Small Projects #50: Perfect Mitered Cube Crystal Display Case

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Blog entry by Madmark2 posted 07-19-2021 03:00 AM 967 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 49: 5 minute camera stand Part 50 of Small Projects series no next part

SWMBO is a Yankees fan and for Valentines day I got her a Waterford crystal baseball engraved with the Yankees logo. It’s about 2-1/2” dia and leaded crystal.

Waterford Crystal Baseball.

There was a thread here recently about how to build a cubical bin. The OP already had a joinery method in mind but I suggested a mitered panel box. This box is made from 12 identical pieces all cut on the TS.

Each piece needs to have a 3/32” dado in two sides for the lexan panel inserts. Both ends of each piece are double mitered and assemble into a perfect cube.

I started with a piece of 1×6 about 2’ long. I rIpped three 3/4” square pieces. Each piece is then dado’d 1/4” deep 7/16” in from the inside face. Once you have cut the first dado you must flip the piece end for end for the 2nd cut. (DAMHIKT)

Once the dados have been cut the ends of the three pieces are squared off and then cut into four equal pieces creating a total of twelve 3/4” square x 6” long blocks.

Setting my miter gauge to 45° and adjusting the stop block until the back corner just touches the kerf on my ZCI. Each end of each piece is double mitered. Each cut should have the dado facing the blade. Once both miters have been made to all 12 pieces, the miter stop is reset so the corner of the piece again is just over the ZCI again and all the other ends are double mitered. Again be sure to feed the dado face towards the blade.

You should have 12 identical pieces double mitered and pointy on both ends. Sand to 220.

Now finishing the box presents a challenge to do so without getting finish on the lexan panels. Prefinishing sounds like a good idea, but final sanding would ruin it.

Glue up has to be done in stages. Make sure you have a bunch of lexan scraps to hold the pieces in alignment while gluing. A small brush is needed to spread the glue to 100% coverage without getting any glue in the dados.

Use an assembly corner take any three pieces, and keeping the dados to the inside form a corner. Use pieces of lexan to hold the pieces in place while the glue dries. Make a total of three, 3 piece corners.

Glue two of the remaining pieces into a 90°. The 12th piece is set aside for now.

While the glue is drying this is a good time to cut the six lexan panels. All are cut identical squares about 1” smaller than the length of the sides. The saw may leave a burr on the edges making the lexan hard to insert. I eased the edges with 220 grit on the ROS.

Once the glue has dried on all three corners and the 90° piece, it’s time to start assembling. Take two of the three piece corners and insert a piece of lexan prior to gluing. Once these pieces have set two more lexan pieces are inserted and the 3rd corner added.

The 90° piece is glued in with the lexan in place. Both remaining lexan pieces should be inserted until the glue sets.

The 12th piece is ripped on the dado line. Save both pieces. The thick piece is glued in place holding the back in place. Make sthat the top of this piece is glued even or just below the side dados.

The lexan piece for the top should have two adjacent corners rounded to about a 3/32” radius (not critical, round by eye) and the edges eased to make it easier to insert and slide.

Leaving the top piece of lexan sticking out slightly as a spacer, use the remaining cutoff from the 12th piece and glue it just above the sliding lexan to complete the box.

Once the glue is fully set the outside was sanded to 220 on the ROS.

I had some mirrored lexan that was cut to fit inside the sides. One piece was used on the bottom and the other on the back. The mirrored lexan is attached to the sides with double stick tape.

After cleaning the sawdust out the piece now appears as:

Mirror reflection adds depth.

3/4 view.

Plan is to add LED lighting and a stand to better show off the crystal.

SWMBO has previously criticized my finishing skills so I told her she could apply whatever finish she wanted.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

7 comments so far

View pottz's profile


18733 posts in 2143 days

#1 posted 07-19-2021 03:04 AM

pretty cool mark,i think you scored some points with that.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View SMP's profile


4437 posts in 1064 days

#2 posted 07-19-2021 05:38 AM

pretty cool mark,i think you scored some points with that.

- pottz

Would you say he hit a home run or a grand slam? or that he really knocked it out of the park? it is pretty cool, and probably a lot harder than it looks to a non-woodworker to build.

View gdaveg's profile


238 posts in 361 days

#3 posted 07-19-2021 02:56 PM


Looks great.

Complicated assembly process, a third hand would have been useful.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View splintergroup's profile (online now)


5444 posts in 2381 days

#4 posted 07-19-2021 03:19 PM

Scored a home run, outta the park, certainly not an idea out of left field and has all the bases covered (should I continue 8^)

Nice insight into the process Mark, nothing is ever easy with compound miters and your display case looks great. The lighting idea would really make a show piece.

View HowardAppel's profile


110 posts in 4192 days

#5 posted 07-19-2021 09:49 PM

I am sorry, but I must:

“Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets . . .”

View Steve's profile


2546 posts in 1741 days

#6 posted 07-20-2021 01:53 PM

That turned out great. Only issue I can see is the logo on that crystal. ;)

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1361 posts in 2450 days

#7 posted 07-21-2021 09:56 PM

Grand slam Mark. The miters came out great!
A lot of planning in this one.

I’m working on a project with a lexan panel and was thinking of pre-finishing the frame but I’m know taping it. I did press the tape in good. I hope it doesn’t bleed through.
I’m sure your better half will do a great job and she’ll also get to contribute to your fine project..

PS great photos.

-- James E McIntyre

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