Introduction: End Grain Glasses Case
I'm going to begin this Instructable by saying that I don't claim to know much about woodworking and have even less experience in the craft. I would say that I'm a metalworker at best because that is the material that I work with more frequently. However, in the process of doing some storage related wood projects lately, I ended up investing in and using tools that gave me more confidence and ideas than I really needed with respect to my current skills in woodworking.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into or really what I was doing at any point. I'm not even sure it will hold up over time or if it was even the best wood to use. In fact, I'm almost positive there is a good reason to not construct a project like this that I am ignorant of.
In short, I basically went from 0 to 9000 on this project. Regardless, I persevered to the end of it without messing up the initial vision I had too bad and I'm sharing it in hopes of improving my knowledge with the help of your feedback.
It features completely reclaimed wood construction donated from a recently demolished old covered "pipe stand" that was outside the shop I work in. It got removed due to poor placement with respect to the building and its lack of functionality. I wish I had pictures of the storage rack/"pipe stand" but I don't. I'm fairly certain that the pipe stand was built using used lumber as well so this will be the third generation of reuse if I'm correct. I'm not even sure what species most of it is...maybe someone can tell me? If I had to guess, maybe cedar?
Anyway, I had some short pieces after using the bulk of the wood to make some shelving and came up with the idea to make a new sunglasses case for my mom on her birthday. That was around a month ago, so now it's shifted into a belated birthday/Mother's day gift. I hope she'll like it!
Let me show you how I made it.
Step 1: Source the Scraps and Rip to Width
I got the inspiration for this project from all of the end grain cutting boards that I've seen posted by other members on Instructables. My mother's sunglasses case was looking really shabby and this idea had instantly formed in my head to just wing this awesome looking case together out of scraps. I took some measurements of the original case and that is the little sticky note you see in the picture. From there, I figured out the minimum width of scrap piece I could use and also, a cumulative total length of what all the small pieces would add up to. This gave me a pretty decent pile of scraps to start working with.
First, I used the "shiplap" sections on the boards to rip the other edge square. Most of these pieces were broken on one side with only a few having both shiplap sections intact. These boards having the shiplap feature milled on them is why I suspect the pipe rack was built out of used lumber to start with. There was no reason for the boards to be shiplap the way it was constructed as they were not overlapped.
I then set my rip fence to the width I needed and ran them all through on the new cut I just made to give me a new pile of scraps and a pile of boards that were all the same width. This measurement was about a half inch more than the actual measurement needed. That was so that I had plenty of material to trim off and square up after the glue up.
Step 2: Square Up the Stock and Cross Cut to Length
I don't have pictures of this step, but I ran two sides on my jointer. Then I ran the pieces through the table saw on a shallow cut (1/8" or so) to make the other edge parallel. After that, I set my fence to the thickness I wanted and ran them through with the jointed edge on the table and the jointed face on the fence to cut the final thickness to about half and inch. I really wish I had a planer for this step but I'm grateful to have my jointer to at least give me reference edges.
Once all the stock was square-ish, I used the table saw sled that I built to cross cut my pieces to length. In retrospect, I could've just used my miter saw but I liked how easily I could clamp a stop block on the sled and was excited about using it because it produced really smooth cuts with almost no tear out. I should really look into making a zero clearance insert for my miter saw.
Step 3: Layout and Glue Up
I took the pieces to the bench and, referring to my sticky note, made sure that I had the total length, width, and height that I thought was acceptable to start as a blank for the case and then laid them out in an interesting pattern. After that I then simply glued them up in two parallel clamps and let it dry.
Step 4: Square Up the Blank and Get to Rough Size
I like glue-ups because its like welding for wood. And its just as frustrating when you realize you've stuck something together that is wrong.
It was at this point I realized that I had cut the pieces wrong (length and width wise) so that the end grain was going to be the top and bottom of the case instead of the front and the back. No biggy, I remember thinking...that was before I realized how tough it is to work with end grain.
So still being naive, I went about slowly cutting each side on the table saw to get a relatively square surface to work with on all four sides with a finish blade installed. It wasn't too hard, I just kept moving the fence in and working the parallel sides and pretty soon I was able to get a close outside dimension I wanted that was pretty square.
