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How to put together a box lid with a floating solid panel

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Forum topic by Paul23down posted 12-21-2017 12:56 PM 2728 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul23down

4 posts in 768 days


12-21-2017 12:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: keepsake box jewelry box mitered lid

Hello everyone! I’ve been on here for about a year and this is my first post.

I’m building a keepsake box for my wife for Christmas. I’m using purple heart since it’s her favorite color, hickory, and some unknown wood from my neighbor’s fallen tree for the lid center.

My question is about the lid. It’s mitered like a picture frame (in the pics it’s only set together, not glued yet). If the floating center piece was a veneer on plywood, I know that I could glue the panel in, but it is a solid piece so I need to allow for expansion. I noticed that it will slide around within the mitered frame. What should I do to prevent the middle floating piece from sliding around? My only idea is to cut a couple small pieces for each channel of clear flexible vinyl tubing to put into the groove that the floating center piece fits into. This would hold it in place but still allow for expansion of the floating piece since the vinyl tubing is pliable.

Any recommendations?

Thank you,
Paul


10 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

419 posts in 817 days


#1 posted 12-21-2017 01:49 PM

I think you are on the right track with your tubing idea. Solid panels need room to flex and the tubing should give enough to allow that to happen while keeping the panel centered. If you have something a little more flexible than vinyl, you might be better off. I’d be a little concerned that if the tubing just fits into the groove, there may not be enough flex to allow the panel to float.

-- Sawdust Maker

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Kazooman

1237 posts in 2150 days


#2 posted 12-21-2017 02:08 PM

They actually sell a product for just this purpose.. Check out “space balls”.

http://www.rockler.com/space-balls-raised-panel-door-spacers

Actually, the center panel will expand and contract across the grain, not lengthwise. You can apply glue to a small section at the center of each of the short ends to hold the panel in place. It will be free to expand and contract. Don’t forget that the finish you apply can essentially glue the panel in place.

The panel was made from a piece of a neighbor’s tree. Was it properly dried before you used it? If the moisture content is still high it will shrink as it dries.

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Paul23down

4 posts in 768 days


#3 posted 12-21-2017 02:43 PM

Actually I started wondering about the tubing not being quit flexible enough or hardening a little over the years. I ended up using some small pieces of soft weather stripping.

I checked the moisture content of the center piece. I’ve had it for a while and the moisture content was good to go.

Thank you for the suggestions.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

250 posts in 1932 days


#4 posted 12-21-2017 02:47 PM



They actually sell a product for just this purpose.. Check out “space balls”.

http://www.rockler.com/space-balls-raised-panel-door-spacers

Actually, the center panel will expand and contract across the grain, not lengthwise. You can apply glue to a small section at the center of each of the short ends to hold the panel in place. It will be free to expand and contract. Don t forget that the finish you apply can essentially glue the panel in place.

The panel was made from a piece of a neighbor s tree. Was it properly dried before you used it? If the moisture content is still high it will shrink as it dries.

- Kazooman

I’ve used space balls in the past. They work great. May the Schwartz be with you!

Kazooman makes a good point about the finish gluing your panels in place. But since you have to account for seasonal movement, you should finish the panel before putting it in the frame. Otherwise you will get stripes around the edges (primarily the sides) as the wood shrinks and exposes the unfinished wood that was once in the frame.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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John Smith

1481 posts in 360 days


#5 posted 12-21-2017 02:56 PM

very nice work !!! [a little help with your photos]

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2422 posts in 1420 days


#6 posted 12-21-2017 02:58 PM

Good advice given above!

Finish the panel before gluing the frame.
Use flexible spacers on the long grain edges, glue the centers of the end grain edges.

Another alternative to “spaceballs” (may the Schwartz be with you Tony!) is to lay down some beads of caulk onto waxed paper. Peel them off after curing and cut to size.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1237 posts in 2150 days


#7 posted 12-21-2017 03:47 PM

Good idea on the silicone caulk. Personally, I would never pay the crazy price for “real” spaceballs. There are a zillion things lying around the shop that will fill the bill like your cured caulk or the OP’s weather stripping.

I wanted to let OP know that his idea of a flexible spacer was not nuts. I recalled the name of the product and so I Googled Space Balls. Naturally, all of the hits were links to the movie. May the Schwartz be with you indeed! Very funny flick.

View Paul23down's profile

Paul23down

4 posts in 768 days


#8 posted 12-23-2017 03:46 AM

Haha, yeah, the movie was all that came up for me too. I went with the weather stripping. Great suggestion about finishing the panel before glue up, although too late for this one. I’ll definitely use that tip in the future.

Thank you!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5086 posts in 2549 days


#9 posted 12-23-2017 03:57 AM

You could use bits of pipe insulation or backer rod.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3845 days


#10 posted 12-23-2017 04:01 AM

I’ve used space balls. I’ve also pinned
the panel top and bottom from the back.

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