Step 4: Rotary Planer

I discovered my walnut pieces also have some bowing in them.  I could ignore it and hope for the best, or I could establish a flat surface on both sides of each.  The simple way to do this would be with a large planer, but I do not have one.  I can do a credible job with a rotary planer attachment on my radial arm saw.  The photo shows the rotary planer attachment on my saw with the motor shaft moved to the vertical position.  I used a fence and two stops to keep the work piece locked down.  The fence and the stops are slightly less in thickness than the work piece.  The bright green lines show where the ends of the work piece are secured.  The blue line shows how the fence secures the work piece.  I am pulling the planer across the width of the work pieces while holding them down with one hand. 

On the right front side of the work piece you can see something blue in color pushed under the corner of the work piece.  This is a piece of cardboard from a 12 pack of canned soft drink.  When I pressed on the corners of the work piece I discovered this corner rises up from the work table.  I folded a piece of thin cardboard and pushed it under the corner as a shim until the work piece could not be rocked.  Then I began making light cuts with the rotary planer while holding the work piece down firmly.  After each cut I moved the saw arm, locked it down, and pulled the planer over the workpiece again.  This process will shoot a relatively flat and true surface on the top of the work piece.  The rotary planer does leave marks and swirls that will need to be removed later.
<p>Hi! I plan on making this for a woods class project. Do you know how much wood you used? (In board feet?)</p>
<p>Thank you. See my comments below to PerryW2 about whether to use 22.5 degree cuts (more difficult to do right) or 45 degree cuts (does not look as nice, but what most people do). Someone below made 22.5 degree cuts very nicely by making a jig to hold the pieces vertically and at 90 degrees to the fence on a chop saw. Then he set the saw at 22.5 degrees. </p><p>In this time there are on-line calculators for everything. You can find one for calculating board feet here- <a href="http://extension.missouri.edu/scripts/explore/g05506.asp">http://extension.missouri.edu/scripts/explore/g055...</a></p><p>I took the dimensions in the Instructsble and did a little rounding up. I also converted fractional dimensions to decimal equivalents because that is what the on-line calculator requires. The figure I got is 2.39 board feet. (Nominal thickness is 1 inch. Nominal width is 4 inches. Length of all pieces combined is 86 inches, but that may not allow quite enough for the waste from saw cuts.)</p>
Thank you. Just what i needed.
Thank you for looking and for your comment. Many who make flag cases do not attempt 22.5 degree angles for the lower corners, but use 45 degree angles. The 22.5 degree angles are more difficult. I have often thought about a jig that would be used on a table saw or a hand circular saw would ride across it. The blade would bisect the opening. The jig would hold the pieces at a 45 degree corner and a final trim cut would pass between both pieces to remove any little irregularity for a nearly perfect fit. <br>There are a coule of other issues to resolve with a flag case. One is making sure all angles meet. The usual process is to cut the bottom angles, which some make easier by using 45 degree cuts and laying one over the other rather than bisecting the corner with 22.5 degree cuts, as I mentioned above. Tommy MacDonald on the PBS program &quot;Rough Cut&quot; made the cuts for the two bottom corners, knowing their might be a little inaccuracy, even with 45 degree cuts rather than 22.5 degree cuts. Then he made the top cut fit, even if he had to adjust the length of the pieces or trim the angles a tiny amount. Another issue is hw and when the glass goes into the cases it probably needs to be removable so the flag can be placed inside the case after the finish on the case is ready and dry, some use a spot in the bottom member of the case and may insert s long thin strip to close the slot. I made the bottom piece removable, but that called for some very careful drilling of the screw holes. Finally, the back may be removable, but if it is, it does not aid the structural integrity of the flag case. Again, making the bottom removable allowed me to derive structural integrity from the back in the top corner and still have a way to place or remove the flag. <br>I wish you well.
<p>I am starting my second flag case for a friend of the family. I made my first a few months ago and also had to come up with a creative way to cut the 22.5-deg angles for the bottom corners. My miter saw has this great notch for 22.5-deg that's actually 68.5-deg from the fence, right? What I really want is to put the saw on that notch and hold the board 90-deg to the fence, but you can't just hold a board like that. I ended up creating an auxiliary fence for my miter saw that is 90-deg to the miter saw fence. I did it by screwing a scrap 1x3 on edge near the center of a piece of OSB about as big as the table on my miter saw. I would rather have used MDF or plywood, but that wasn't around at the time. With the OSB against the miter saw fence and clamped to my miter saw table, the 1x4 &quot;fence&quot; allows me to safely (don't quote me on this) hold my work in an orientation that makes the 22.5-deg notch on my miter saw work. If everything is dead square, you can manage a good cut. A lot of things could be done to make this jig better, but this quick, two-board version will help with those corners. (I shared my case also to show the results. The person it was for asked for a professional backing, so those are the cases leaving the framer's.)</p>
<p>Excellent work! I wish my flag case had turned out as well as yours. You could do an Instructable on your way of making a flag case.</p>
<p>Those are kind words. Thanks Phil. I can't take all the credit though... the wood does a lot of the aesthetic work on its own. My next will be in walnut like yours; it's quickly becoming my favorite species. </p>
<p>You are thinking about adding a brass plate. Make it a triangle plate the same angle as the top of the case. you can purchase these from a jewelry store, my jewelry store said he would charge me about $3 for this.</p>
Thanks. I still have done nothing about a brass nameplate. I have done some thinking about good jigs for cutting accurate 22.5 degree and 45 degree angles. A lot of people skip the two 22.5 degree cuts and and replace them with one 45 degree joint because the 22.5 degree cut is more difficult. But, it is worth the effort in my mind, and I would like to make a nearly foolproof way to do it. Thank you for your comment.