Step 5: Layout and Angle Cuts
Once the blank was close to the size I wanted, I drew some pencil marks on one end that was basically the same rise and run as the original case. I worked out the math and figured the angle to be about 11 degrees. I also figured in the width of the blade for the center cut because I was actually thinking ahead this time.
The plan was to cut both angle cuts then flip it and cut it in half. It was a flawless plan.
Here was the first roadblock I hit.
In said plan, I would be using the table saw to cut these angles and boom! Slide them through on the right face and done, right? Well it turns out that, even at the max blade height, my table saw wasn't going to make it through the cut. I suppose I could've just carefully cut the piece with a handsaw but where is the fun in that?
I finally figured out that I could use the compound function of my miter saw to cut the angle. Both saws are 10", but because the miter saw allows the arbor to get closer to the material, the cut capacity is more. Now, this is all good and well, but that made holding the blank while cutting it safely very difficult. I managed to get the job done using some clamps and a solid back up to provide a friction hold as well as down pressure with a push stick. I made sure to make these cuts very, very slowly and to always be aware of everything.
Somehow the cut was actually off. I don't know if it moved in the "clamp" setup that I had going on or if I lined it up wrong initially. It cut squarely but one side was bigger than the other. I rolled with it and I now had a new "bottom" and "top" of the case.
I got some cool scraps out of the deal too.
Step 6: The Beginning of a Long Road
After that hurdle was cleared, I thought I had a pretty good start and things were looking pretty neat.
So I promptly got to laying out the section in the middle that I would need to remove to form the case. I planned on using my new router I've used once before this project to clear most of the material and then go from there. Before I started, I had the foresight to think about leaving enough material in the back for the hinge screws. So I found some hinges that I thought would work, ordered them, and then changed the layout line on the back to add and 1/8" to leave enough material there. That could've been a disaster, although I'm sure I could've sourced shorter screws. Just something to think about.
I set my router up with the plunge base and a 1/4" straight bit and freehanded most of the material out in successive steps. I went in 1/4" depth increments measuring from the outside and when I thought I was good to drop another 1/4", I did. Then I went back and did smaller 1/8" passes in between to remove more material and create finer steps.
This was where I was introduced to my second roadblock.
I thought at this point I could just use a sharp chisel and just smooth all the steps out no problem - wrong.
Then I thought I could use a dremel and a sanding drum thingy to just sand them down - wrong.
Then I thought I could just sand them out by hand and technically you could... but for all practical purposes - wrong.
End grain is serious stuff. The final picture is what it looked like after the dremel and it was just not meeting my standards so I had to figure out something else.
Step 7: Jig Time
Frustrated and defeated I came up with a new solution to get a flat bottom in this angled box. This solution was a jig. A poor looking jig that I was tempted to just make out of steel because for me it would've been so much easier, but nonetheless, a jig. I know I could've done better but I just couldn't be bothered to when it looked so horrible and still fit the bill just fine.
Ignoring the big split in the middle of the particle board construction of this piece you can see how it works. It basically is two pieces cut to the same angle as the angles cut on the outside of the case to "negate" the angle and provide a plumb base for the router to ride on. The stop block rests on the front edge providing good alignment. I did all the cuts on the miter saw, all out of thin scraps of particle board and plywood. It is held together by brads, no glue.
Now, with the bottom of the case resting on a flat surface, the jig allows the router to plunge in at one depth and clean the whole inside at an even thickness. It worked good except while concentrating on moving the router close to an edge, the jig fell off the outside and it plunged a bit too deep in a spot. All in all, this provided a way flatter and even surface to work with. You can see the amount of material the second pass of the router removed on the sidewall of the case.
Step 8: Clean Up With Chisels
Now I was able to go around all of the edges with a chisel and clean the sides up square and to my layout marks. I also tried to get in the corners good too and get a good crispness to the edges. This took a lot of time and patience. I kept coming back to this throughout the project and doing more and more as I saw fit. These pictures show the first round on the first side.
It was in this process that I also figured out that I could use the chisel kind of as a card scraper to get most of the router marks out of the bottom. I know there are probably going to be some fond users of chisels out there who will cringe deeply at that because I'm sure it dulls them really fast but it worked, and that's what I used.
