Flag Display Case

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Project by Bobmedic posted 07-16-2012 07:50 AM 3420 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife’s grandfather passed away recently. He was a veteran who was buried with full military honors. I made this case to display and protect the flag that was presented to us at the funeral. The dimensions of a coffin flag are 5 ft by 9.5 ft. When folded properly it will yield a triangle of only blue and stars (no red showing). The dimensions of the triangle are 16” on the two angled sides and 22” across the base and it is 3” thick. I am posting these dimensions because I had difficulty finding them and at the time of making the case I didn’t have the flag. My father-in-law measured the flag and gave me these dimensions. After which I was able to find them in a Google search ( isn’t that always the case?)

The miters on this case were by far the toughest to get correct. The 45 at the top was easy enough but the 22.5 deg miters at the base were difficult at best to get right. To cut them, I had to use a tenoning jig on the table saw because my miter saw would not bevel or miter at the needed 67.5 degrees. Even after setting up the table saw with a digital angle gauge the bottom miters were open at the ends. To fix this I glued up the frame as close to perfect as I could get without the glass in place and let it dry. I then clamped the frame back into the tenoning jig and set the jig so the saw blade would split the miter exactly down the middle cutting the same amount of material off of both sides. I did this again on the other base miter which released the bottom. I installed the glass in the dado and glued the base back in. This time the base fit perfectly because both sides of the miter were cut at the same time.

I have seen other people just cut 45’s on the bottom and glue them to the flat base but I think that is cheating. Miters are difficult for everyone so I try to push myself to make perfect fitting miters. When you do, it accomplishes two things, 1. it hones your skills 2. it shows a higher level of craftsmanship.

7 comments so far

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 2739 days

#1 posted 07-16-2012 11:29 AM

Sorry about your family lost. I agree with you the more you do something the better you become at it. I don’t think many people like miters.
Give my regards to your wife and family.
God be with all of you..

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina ([email protected])

View jmos's profile


916 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 07-16-2012 12:40 PM

Nice work Bob. My condolences on your loss.

I don’t know how open the miters were, but I found this William Ng video with a great technique for closing miters; might be useful another time

-- John

View Bobmedic's profile


383 posts in 3365 days

#3 posted 07-16-2012 02:15 PM

John, thank you for the heads up on the video. I will keep it in mind if I have that problem. I don’t think it would work for this particular project though because both sides of the miter are visible and the gap extended quite a ways back towards the inside of the frame. Thank you for the kind words John and MrTom.

View Pat Cavanaugh's profile

Pat Cavanaugh

164 posts in 3934 days

#4 posted 07-20-2012 06:39 PM

Bob, Sorry for your family’s loss. The flag case looks very nice. One of the things that may have made the miters easier would be to have the correct dimensions. And that would come from the Pythagrean Theorum (a squared + b squared = c squared). If you have the 16” dimension, then the base would need to measure 22 5/8” (22.627 to be exact). If you use 22” for the base, the angled sides would actually be 15 9/16” (15.556 to be exact). These of course would be interior measurements. Using 3/4 ” stock and 16” for the sides, the actual dimensions would be – 2 18 9/16 and 1 26 1/4. If you use the 22” measurement actual dimensions would be 2 18 7/64 and 1 25 5/8”.

Like you I’ve used my tenoning jig when cutting the 67.5 degree miters. I cut the base first sneaking up in the finished dimension. Then I cut the 67.5 degree miters on the angled sides and finally cut the 45 degree miters to get the final dimension. Hope the info helps.

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

View tjUSMC8807's profile


9 posts in 2078 days

#5 posted 04-18-2015 08:03 PM

Hi Bob,
I found your project searching for flag displays because my Mother recently asked me to make one for my Grandfather. I was wondering how you did your glass? I will likely be cheating and just gluing 45’s on the bottom as I am a very novice “woodworker”, but am still hung up on how to tackle the glass. Did you cut it yourself. If it’s reasonable I may end up just going to a hobby shop but I’d like to do as much as possible myself since it is a personal project. Thank you so much, wish you all the best!

-- Conan, what is best in life? A table. I would settle for being able to make a nice smooth, level table. And maybe some chairs or a bench.

View Bobmedic's profile


383 posts in 3365 days

#6 posted 04-18-2015 09:58 PM

Yes, I cut the glass myself. I had a sheet of it. I measured down the same distance from the corner and scored and snapped it.

View tjUSMC8807's profile


9 posts in 2078 days

#7 posted 04-28-2015 07:07 PM

Ok great thank you so much for the reply!

-- Conan, what is best in life? A table. I would settle for being able to make a nice smooth, level table. And maybe some chairs or a bench.

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