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Forum topic by ras61 posted 10-23-2020 02:09 AM 272 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ras61

118 posts in 2434 days


10-23-2020 02:09 AM

I’m looking to start a shadowbox project soon, it will be a military themed box to honor my late father-in-law who was in WWII. It will include a photo or two plus patches, ribbons, pins and medals. I have two basic questions:

1) What is the best way to access the interior of box, I’m thinking a front opening? Should it be simply hinged or something else – some type of sliding access?

2) There will be a fabric background for the medals, pins, etc. I’m thinking there should be some type of backing behind the fabric other than the wood case, what’s best? I’m thinking cork would be good, yes, no, something else?

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860


12 replies so far

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Madmark2

1809 posts in 1501 days


#1 posted 10-23-2020 02:50 AM

Made and sold lots of those.

I made mine with sliding covers and 1” foam behind green or blue stiff felt.

The boxes were made from resawn maple 1×3 planed to 1/4”.

They were 8×10 with lexan lids and mitered corners.

The local Army/Navy store bought them by the dozen.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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ras61

118 posts in 2434 days


#2 posted 10-23-2020 03:56 AM



I made mine with sliding covers and 1” foam behind green or blue stiff felt.

Could you explain further or show a picture of the sliding cover? What type of foam and what’s the source? Thanks!

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

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Madmark2

1809 posts in 1501 days


#3 posted 10-23-2020 04:20 AM

This is similar to the ones I’ve made previously. This is a drawer but the basic design is quite similar to a shadow box


This is a similar design and sized box.


No pull needed in your application.

The foam was just 1” foam board insulation panel pieces cut to size and glued to the bottom. I supplied each one with two pieces of stiff felt, one green and one blue.

1×3 yields a 2-1/2” side. You lose 1/4” top and bottom and 1” for the foam and felt means you have just under 1” between the top of the felt and bottom of the lexan. This is usually plenty for medals and such.

In a variant I traced a pistol on the foam, Burned the foam away inside the lines with a soldering iron (Wear a mask!), flocked the cavity, and cut the felt to fit for a nice display pistol case.

For the shadow boxes I glued the end cut off back in place to cover the end of the lexan. I also routed a bead along the bottom for a touch of style like this:


Bottom bead adds a little elan.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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ras61

118 posts in 2434 days


#4 posted 10-25-2020 08:25 PM


I glued the end cut off back in place to cover the end of the lexan.

I’d like to use glass, would glue still work, any particular glue that sticks well to glass? I’m thinking maybe a poly like Gorilla glue or maybe even silicone?

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

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Madmark2

1809 posts in 1501 days


#5 posted 10-25-2020 08:34 PM

The end piece doesn’t attach to the glass/lexan.

To hold the glass/lexan, rip cut a small ~1/8” sq dado 1/4” down from the top on all four sides. Then, without moving the fence, raise the blade and cut thru the dado on one end piece. This offcut is the “end piece” that is glued back in place as if the dado remained as originally cut. This will leave a dado width slot on that end for the glass/lexan.

The end piece just attaches at the corners for looks and if omitted will look like the previous pics.

The glass/lexan has to slide out for access so it’s not glued at all..

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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John Smith

2776 posts in 1075 days


#6 posted 10-26-2020 02:25 PM


1) What is the best way to access the interior of box,
2) There will be a fabric background for the medals, pins, etc. I m thinking there should be some type of backing behind the fabric other than the wood case, what s best? I m thinking cork would be good, yes, no, something else?
- ras61

I made the back so it is removable with a few small screws to hold it into a rabbet.
if for any reason you needed to access the contents, the whole back came out of the case
with all the elements attached to it. I used 4 layers of 1/8” cork sheet glued together
and covered with the material with 3M77 spray glue.

heavy items were bolted in place

and the case with the smaller items, the pins were forced into the cork backing.
for the round breast pins, metals or badges, they were glued to the back with 100% pure silicone.
cloth and similar patches can be glued in place with wood glue.

you just have to use your imagination and think forward 20-30 years of how the case
will be handled and displayed by anyone. oh, the glass is not glued into the case. it floats in a
rabbet and is held in place with sides attached to the back in case the glass needs to be replaced.
if you are unsure of this, you should make a prototype using cheap lumber first.
just to become familiar and comfortable with the joinery before you go using the expensive materials.
looking forward to seeing your project.

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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ras61

118 posts in 2434 days


#7 posted 10-26-2020 03:30 PM



I made the back so it is removable with a few small screws to hold it into a rabbet.

Thanks John, do you have a picture of the back so I can be 100% sure how you did that? I know there’s numerous ways to access the inside, just trying to figure what will be best for me

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

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John Smith

2776 posts in 1075 days


#8 posted 10-26-2020 07:03 PM

sorry – I the photos of the actual fabrication were lost with all my others in a hurricane.
the only reason I have these photos is the customer (a long time friend) sent them to me.
I could draw a rough sketch if this technique is something you may want to use.

John

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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therealSteveN

6628 posts in 1487 days


#9 posted 10-26-2020 08:25 PM

A shadow box with 5/8” thick Cherry stock stained to look like Mahogany. Moms request. The sides are 3 1/2” thick. Front has a 1/8” dado placed 3/8” back from both the front edge. The back dado 1/4” and is over a rabbet that was 1/2” inset. The back itself is a 1/2 fiberboard, artists pallet in black, and it sits on the rabbet. See pic’s for detail. The back is affixed with some fixation buttons that I got at the place where I got the back, and art supply place, which went out of business years ago, but I imagine that type of part is still available, or use table top fixation devices. They were held with what essentially is a brad just shy of 1/4” length. I put some quick set glue into a pre-drilled hole, and they haven’t tried to come out, but then again I don’t move it around much, as you can tell by the dust which has settled on the back.

No build photos, didn’t know you needed them to make something, and in general I was too busy to worry about “documenting” a trail. I have both pieces now that Mom has joined Dad, so I can photo it now. That said I am gonna go with, Dad was camera shy, and I don’t feel the need to open the box further for photos. It’s not easy getting everything in it’s place, and then flip it around to fasten the back. Sorry…

-- Think safe, be safe

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ras61

118 posts in 2434 days


#10 posted 10-26-2020 09:12 PM


I could draw a rough sketch if this technique is something you may want to use.

Thanks but that won’t be necessary, that’s too much trouble. There’s lots of ways to skin this cat, as therealSteveN points out (thanks!), once I choose an approach I’ll be fine

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

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ras61

118 posts in 2434 days


#11 posted 10-26-2020 09:22 PM



I don t feel the need to open the box further for photos. It s not easy getting everything in it s place, and then flip it around to fasten the back. Sorry…

Oh, absolutely not! Your explanation is plenty. I made a shadow box for my wife years ago to store momentos, planned it myself and it came out fine. Just thought it would be good to hear how others build them – thanks everyone for the input!

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

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SMP

2853 posts in 818 days


#12 posted 10-26-2020 10:24 PM

I have had built and purchased various different types. The easiest to mount and change things on the back are:
1. Sliding glass attached to just the top part of the front frame that slides up and out. This way you can leave it mounted to the wall and still access it etc.

2. Where the front “frame” is hinged to the sides. Also allows adding/changing things without having to take it off the wall, but you then can see hinges and clasp on the side, though this could be made to be a feature.

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