Step 9: Repeat for Side Two
I did about as much scraping as I could handle looking at the one side and then decided it was best to move on to the next side.
Basically, I did all the same steps but they all went way faster because I knew what I was doing and I took steps to improve what I did wrong on the first side.
I still removed the bulk of the material freehand but I didn't do so many smaller steps. Instead, I jumped straight to the jig, and taped that down to the piece, then sandwiched the whole mess in between boards with cleverly placed clamps so that my router wouldn't move everything all around so easily.
It was at this point when I realized a smaller router would've probably been a better choice. I could only afford one router to start out in a hobby I'm not even sure I'd be good at so I went with the 2 1/4 hp. I love it and couldn't be happier with it, although for this project it could've been smaller and lighter. For everything else I think the weight and stability is a good thing.
The last picture is the total amount of fluff that comes out of carving something like this. I still am amazed by that.
Step 10: Shaping
After scraping 10 years worth of life out of my hands and chisels, it was time to get the outside to look somewhat what I wanted it to. I had left the square edges on the pieces this far because they provided good reference for the routing process.
My idea was that I could just tape both halves together and then take them to the belt sander and shape the edges roughly until they were close. This would allow me to see the whole shape at once instead of each half individually. From there I could just hand sand the rest to whatever felt right. It was the belt sander part that made me nervous. It seemed like at any point and time it could catch wrong and pop a chunk out of the thing and then all of the time spent on the inside would've been for nothing.
It held together really solid and this method worked good for me. I used a 50 grit belt; I actually put a new belt on for this project and I've forgotten how awesome this sander really is when it has a fresh belt. I worked on the ends first, then moved the tape and started working the long sides. Then finally did some light flattening of what my miter saw left behind on the flat sides. The last two pictures was where I was at after the belt sander.
Step 11: Hinges
I did some hand sanding with a rough grit and you can tell there is slight differences from after the belt sander. By this time the mini hinges had arrived and I figured, well I've made it this far, lets see if I can split the back with the screws. It was definitely a make or break moment in this project.
The way I went about this was pretty straight forward. I first, measured the screw length in the hinge to get my drill depth. Then eyeballed the shank of the screw with different drill bits and finally found one small enough that would fit the bill. I marked the drill bit depth with a bit of masking tape. Then I took the thicker of my cut off scraps and simulated a hinge mounting. This all went well so then I moved on to the actual case.
There was two different layouts that I came up with and they were really just a half an inch away from each other. For the longest time I couldn't decide which layout looked better. Then I ended up taking those pictures and swiping back and forth between the two and in that way picked the second layout. It was further away from the edge and a little more centered. I think it would've really been up to preference in this project because its all pretty light duty stuff here and a half an inch either way probably wouldn't have make much difference.
I marked out the holes using the hinges as a guide and drew center lines to help me. Drilling such a tiny hole really precisely is quite the task. The small bits tend to flex and walk no matter how hard you try. I actually messed up a set of holes in one hinge because the bit followed a grain causing the screw to go in slightly angled. In the first of the pictures I took of the hinges mounted you can tell the screws are misaligned hardcore. I thought I really messed up but I took the screws out and then just carefully re-drilled to relieve some of the material at the top of the hole just very shallow and it went back in no problem. Worked like a charm.
These hinges are pretty neat once mounted. They feature an internal 90 degree stop which was part of the reason I bought them. At this point I took a moment to just stare at it for awhile to see what really worked and what didn't. I probably opened and closed it about twenty times.
Step 12: Magnets
Somewhere in the hinge process I decided I wanted magnets in the lid to securely but gently "snap" and hold the case closed.
This was going to prove to be a challenge because I really left no room to mount the magnets. So this is part one of the magnets saga. My experiments and findings.
In the past I had bought a bunch of thin neodymium magnets for another project that failed horribly. Not because of the magnets, but because of the hot glue I used to secure them. It stuck really well to the magnets but not to the plastic base I was gluing them too. Long story short, I got these magnets. They are about 1/2" in diameter and 1/16" thick with hot glue on them.
I liberated a few of them from their hot glue confinement with a heat gun and some quick razor blade action.
