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Building a shadowbox

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  As the saying goes, there's no such thing as too many miniatures, just not enough storage, lol. ::D:


  Since I haven't been painting in quite some time, due to lack of inspiration for most of the year and currently due to it being too cold in the house to paint, this is my particular mini-related project at the mo...


  Some of you may know since I've posted this pic before that this is the original shadowbox that's been hanging on my bedroom wall for decades.... (Hell, this picture of it is twenty years old, lol.) Obviously, it's a generic shadowbox, clearly not originally meant to display minis.




  It's about 20-in. tall, 18-in. wide, and has basically nine shelves on it. And it's currently packed to the gills with figures - I have essentially the entire run of the old Ral Partha AD&D 11-xxx Adventurers series on it as well as the Grenadier box sets 6003 Elves of the Sylvan Brotherhood, 2018 Female Adventurers (2 complete sets, although they're lined up behind the other) and half of 5002 Monsters, plus about two dozen other random figures.  :rolleyes:


  So, I'm making a new one.


  It's going to be 28-in. tall, 22-in. wide, in a cherry finish, and have eleven functional shelves on it with 2 inches of space in between them. Rather than split the shelves into individual boxes I'm just going to have two evenly spaced interior vertical dividers/supports, so the shelves will be divided into thirds which will let me position the figures any way I want them.


 Currently, I've got the wood cut for the shelves, and am in the process of cutting the back piece out of plywood.





 It's going to take a while to finish, since I'm doing it entirely with hand tools, and rather than cutting the two interior supports into little pieces, I'm going to notch both them and the horizontal shelves so that they're interlaced. I'm also currently job-hunting at the moment, so I don't have a lot of free time during the hours when it's warm enough in my basement to work on it (I'm currently without heat in the house).

But I'm planning to try to post WIP updates as I complete steps or at least once a week in order to try to keep motivated on it.





Edited by Mad Jack
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 Minor update...

The back piece is now cut, and roughly sanded. Also confirmed that old bottle of wood glue left for several years with nozzle open was salvageable and used my sculpting pick to dig out all the dried glue in the nozzle.

Next step is to build the outer frame and attach it to the back - in addition to glueing everything I'm also nailing the corners together and nailing the back piece to the frame so it's all nice and flat. (The back was cut out of an old piece of thin plywood I got at my old job at the toothpaste factory almost two years ago, so it's gotten just a slight warp to it from sitting in my basement the whole time.)

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Progress is slow since I only have two corner clamps and I'm giving the carpenter's glue the full 24 hours to dry before unclamping the pieces.


I have the outer frame glued together and will be attaching it to the back piece in the next day or two - I'm currently sketching out the layout of the shelves on the back piece so I can keep them all nice and straight. It will also allow me to pre-drill holes in the plywood back piece so that I know where to put the nails through the back.


Progress pics once I get the back piece attached.


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 Back piece is now attached. Now I need to clean it up, grind down a couple nails sticking out a little, shave off some extra wood on a couple of the edges, and sand it again.

Then I can start putting the shelves in.


Here's the obligatory middle-of-the-project it-looks-like-crap-so-I-must-be-making-progress shot...




You can see where I've traced the lines for the shelves on the back piece and cut the notches for them in the vertical supports. The shelf that Sir Forscale is on isn't permanently attached yet - it's just there to illustrate that I'm going to leave a large space in the upper right corner for a couple of taller figures. The shelf below it will be going all the way across. I should be able to fit 12-14 figures on each shelf without it looking too crowded.


Once I get it cleaned up, which I hope to have done by the end of the weekend, I can start putting the corresponding notches in the shelves themselves and attach them. Cutting the notches in the shelves is slow going because I'm stuck using the little "hobby-sized" Dremel (which has crap power) with a cutting bit to grind out the notches - the little Dremel just doesn't have the power to turn a cutting wheel, and it turns out my old jigsaw was a victim of the last time my basement flooded. The motor runs but the blade won't move, so I think it may have gotten rusted into place. Trying to make the notches nice and even is taking forever since I grind and test-fit, grind and test-fit, rinse and repeat. :rolleyes:






Edited by Mad Jack
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Slow but steady progress, since I've only been working on it sporadically. Need to fine-tune the rest of the notches on the vertical supports before marking off the notches on the rest of the shelves.






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8 hours ago, MojoBob said:

I'd suggest using something like a Zona saw for cutting the shelf notches. It would go a lot faster, and you could gang up the pieces and do them all at once.



 Unfortunately, I don't have one, and this is a zero-budget project...



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