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Thread: Wooden Case Mod Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Wooden Case Mod Question

    What I'm about to ask might sound a bit basic to seasoned experts on this board, but I have no experience in this field whatsoever, so please bear with me!

    I'm trying to mod this standard wooden artist attache to serve as my portfolio case:




    I want to remove the plywood panel from the front and replace it with a sheet of transparent acrylic material of same thickness, so the case becomes a display case with its contents fully revealed.

    The question is: what is the best way of doing it? The panel is enclosed in a frame that is held together by a set of three wooden pegs, one set per corner:






    Is this doable? Is it possible to remove the pegs without doing too much damage to the frame? Are the planks that make up a frame usually get glued together? What tools would be required to pull out the pegs?

    The procedure appears to be a simple one, but I just want to make sure I don't do anything stupid and end up with a broken case.

    Thanks in advance for your comments and advice!
    Last edited by Kyril Negoda; 03-25-2011 at 08:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Kyril, welcome to the family!
    Those pegs (are you sure they are wood, not plastic?) might hide screws. They might actually be ornamental. But what do I know? I can't even make the red lines on a picture like you did!
    In your profile, if you would post your area you live in, might be one of the family close enough for you to meet and get firsthand information.

    Back to the case. What you are describing sounds very interesting. Will it cause the case to lose some structural integrity? Will it easily scratch and eventually make it an eyesore? Just wondering outloud. Others should be chiming in soon. Good luck on an interesting project!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
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    My bet is those pegs are really plugs covering screws.
    If it where me I would refrain from tearing that case apart and just build one. It is a simple design and easy to replicate.
    But if you want to go after this one. Take a drill with a small bit and drill the plug to see if it is wood all the way or if a screw lay beneath the surface. If there is a screw the plug should pop out with a bit of prodding. Than you can remove the screw.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
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    Jonathan is a faster typer than I am
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    Kyril, Welcome to the family!

    As Chuck and Jonathan mentioned it's probably just plugs covering screws.

    To center the drill bit on the dowel, use a scratch awl to create a dent/starter hole in the center of one the dowels, drill it using say a 3/32" bit and see if it's a plug or a screw. If there's no screw, drill around 1 1/2" deep, then go back and re-drill using a bit the same size as the dowel to the same depth to remove it. Should be able to knock the box apart easily once the dowels are gone.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    Jonathan, thanks for the quick response! As a packaging design professional, I've always been fascinated by the art of woodworking. So glad to be part of the family!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Those pegs (are you sure they are wood, not plastic?) might hide screws.
    Not so sure, now that you mentioned it. I'll have to fiddle with one for a bit after I get home to see if they are indeed just caps.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    I can't even make the red lines on a picture like you did!
    That's okay, I've gone through four years of college to learn how to do that!

    In your profile, if you would post your area you live in
    Thanks for the tip. I just updated my profile to display Twin Cities as my location.

    Will it cause the case to lose some structural integrity?
    I don't have a reason to believe it will lose structural integrity. The acrylic sheet I've got is 1/4" thick and seems pretty tough. I could get a hold of even thicker one, but it might not fit?

    Will it easily scratch and eventually make it an eyesore?
    True. It will scratch very easily, so I'll just have to keep it clean and maybe think up some sort of a cover for transportation.

  7. #7
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    Just noticed there were more replies . Chuck and Darren - many thanks for the advice

    Chuck . At first, just like you suggested, I went for a custom case option, but got quotes from local shops that ranged from anywhere between $500 and 1700. I'm just starting up professionally and can't afford such level of style investment just yet. Are those typical prices in this industry or, if I approach the problem the wrong way, is there a more cost-effective path to go?

    Basically, I was looking for a handcrafted wooden box. I pondered several different variations and eventually came up with a Japanese Bento-style box.

    Here's a sample picture:

    http://cdn.ghostly.com/images/artist...0x_540_540.jpg

    http://cdn.ghostly.com/images/artist...0x_540_540.jpg

    And here's a link to a rough blueprint of the actual thing:



    The outside dimensions are roughly 14w x 10t x 2d". Similar to the one in the sample photos, the box will have a slideout lid to protect its contents; In the middle there will be space for 15-18 prints, each measuring appx. 12x9".
    Last edited by Kyril Negoda; 03-25-2011 at 09:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    ...Take a drill with a small bit and drill the plug to see if it is wood all the way or if a screw lay beneath the surface. If there is a screw the plug should pop out with a bit of prodding. Than you can remove the screw.
    That's how you find out if the first one is a screw, or not.

    If it is, the easiest way to remove the rest of them is to just drive a screw down into them. When the tip of the screw hits the head of the other one, it'll begin acting like a jack, and will back those plugs right out.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    If the plugs are glued and not covering up screws, I would think it would be easier just to drill them out and replace them.

    But, as Chuck said building a case like you want would probably be easier.

    Anyway, Welcome !!
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  10. #10
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    Kyril
    Don't do anything to the box until Monday. Let me see how my shop weekend goes. I might just have what your looking for by night fall Sunday.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

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