5 Day Shadow Box Miracle!

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Project by Snaggletooof posted 03-13-2012 07:31 PM 7428 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last Wednesday a friend informed me that we were going to have a retirement luncheon for one of our co-workers on the following Monday…the problem was that the original luncheon date was supposed to be months later. I completed this shadow box in 5 days on my spare time after work. This was for a good friend of mine so I put a lot of thought not only into the box itself, but the items which would go on the inside/outside.

The biggest thing that stands out to me is his name in old English on the glass. I did the etching myself using stencils and etching creme. The lettering is about 1.5” tall, maybe 7” wide, so it took a while to get the stencil laid down flat and even longer to mask off and place the etching creme.

The box is about 18”x30”, 3.75” thick. Constructed out of scrap walnut that was severely bowed, but I made it work because I had to because it was the only material available that was decent. Planed it from the rough to 3/4” thickness. The box can be taken apart to replace the glass…the screws are concealed the bottom felt pads. Roman edge bit for the frame and v-groove on the sides to jazz it up. Miters are given more security with 2 screws on each. Holes for those screws were recessed with 3/8” drill bit and then those holes were filled with wood filler mixed with dark walnut stain to contrast. Finished with DEFT spray lacquer.

As far as the insides go…the brass EGA was grinded down in the back to sit somewhat raised. I then drill holes in the bracket, super glued nuts on and then was able to mount it with screws on the plywood backing. The velvet backing was done by myself. Buying velvet mat board is WAY TO EXPENSIVE. I bought fabric from a store then glued it to poster board using wood glue. Spray adhesive actually doesnt work well at all for long term adhession, but if you use a foam brush and spread wood glue out very thinly and evenly to the gluing surface it will stick and wont bubble over time.

I had a cool idea to use dog tags with his enlistment date and finish date along with the standard thank you and good luck. I had never seen it done, so it was a given that I would do it. I put a brass screw on the tags just to make it stand out more with the other pieces of brightwork in the box.

I am very proud of this box, and love the fact that anyone out in town at a store probably couldnt have made a nicer box or even purchased one nicer in only 5 days. I believe it is the best one that I have done thus far! Thanks for looking!

6 comments so far

View pastorglen's profile


267 posts in 3982 days

#1 posted 03-13-2012 07:42 PM

Semper Fi! That’s a dandy!!

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

View Page2171's profile


35 posts in 3977 days

#2 posted 03-13-2012 10:13 PM

Great looking shadow box! We have a few retirements coming up in my unit and there are some great ideas here that may be borrowed. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

-- Brian in Leesburg, GA

View waho6o9's profile


9110 posts in 3869 days

#3 posted 03-13-2012 11:38 PM

Most excellent work, good job.

View Bennie Woods's profile

Bennie Woods

63 posts in 3966 days

#4 posted 03-14-2012 02:01 PM

That’s a super nice box! I’m sure he was proud to recieve it.

-- Bennie Woods, US Navy, GUAM

View SugarbeatCo's profile


142 posts in 3560 days

#5 posted 03-15-2012 06:33 AM

Very Nice!

-- Always one more tool away from being an excellent woodworker...

View usnret's profile


184 posts in 3800 days

#6 posted 03-15-2012 07:06 AM

Very nice work, I am sure he will be one proud Marine.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

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