Engineer castle box

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Project by jeffswildwood posted 04-03-2014 01:23 PM 5014 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The engineer castle box. This is a project I have wanted to try for many years but felt the difficulty level was just to high. I finally decided to give it a try and did find it to be quite a challenge. I started with a basic box, measured 10 X 5 inches and expanded from there. Used rabbets for assembly and separated the top. The first obstacle was the hexagon towers. A 60 degree cut got this done nicely but then I realized I had to attach them to the towers. Certain parts had to be modified to allow them to be recessed at the corners. At this point alignment became a real issue. Originally it was to have four towers and I made four, but found out it would not open due to the rear towers. I had already cut the box top off for a hinged assembly. (Oops). Changed to two towers only. Now how to clamp the tower sides together. The answer was rubber bands and titebond II. I routed the edges prior to assembly to hold the end caps. The door area was pretty straightforward, re-saw four pieces and cut the angle. (45 degrees) Next obstacle was the tower and center tops. Tower parts had to be cut in a hexagon and beveled to form the shape. The answer was a 45 degree champhor bit. A measurement nightmare but a little trial and error I got it. used the same setting for the center. The caps sealing the towers had to each be cut separate as I was a little off with the hexagon towers. The blocks were easy as I had some scrap already cut to the 60 degrees needed to align at the corners on top of the towers. Needed 24 to cover this. The mirror inside the lid is from darker (copper?) mirror I had laying around and actually the first time I was able to cut glass accurately. Hinges are mortised in. Made with half inch poplar. The stain is special walnut and used three coats of gloss polyurethane. Quite tough as I used a foam brush for application. Really wish I had a HVLP sprayer at this point.

I learned a lot from doing this project. Using angles, accurate measurement, planning ahead, the list goes on and on. But now I have a nice original box for my military challenge coins and items from my time in the military as a combat engineer. Thanks for looking and sorry if I got a bit long in the description.

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

17 comments so far

View larson1170's profile


32 posts in 2419 days

#1 posted 04-03-2014 01:37 PM

Great Box! Really unique way to display your coins. I believe I might have to steal the idea.

View bit101's profile


106 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 04-03-2014 02:28 PM

That’s unique, and nicely executed. Always good to hear the “oops” moments of a project, so I know it’s not just me. :)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 04-03-2014 02:31 PM

That’s very creative. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Alexey Khasyanov's profile

Alexey Khasyanov

219 posts in 3680 days

#4 posted 04-03-2014 02:45 PM

Good box. thanks for sharing

-- @alexey_Khasyanov

View Dodis's profile


15 posts in 2720 days

#5 posted 04-03-2014 03:36 PM

That’s great! Nice Job.

Something I need to make for myself. I get my 30yr pin this June, and have coins laying around on a shelf, hard to see ‘em like that.

Thanks for sharing!

-- Mike "Dodis', TxCity, Texas Gulf Coast

View jeffswildwood's profile


4490 posts in 2785 days

#6 posted 04-03-2014 06:26 PM

Thanks for all the comments everyone. larson, no need to steal it, I’ll share. bit101, there were many oops moments in this, that was just the big one. helluvawreck and Alexey, thanks guys. Dodis, congratulations on 30 years, I did 21 myself. prior to this I had all my coins in a plastic box. Thanks everyone for looking!

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

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9600 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 04-03-2014 08:04 PM

very cool box… and for a combat engineer’s collection of memorabilia, quite appropriate.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View leafherder's profile


1964 posts in 2759 days

#8 posted 04-03-2014 10:21 PM

Great design! I have always dreamed of owning my own castle – thanks for showing me how. :)

-- Leafherder

View grace123's profile


258 posts in 3570 days

#9 posted 04-04-2014 04:25 AM

I like it. Reflects the emblem of the Army Corps of Engineers very well.

View CFrye's profile


11025 posts in 2647 days

#10 posted 04-04-2014 05:59 AM

Wonderful box and display, Jeff! The finish is great for the project. Does it always sit on the camo, or was that just for the pic? Thank you for your service and for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View robscastle's profile


7238 posts in 3011 days

#11 posted 04-04-2014 09:54 AM

Very good work, I should make one for a letter box!!

-- Regards Rob

View jeffswildwood's profile


4490 posts in 2785 days

#12 posted 04-04-2014 11:12 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments. I really appreciate them. Candy, the camo was for picture taking only. Left over material from a photo album. If anyone would like to try this let me know. My plans are sketchy at best, lots of ad lib, but I will share or talk you through, dimensions ect.. Thanks for looking!

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

View luv2learn's profile


3069 posts in 3110 days

#13 posted 04-05-2014 01:01 AM

That is one really unique looking box Jeff. Thanks for sharing this cool project with us.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View djc4990's profile


54 posts in 2401 days

#14 posted 04-09-2014 05:21 PM

thats awesome, great looking box ….ive always wanted to try out something with a castle theme and this might just be it!

-- I don't always have soft hands....but when I do its because I just left the woodshop.

View Blake Haskins 's profile

Blake Haskins

230 posts in 2045 days

#15 posted 01-07-2015 10:50 PM

Great box. My son and I started on a Corp Castle model I wanted to build for my office, but its in the pending pile. We cut the angles to make three octagons (center and two sides). When I realized how long it would take us to scroll saw the zillion little square windows it got put down. It’s something I still want to do, just need to find a better approach. We got some birdsmouth router bits for Christmas so we may try again with those. I had a hard time finding a good reference for the parts of the structure not normally seen.

-- make sure you subscribe to my channel-

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