Finally a project with a plan, well almost...

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Project by awsum55 posted 01-08-2022 09:29 PM 1893 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A good friend of mine has a son that is interested in metal forging because of the TV show “Forged In Fire”. He started making small items by using a torch and tiny pieces of metal. When his dad showed them to me I was very impressed because he was only 12-13 years old.

3 years later he is walking train tracks looking for discarded high carbon steel and making full sized tools using a forge his dad bought him. He has collected tools for the process and is still interested in working with metal. I could never forget how impressed I was with his tiny tools and one day I asked his dad if they were still around. He produced a zip lock bag with all the items and that gave me an idea.

I asked for pictures of all the items along with something that could be recognized so I could show my wife how small the items were. I didn’t want to let on my real intentions. One of the items was made using a quarter (center of the pic above) and that was all I needed for sizing. I used Photoshop to layout the items and figured out how big the display case should be by using SketchUp which I am in the process of learning.

This wasn’t the final design, but it gave me someplace to start.

All the wood is a mystery to me except the maple and purpleheart.

Lots of back and forth with the design even though I had a plan I didn’t really follow it. At first I made this with plexiglass, but it scratched too easily and I had to replace it with glass.

The uprights are mortised into the base to keep everything sturdy. My favorite part of this piece is the hinges, I think they came out looking pretty cool. Using a drop of CA glue on the ends of the brass rod prevents them from sliding out. I put leather on the inside to prevent things from sliding around and I put some rubber on the feet.

I really enjoyed making this display box. Most of the time I make things without a purpose, just keeping busy and I don’t have a destination in mind. This had a person and a purpose and it was just more fun that way.

-- "The Answer Is Blowin'n In The Wind" John D, OP, KS

19 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile


3711 posts in 768 days

#1 posted 01-08-2022 09:41 PM

Absolutely a great gift for a very talented young lad. Love the workmanship. I agree on the hinges.

-- Ron

View oldrivers's profile


3104 posts in 3018 days

#2 posted 01-08-2022 09:59 PM

Fine job looks great.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Andre's profile


5250 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 01-08-2022 10:14 PM

These ae always the best projects, and usually the most fun, Well done, Great job!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View stripit's profile


171 posts in 3495 days

#4 posted 01-08-2022 10:46 PM

Your right, projects are more fun when they have a purpose.

-- Joel, People ask what I make. I tell them I make sawdust, and now and then a nice box or frame,or clock, or lamp pops out.

View pottz's profile


25647 posts in 2436 days

#5 posted 01-09-2022 12:02 AM

awesome awsum !

-- 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 mikeacg's profile


2123 posts in 2509 days

#6 posted 01-09-2022 12:14 AM

I love that show! Has he been on it yet?
Pretty impressive start for a young feller and a pretty impressive effort on your part to encourage him to continue! I really like the combination of wood colors you used and those hinges just blow my mind…


-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View BB1's profile


3178 posts in 2300 days

#7 posted 01-09-2022 12:47 AM

What a great display case. So many thoughtful details. Love the background story. I’m sure it was one of those fun projects, knowing the recipient will be totally surprised.

View swirt's profile


7655 posts in 4424 days

#8 posted 01-09-2022 01:45 AM

Incredible case. Nice work on it and cool story behind it.

-- Galootish log blog,

View therealSteveN's profile


9980 posts in 2026 days

#9 posted 01-09-2022 02:12 AM

John. that’s a winner story, and a winner winner chicken dinner display, nice work

-- Think safe, be safe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10248 posts in 2034 days

#10 posted 01-09-2022 03:06 AM

Great story, and a great-looking display box, John! Well done!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View rtbrmb's profile


907 posts in 3840 days

#11 posted 01-09-2022 06:43 AM

Great story and well thought out project!

Thanks for posting.

Bill n MI

View Dutchy's profile


4370 posts in 3620 days

#12 posted 01-09-2022 08:04 AM

This is a very nice one.


View Ivan's profile


17281 posts in 4319 days

#13 posted 01-09-2022 09:35 AM

Outstanding assembly parts! little tool!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View jeffswildwood's profile


5129 posts in 3429 days

#14 posted 01-09-2022 01:10 PM

Sometimes the best projects are when you stray from the plans. That’s a great box and story.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


312 posts in 3419 days

#15 posted 01-09-2022 02:53 PM

Love those hinges.

-- MrLaughingbrook

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