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How to build a wood case ?


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Hi all

 

I intend to make a case for one of my models.  However, due to my model's dimensions, I'm concerned about the structure of the case, so I was thinking about to make it in wood.

 

My first doubt is how to make a groove in the wood such that I could put the glass or acrylic sheet in.

 

In the attached image I show the groove I'm talking about.

 

I'm looking for a technique or method without complex and/or expensive tools.

 

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Edited by alexmd
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Realistically, the only way to cut a groove in the wood is with a table saw.

 

You can set up the rip fence on the saw to cut the groove whatever distance you want from the edge and adjust the saw blade to the depth you want the groove.  Once the rip fence is set up, say to allow a 1/8" space from the edge of the piece to the groove, you can then cut the groove in all the pieces.

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alexmd, are you sure you want to go with a wooden frame? I had a shop cut the plastic acrylic to my dimensions. I bought the necessary glue and put the whole thing together myself. It worked out fine and was not that hard to do.

 

You do not mention the size of the case you want to make.

 

S.os

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Realistically, the only way to cut a groove in the wood is with a table saw.

 

You can set up the rip fence on the saw to cut the groove whatever distance you want from the edge and adjust the saw blade to the depth you want the groove.  Once the rip fence is set up, say to allow a 1/8" space from the edge of the piece to the groove, you can then cut the groove in all the pieces.

Hi Jack

 

Yeah... I know... My hope was find other way because buy a table saw only for this purpose don't seem me a good trade off.

Maybe I can improvise a table saw, but I don't know how.

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alexmd, are you sure you want to go with a wooden frame? I had a shop cut the plastic acrylic to my dimensions. I bought the necessary glue and put the whole thing together myself. It worked out fine and was not that hard to do.

 

You do not mention the size of the case you want to make.

 

S.os

S.os

 

Sorry about this, I forgot... the dimensions of my case are: height = 700 mm. width = 800 mm and depth = 300 mm.  A friend has a case in similar dimensions.  The case was built just with acrylic and glue, as you said.  But the whole structure shakes.  Give the sensation that it will disassemble in some time.

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Hi Alex,

 

There is an article on the site which I cobbled together some time ago that may be a help. Go to MSW Site & Article Downloads link at the top of this page, then click Article/Downloads, then Furniture and Deck Fittings, then Building a Display Case.

 

Believe me when I say, I am no capenter but I did build a rather large case for my last model. It does not use channelled wood to join the corners of the case. Instead it uses angle stock inside and outside the corners. It is quite strong in that I used glass to make up the case. However, you can use plexi-glass as it is lighter and probably safer.

 

Have a look at the article. It might fit the bill.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter

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Hi S.os

 

I thought about this possibility, the problem is the cost.  I've already done small cases with acrylic 3 mm and it was very good !  In the new desired dimensions, I think that I would have to use 5 mm, at least.  So, the cost can double, since the price generally is proportional to the thickness.  However, it's a possibility.

 

Peter

 

Ok, I'm gonna study the article.  I known that I've ever had seen some article about this here in the MSW, but I wasn't remembering where.

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You may already know this but when you measure the height (includes the stand/cradle/base), length and width of your model you need to add a minimum of 2 inches for each side.

Example: If your model is 20" long by 24" high by 8" wide, your case needs to be at least 24" long by 28" high by 12" wide.

 

 

My dowels for the frame where from popular. 3/4" by 3/4" by 36". purchased 10 of them.

I used my router and with trail and error got the correct depth for the groove for the acrylic pane to fit.

 

I purchased 3' by 4' sheets of acrylic and measured many times until I used my scroll saw to cut the panes to the correct size. I don't have a table saw so I rigged a fence on the scroll saw to keep the pane even.

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Using the dimensions you posted, your case should be about the same size as the one I made for my Bluenose.

 

I made that case using Poplar.  The base is 24" x 7.5" x 3/4".  All the pieces for the frame are of 3/4" square Poplar.  The case is 23" high.

 

Here are some photos of the case construction:

 

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All the acrylic is Lexan and the pieces slide into 1/8" grooves I cut using a MicroLux miniature table saw.

 

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The wood frame certainly provides strength and you don't have to worry about trying glue the acrylic itself.

 

post-723-0-20678700-1394028327.jpg

 

I believe that at some point you will have to use a table saw to cut the parts.  If you know someone that has one, you could ask to use it for the amount of time it would take to cut and groove all the parts.

 

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Hi all

 

Thanks for all the answers !

 

About to use preprofiled wood, it was my first idea. So, I went to several shops that deal with wood but I didn't find preprofiled wood.

 

The article that Peter has suggested is very good !  Step-by-step, it illustrates how to build a case by using square angle corners on the vertical structure.