I guess someone has to say it. Don't refold the flag! The spirit of the fallen is contained within or some such nonsense. Anyhow it is bad form to unfold the flag! Must be why these boxes are so popular. Helps people resist the urge. I just saw a show on TV where some guy made one of these boxes. he did a great job and had lots of neat little tricks. Not that I remember a single one of them but I do remember the whole deal about not unfolding the flag.
You probably saw Tommy MacDonald on &quot;Rough Cut Woodworking&quot; from WGBH, Boston broadcast over PBS. I have seen a number of his programs and saw part of the one on making a flag case and made reference to it in one of the early steps. My wife needed a flag to fly at church for some event, and there was no other flag. So, she unfurled this one from her father's funeral, and we had to fold it again afterward. I am a pastor and have seen quite a few honor guard ceremonies up close at the cemetery, so I know how they do the folding step-by-step. There is a web site that has neat information about the significance of the folding and each part of it. I meant to include that in the Instructable, but forgot.
No! You didn't! I suppose a little more spirit at a church event can never hurt. Anyhow that sounds about right, the Tommy MacDonald on &quot;Rough Cut Woodworking&quot; from WGBH, Boston part. I think he was pretty good. His box came out real nice. Though he said he'd made about 200 or something silly like that beforehand. I guess after doing something 200 times we all get pretty good at it.
Were I to do a second flag case like this, there are some things I would do differently to make less work and maybe achieve better results at the same time. I would also make some jigs that would allow me to do it right everytime with minimal bother. I once visited the furniture factory at Iowa's Amana Colonies. Special jigs and fixtures for specific tasks were hanging from the walls and the ceilings.
Hi;<br>I love the way you made your flag case. I have made 2 one for my wife (her dad's flag) and one for my mom (grandad's) flag. I've read some of your posts and love the writing style also I don't have all the nice tools and have to be creative when working. The flag cases that I made were out of pine ripped to a 2x3 for the top pieces and a 2x4 for the bottom with a skirt ripped at 45 degrees to match the width of the uprights (i don't have a good camera at the moment so I cannot take pictures to post) I like the thicker wood to compliment the size of the flag and the beveled edge is a good place for the brass plaque. I also fashioned a cross to go in the center of the glass up to about a 1/3 height as I've never seen this done before but it looks nice and I have received many compliments on it. One day maybe I'll write an article and post with pictures. <br>Again good work and your posts are an inspiration for making the most of what I have to work with.<br>Dan
Dan, Thank you for commenting. I really appreciate your comments. I would very much like to see a photo of your flag cases one day.<br> <br> Many years ago I bought a copy of <u>Woodwork for Secondary Schools</u>&nbsp;in a second hand bookstore. &nbsp;My copy was published in 1910. &nbsp;It made the point that anything you can do with power tools, you can also do with hand tools. &nbsp;It just takes a bit longer. &nbsp;The 1915 edition of that book is now available as a free download <a href="http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-books/woodwork-for-secondary-schools.html">here</a>. &nbsp;I shamelessly stole and idea from it and made an Instructable from it <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Cure-for-Miter-Joint-quotGaposisquot/">at this location</a>.
I found a link with information about the significance of the folds and other things related to the ceremony. I embedded the link in the Introduction, but here it is one more time: <br>http://www.ehow.com/about_6399196_significance-folding-flag-three-shots.html
As always my friend another great unstructable, very well done.
Thank you, Stelios. I felt embarrassed to admit all of the things that did not go as planned. But, it seemed good to share some helpful ways to overcome them. Thank you for looking at it. I hope the physical ailment we discussed in e-mail has improved by now.
IMHO woodworking is not about flawless projects but overcoming the difficulties or mistakes and still make a nice piece of work. Sorry about that typo mistake above instructable should have been the word :-) Thank you Phil for asking about my health, I am not fit yet for woodworking but is getting there.
When I was a boy in the State of Iowa I knew two brothers who were carpenters and known for their very fine work. They often said, &quot;Every carpenter makes mistakes. A good one covers them up.&quot; I hope you can get back to your woodworking projects very soon. They are good mental therapy for the stresses of life.
I agree<br>
Thank you, Osvaldo. This is the birthday gift for my wife that I mentioned. She seems pleased.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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