It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve begun accepting commissions. A friend of mine came with a project I couldn’t refuse. He wanted a chest to haul around the merchandise related to his rock band. He said he wanted something that light up the event and highlighted the band’s name. I knew just what he wanted!
I started with this SketchUp draft:
It has room for CDs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and t-shirts. My final design veered a little from this, but the basic shape was there.
I began with a 30″ long, 18″ deep, 7″ high box. I chose box joints as the joinery. I recently acquired a table saw (Jet Supersaw with sliding table) which made the production of those joints easy. I shot a dado down both top and bottom to fit the 1/4″ plywood top and bottom panels. I dry-fitted the box, dissembled it, then ripped the top and bottom apart on the table saw.
Next up came fitting the nameplate. This took a little finessing. I decided on a 2″ by 20″ removable nameplate fitted into a frame and panel type groove with a piece of acrylic as protection. I ripped the front face apart into four sections: a 1″ wide top rail, about a 1.5″ bottom rail and two stiles. After reassembling the piece to check the joinery, I needed to make a dado groove for the faceplate and acrylic. The groove necessary was just a hair (and I mean a hair) over an 1/8″ of an inch wide. So I went to my router table (oh, I should mention – this step meant I had to build a tablesaw/router table combo machine first. Nothin’ like buying and building 1000 dollar tools for a 100 dollar project) and shot a stopped dado down the rails and stiles. In order to get the faceplate to fit, I made a starter groove just a hair off center, then reversed the parts to get a centered groove. (If that doesn’t make sense to you, watch an episode of Norm) Finally, I glued up the bottom half of the front face and attached the top rail via #8 Phillips-head wood screws. If the band name changes, so does the display.
The interior partitions came together next. The front compartment, which holds the lighting assembly, is simply a horizontal cross piece with a plywood top attached via three small hinges. I ripped matching dadoes across the cross bar and rear face of the box. 1/4″ plywood creates the CD racks. A piano hinge flips the top, while a hobby chain keeps the top constrained. Last but not least, a pair of latches keeps everything tied down for transport.
I went with a simple black acrylic base and polycrylic topcoat. Sprayed it on with a Critter spraygun. Hope you enjoy the results.
If you have a rockband I’ve got a little something for you…call me, maybe?
Expect some new “In the Classroom” posts: the boys are back in town!