Reply by Madmark2

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Posted on newbie need input

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1808 posts in 1500 days

#1 posted 07-21-2020 12:49 PM

No groove. Use lexan instead of glass and use a small dab of clear adhesive around the edges to hold it to the wood frames. On the back use mirrored lexan facing in to reflect the light back out.

You’ll also need to drill a hole out the back for the cord. If you put feet on it the cord can go out the bottom. Either way the hole needs to be big enough for the plug, not just the wire.

At least one side needs to be openable for access. You’re not going to want to permanently seal it in for transport, cleaning, bulb changes, etc. This usually implies hinges, a catch, and a knob.

Go for surface mounting your hinges. No mortising needed. Just be sure to predrilled the holes. Use steel screws instead of brass. If this is your first use of brass screws you will break one or two during install.

You may not need a catch if the door stays closed by itself. A magnetic catch is ugly but easy to install. Put it in the middle aligned with the knob to prevent the door from wracking as you open it against the pull of the catch.

The plan shown above is easy without the grooves as only simple crosscutting is needed.

Since this is intended as a display piece no great strength is needed so simple butt joints should work for 1×2 stock (3/4×1-1/2 actual). You’ll need a pair of F-clamps to hold things for an hour while the glue dries. Try to borrow them if you can.

Use regular yellow carpenter’s glue, cover the end evenly, thinly, and 100% coverage. A little squeezeout is good, if too much clean with damp rag and use less next time. A small piece of lexan is a better glue spreader than your finger. Areas that are glue smeared won’t take finish.

Another benefit to gluing the lexan in, is that the lexan can be added last, after the project is assembled and stained/finished.

Final assembly is a chore. Holding four frames in place while trying to glue (or nail) is going to require four hands and patience.

If you have access to a brad nailer this would be a good time to dig it out. Use a dab of putty to fill the nail holes. Do not try to make your own out of sawdust & glue – it won’t look good. Don’t try to nail by hand, the frames will bust.

Screws can be used but need to be piloted full depth for the screws used. 1-1/2 #4 or #6 flathead screws should be ok. If the wood is soft a power driver should self sink the heads otherwise a cheap chamfering bit can be used. Lube the screws with a little soap or wax before driving.

If you better half doesn’t like screwholes you can countersink and cap or back to gluing.

Make an assembly corner to work against and build horizontally with the widest piece face down. Glue a side on edge next and then the top and bottom pieces. The ends will hold the 3rd side in place as the glue dries. The door can then be added last after the rest of the case hase dried.

Take your time, retain all your fingers, have fun & good luck!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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