I then took a couple to the welding bench and reached straight for my cut off wheel. I instantly felt better. I really didn't know what was going to happen. Turns out you can cut them but it doesn't take much before they shatter unequally probably due to the magnetic field. I wanted to know if they stick back together like that. Turns out they do...but only if you flip one side around. So, there's more going on here than meets the eye, but when you get right down to it, if you cut it in half, flip one side, they stick edge to edge. That's all I needed to know to continue down this rabbit hole.
I didn't like the fact that the sides were uneven so I cut two more and then ground down the "bigger halves" until they were close to a whole magnet again when stuck together. We'll get back to this in a minute.
Step 13: Sidetracked
I was working on the magnet thing when I got sidetracked. I figured if I had the magnet latching feature, I was going to have to have a place for your finger to get a hold of the top lid better while trying to open it.
I drew out the placement, then grabbed the scrap I used to test mount the hinge and a 1/4" round nose bit and went to testing. I finally got the look right on the third try going from center(1st), then left(2nd), then the far right(3rd). You'll notice the center try looks horrible. That's because I'm not super skilled with my router yet, and/or, I still don't understand all that much about wood yet. Here is why it looks different. My direction of travel was against the rotation of the bit. This caused much tear out and unrest. To get this cut right, I had to travel with the rotation of the bit, or in my case right of the cut to the left of the cut.
What did I learn? Always practice on scrap similar to the work piece if you're unsure about the cut. That one step right there saved me a big headache.
After I was comfortable with the way it was going to look I just carefully freehanded the cut, mindful of my direction of travel.
Step 14: Back to the Magnets (the Saga Part II)
Okay! Got that out of the way.
Back to the magnets. My whole idea with the cut magnets was to mount each half of the magnet vertically in the front lip of each half of the case. I played around with all sorts of configurations of the magnets laying in there flat wise, embedded in wood flat wise, and I just didn't like it. In my mind, if I was to use these magnets I had, they had to be cut and mounted vertically. In a previous step, I proved they could be cut and still work okay, now I just had to figure out a way to get them in the case without ruining something.
I played around with tiny cut off wheels and they got the job done but the hole ended up being way to long. I ended up using a dremel with a 1/16" collet and 1/16" drill bit to make the slots required to sink the magnets. I used the drill first but it was just too big to be precise. The dremel was light and nimble.
I basically did a few dry runs in the test piece and got a depth set as well as, comfortable with the process. All it amounted to was drilling a few holes down to the depth tape fairly close together and in a line. Once that was done I would carefully drill in at angles to join the holes, and then finally went side to side to clear any material left over. It probably wasn't the best on that drill bit but I was careful.
Once the slots were made in the case halves, I test fit each magnet half and made sure that was where each one would go. I then made sure the polarity was right with the mating magnet half and ran a sharpie over one side so that I wouldn't mix it up. If I did, I'd have a prank case that didn't shut. I proceeded to mix up some epoxy, put some in the hole, then the magnet, then covered over it and smoothed it as best as I could. That was left to dry overnight.
Step 15: Sidetracked...Part II
The magnet saga was getting me stressed out and I needed a simple task to complete easily and calm down. I liked the way the thin scrap I got off of cutting the angles looked and it dawned on me that I could make a little card, if you will. Like the tags you get on gifts, only this one is from the actual gift being made!
This took two seconds (not literally...it probably took minutes, but only a few) and it was all eyeball and impulse. There was a crack in it so I grabbed a wide chisel and finished it through. I then made the other side parallel and wrote on it with a sharpie. That got put aside for the finishing stage.
Step 16: Final Prep Work Before Finishing
There is not a whole lot I can say here. Being that I've never really worked with wood all that much, I certainly haven't finished any wood project besides paint.
In this step I filed the epoxy flat as well as the mating surfaces of the lid to try and get a tighter gap when its in the closed position.
I then moved on to little details and working through the grits inside and out.
80, 100, 150, and 220.
I just tried to remove all the scratches the previous sand paper had left before moving on to the next grit. All the while, I was constantly trying to smooth out all the contours of the corners and edges so they would appear to blend. I'm used to sanding everything with a block but I wanted this to be completely hand sanded. I don't know why, I got this idea that maybe it would feel better in your hand if it was hand sanded...it probably doesn't. I think I was delirious honesty. Maybe I should mention that most of the work done on this project was a few hours a night after I got home from work at around 9 or 10pm until 1 or 2am depending. But that was the average work window.