 

And I've stayed curious about how to use a router to make the groove. I'm not familiar with router (only that ones for wi-fi ;) ).  Is there any video or pictures that show how to do this ?

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You could take one piece of 1/2 inch square material and glue two 1/8 inch sq. strips to it form the groove, that would leave you with a 1/8 inch groove for your glass. If you want a 1 inch post then you would need 3/8 inch strips and set them in 1/16 inch on each side that would also give you a 1/8 inch groove. If you don't want a reveal or you don't want to see two strips glued together just face it off with the appropriate sized plank. - no power tools required.

Edited by Don9of11
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Cutting such a groove using a router can be done several ways, both require a jig of sorts, one holds the stock and provides a surface for the router to be guided and moved along the desired cut and the other holds the router and used the bit or a fence. I used a 1" X 12" pine board with a round hole cut in the board  that allowed the router to be held upside down, the hole I cut left a flange for the router to rest on with the face plate of the router flush with the board surface with the router clamped into the jig from the bottom. The whole thing was clamped to a riser that I had built. I used that setup with the router bits guiding the board for shaped edges and for groves use a fence type guide, just a board clamped on. My router went into that cobbled up thing several times over the years. Router tables used to be available that did the same thing, don't think they were very expensive. I would have bought one if they were available when I had the need and made my own. Many old windows just had a notch cut in the inside edge of the window framing and a small square or quarter round strip was tacked in to hold the glass, that allowed room for the wood to move with changing humidity without putting stress on the glass, when putty was used, tabs held the glass instead of wood strips.

jud

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All the 1/8" grooves, base and frame pieces, were cut with the MicroLux Table Saw.  I used a Dado disk with the blade for the 1/8" cut.

 

The Lexan acrylic was cut to order when I purchased it.  I had the dimensions figured out when I got it.

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  • 4 months later...

I just made a case for my Rattlesnake. :D I bought a prefinished shelf for the base and L shaped 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 wood corner trim. I painted the wood with ordinary indoor satin paint. For each of the four corners of the case I cut two 45 degree angles on each of the three wood pieces and no angle cuts on the bottom of  each of the four uprights at each corner. Next I glued each of the 40 joints. I then attached the 5 rectangles of Lexan inside the case with a 50 year latex like sealing compound applied to near each of the four edges of each Lexan panel. I then attached each of the uprights to the base with two screws each.

This method was much simpler than a previous case I made using dowels and cutting groves in them B) for the corners.  

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I support Don9of11's view, if you do not have a table saw or other power tools to make the groove, you can still do it by using two strips glued to a larger piece of wood. An incidental advantage of the method would be that you can glue only the inner strip; the outer strip of wood will be glued or even pinned after the case has been made and after the glass has been put to place, to retain it securely in its wooden frame. If incidentally your glass breaks, you will just have to take the pins off or cut out the outer strip, take out the pieces of glass and put another glass panel in its place.

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AL offer profiled moldings for display cases and that is what I have used in the past. The base is formed with three-quarter fancy moulding and the sides and top with AL profiles fitting 3 mm perspex. As this model was for my grandson in Florida the case was the absolute minimum to reduce air freight costs. The map glued to the base keeps the eye away way from the tight fitting (that's my excuse anyway :D ). The top corners are compound mitres so they need a little care in cutting. The rest is pretty straight-forward. The model is hanging upside down in the photo fitting the base so everything needs to be well secured!

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Edited by marktime
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Our models built at the expense of many hours of work should last many years and enjoy the perfect eye look.

To protect them from dust, which is the main enemy of these delicate structures and especially the rigging, place them in showcases.

Such cabinets can do with your own hands.

Several ways to implement them.

  1. The frame structure of aluminum profiles joined with aluminum blind rivets.
  2. The frame structure of  wooden profiles glued and fastened with nails and screws.
  3. The frame structure of PVC angles with use of double face self-adhesive tape for

        joint it with plexi plates.

The basis for showcases can be made from MDF board, plywood or wood boards.

The cover can be made as the transparent plexi or the same material as the base.

Lamps for lighting model can be installed in showcase cover.

 

Fot.1Type 2 showcase for HMS Warrior and Speedy
Dimensions L 164 cm B 44 cm H 84 cm

Fot. 2, 3 Details of construction

Fot.5 Type 1 showcase for Vasa and Friesland
Dimensions L 115 cm B 36 cm H 173 cm

Fot.6 Type 1 showcase for Solei Ryale and HMS Victory.
Dimensions L 130 cm B 51 cm H 205 cm

Fot.7 Aluminium sections and PVC angles

Fot.8 Type 3 showcase for Speedy

Fot.9, 10 Wooden sections used for showcase frame

Fot.11 PVC angles

 

Tadeusz

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