I’ll save some time and aggrivation next time and just head directly over to either my local Rockler or Woodcraft.
I will be working on the drawer pieces tonight and will hopefully post some progress pictures once completed.
Here’s the random list of hurdles/undecided directions that are still rattling around in my head:
- Debating on whether the display case should be pre-finished prior to assembly in order to alleviate any possibilities of causing headaches with finish on the glass. I’m leaning towards pre-finishing and blue taping the mating glue faces prior to finishing. This would also insure I don’t have to worry about glue interferring with the finish.
- Need to figure out a way to safely route the cove details into the ebony handles. I’m thinking of making a custom MDF jig that I can use on the router table. Still not sure how that will turn out.
I am glad I’m getting this one off the ground and am looking forward to sharing my learning experiences and progress as I go.
Please, shoot me any comments or suggestions, good or bad.
Thanks for reading!