Anyway as with all sanding, at some point you have to call it quits. The grain was looking really good and it felt really smooth so that's where I stopped.
Step 17: Coat: I
For the finish, I chose a polyurethane. Why? Because I was going to use it to finish some hammers I've recently re-handled and I figured it would be super durable this way.
The first coat was very thirsty. I knew the end grain was going to suck in a bunch of finish, but I had no idea. I just did my best to keep it even and did both inside and out.
I came up with some quick standoffs using some of the magnets stuck to bench and putting framing nails on top of those. It actually worked awesome for me.
Step 18: Coat: II
24 hours later, and following the directions, I sanded with 220. I then proceeded to apply my second coat. I also did the same for the hammers, but just imagine like they're not in the picture.
Step 19: Coat: III
This is starting to feel familiar.
24 hours later.
Complete sand 220.
Apply another coat.
Step 20: Coat: IV
I sanded to 600 before I applied this coat. This step probably wasn't necessary but I was trying to get rid of some air bubbles and sand scratches that formed in my previous coat.
I was unsuccessful. I don't know if you can tell from the picture or not but I am starting to get some good depth and reflection. I'm learning that it's probably the cheap brush that I'm using to apply the poly with that's causing me so much grief.
Step 21: Wet Sanding and Polishing
I let the fourth coat dry for two days and then eagerly put both halves together only to promptly let out a sigh.
The two first pictures show the gloss I had accomplished, unfortunately they also show quite a bit of air bubbles produced by either my lack of experience, or the cheap chip brush I used. My bets are on both at this time with a slight emphasis on the cheap brush. Learn from me and just buy a quality brush if you plan on using polyurethane. I didn't think it was going to matter but it evidently does.
I've read where you can wet sand polyurethane like a car finish and buff it out to a fairly good shine. This was good news for me because I had at least done this before. Only problem was I only had up to 1000 grit at the time so it would have to do. I practiced with different combinations of wet sanding with the 1000 grit and fine steel wool on my hammer handles. I could get more gloss out of the steel wool and polish than the wet sanding but I really loved the feel of the wet sanding. It did worlds to smooth out the, for lack of a better description, plastic feel of a fresh coat of polyurethane.
The second set of pictures show the result of my decision to wet sand everything outside with the 1000 grit. I used a solution of soap and water to lubricate the sand paper and just went by feel. The drag of the paper changes when its close. There were still some brush marks after the wet sand but I thought without the little air bubbles it actually looked kinda cool so I stopped. I then made a quick polish over the whole thing using the same solution and fine steel wool.
After that, I used an automotive polishing compound on an old sock to buff out the dullness. Old socks make the best polishing pads.
Finally, I applied a coat of paste wax and then stared at it for awhile. The last set of pictures show the finish I settled on after all this nonsense. Its almost satin/ semi-gloss but there is still plenty of depth to it. You can even pick up the reflection of the emblem in the stool. But the real difference is in the way it feels... Its so smooth. There is still defects in the finish it is definitely far from perfect but hey!...not bad for a first try.
The last picture shows the inside of the case because I realized I never showed the inside during the finishing process. I left it rather rough because of the next steps.
Step 22: Make a Pattern
As cool as I thought the inside looks, this was to be a proper glasses case. The raw inside would be fine if it was just a box but it seemed a bit rough to just toss your nice shades in and have them come out looking worse than when they went in.
The plan here was to line this thing with a thin cloth in hopes of softening the texture and thereby reducing the propensity to scratching. Anytime you can reduce the propensity to scratching, you should do it.
With that solid logic, I had never done anything like this before. By this, I mean gluing fabric that is a custom fit to the inside of a box. I decided that the best way to attempt to work with cloth was to make a pattern. Because otherwise it'd just be a case with a handkerchief inside.
To make this I basically just took scratch paper and lined it up to the edges I wanted it to fit, made a small crease in it and then cut a section that wide. Once I had it "ripped" to width, I set it in place and creased the long edge. Now having that mark, I cut above it about an 1/8". My theory here is that I'm going to glue the whole thing in there and then once dry, I'll remove the excess with a razorblade or something to trim it flush. This will make any mistakes I made in the pattern or irregularities in the surface below be able to actually be covered up because I will have enough material to do so.
