Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Bit of Woodworking

ReaperCon 2015 draws ever closer and I have all but 2 of the miniatures I'm going to use for entries so its time to see if I can actually construct the display stands. As you may (or may not) recall I made a number of prototype display stands out of matte board at least proving that the concept worked.
One of the original matte board prototypes.
There are a couple of things that have to be dealt with first; tools and wood. I need to be able to use stock wood for this as I don't have the right setup to cut it down to smaller dimensions. Besides that I'll be working with some pretty small wood at down right scary size to contemplate using a radial arm or a table saw to cut it. The power tools at hand are my chop saw (essentially a powered miter saw) and hand saws. A nice adjustable combination square is a must have item along with a mechanical pencil. Doug has been trying to convince me that I can cut these all my hand with a razor saw and I just didn't want to contemplate that. 

The second element to the equation is wood. The smallest stock hardwoods I have been able to find, locally, are 1 1/2" square poplar and red oak. It also comes in 1/2" by 11/2" pieces as well, perfect for the third piece. Poplar, being cheaper, is what  I picked that to use for my wood prototypes.

This afternoon was a nice mild sunny day so I pulled out the chop saw again to see what I could do. After making some cuts that just were not quite right I remembered that oh maybe I should lock the plate in place so it doesn't shift as I cut. Then it was why aren't the vertical cuts vertical? Ah the bevel is set to 3 degrees instead of 0 degrees. Once I figured how to use the saw properly (its been a while) things went much better and I was able to cut out enough wood for 5 display bases. I needed at least four to make sure things would work as planned. So far so good. The only real caveat to using the chop saw is I need to purchase a much finer toothed blade, the current blade left a pretty rough cut.  

With everything cut it was to do some dry fitting to see if I could really pull this off. Here are the results:

The four pieces that make up the display stand

How they, hopefully, will go together

Two stands

Three stands. Will that last one fit right?

Success! Four stands fitted together in the "Travel Configuration". If space is at a premium at a show I could, in theory, put this on a rotating base.

Matte board prototype next to a wood prototype. Since I don't want to trim down to something smaller this is  the smallest my display stands will be. That will give me a bit more room to set the scene with so I'm calling it good.

The next task will be trying to assemble them. Originally I thought I would just peg it together but I think that's going to require a drill press. I'm going to pick up some glue tomorrow and see if a glue joint by itself will be strong enough. Otherwise I'll have to see if I can find a small drill press to work with and how small a pre-made peg I can find. I'm still contemplating using rare earth magnets to help hold the separate displays together. I may want to cut a base for everything to rest on as well.

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