The end pieces were a little difficult to replicate with the crease and cut method because of all the angles going on but I got there. Luckily, most of the end pieces were really close to the same so I could just cut multiples out of them once I had one made.
After all the pieces were cut I just lined up the pieces and scotch taped them together. This should make a relatively close template for the amount and shape of cloth I need to fit each side.
Step 23: Cloth Lining
I know what you're thinking. Underpants??! At a time like this??
Well, yes. Underpants. Fancy looking ones. My mother had a whole box of these. They were my Grandpa's on my mom's side of the family. He is now deceased. I think she was saving them to make something out of them because she's kind of weird like that. Can you imagine? An underpants quilt?
Don't get squeamish on me. I believe this lot was a bunch of new ones he had. Even if I'm mistaken, they're probably at least washed...
Haha, well anyway, she hasn't done anything with them yet. When she wasn't looking I grabbed a pair.
Why underpants? I'll tell you why. The cloth is thin, and soft. Plus that pattern is killer. Where else can you find cool cloth like that? The price was right, although not even really a factor. There is a sense of nostalgia in using this cloth seeing as they had something to do with my Grandpa. I figured even if she hadn't done anything with this material yet, that doesn't mean it should go to waste. Even if the outcome is a bit disturbing.
Just to play it safe, I cut a big square of material out of the outside of the hip area to get the furthermost region of cloth in relation to...well... you know.
From there I taped my patterns to the cloth where I wanted the designs to come through and just cut them out. It was really that simple. When I got both of them cut out, I did a dry run test fit just to make sure that the whole pattern thing actually worked. It did.
Step 24: 1st Glue Attemt
I had some spray adhesive that was for automotive uses. I did a test run with it on a thin cut off of wood and a scrap of cloth from cutting out the bigger pieces. It seemed to work great so I went to masking out the cases to get done with this thing! At this point, quite honestly, I had developed a fair amount of contempt for this project and was getting rather sick of looking at it.
It was a shame the whole pattern thing worked so great because of course this part was going to fight me. I got everything masked off great, followed the directions to the tee but I made two fatal mistakes.
The first mistake was thinking this thing was still wood and testing it like it was a bare wood and cloth adhesion. This thing is coated in three coats of polyurethane now so its basically plastic on the surface.
The second mistake was leaving the masking paper on there past the "tack" stage so that when I went to peel it off and start sticking my cloth to it, the whole amount of glue just came with the masking tape, essentially. It's like in the movies when the bad guy has a prosthetic mask on and they peel it off.
I just rolled with the failure and used a big ball of the glue to get the rest of it out of there and it basically all came out like it was never even there. The last picture is of said glue ball.
Step 25: 2nd Glue Attempt
I had basically lost all confidence in the spray adhesive I was using, although it probably would've done the job, if the prep work was correct. This glue was really only good for fabric to fabric type bonds.
Accepting that all glues are not created equal, I went and bought some of the highest quality spray adhesive I could find. One that was rated for a plastic to fabric bond. Treating this now like a piece of plastic, I sanded the entire interior with 100 grit sandpaper until it was foggy in appearance. I made sure there were no slick spots but was also careful to not sand too much. I wanted this thing to have a 360 finish to make sure the wood is sealed in.
With that done, I re-masked the whole setup again because that worked slick. If you're curious about my masking setup, I just flipped the cases open sided down on some paper and traced around them. I just cut the traced section out and then masked the sides of the case with wide tape. This allowed me to bring the paper up around the case to the masking tape overhang and stick it. In this way I completely removed any chance of spray adhesive getting all over my semi awesome finish job.
Assured it was all protected, I sprayed the adhesive leaving a good uniform coat on all the surfaces. I let it tack up for about 15 seconds and then promptly removed the masking setup. I let it tack up longer until it stuck to my knuckle but didn't get removed from the surface.
This new adhesive was seriously tacky stuff and I'm so glad I messed up the first try. It was so tacky, however, that I got scared I wasn't going to be able to get the pattern in there and move it around very much. I taped in the sides of the cloth so I only had the front and the back to worry about sticking to the sides and holding me up when trying to align the bottom.
I managed to get both sides done. Sorry I didn't have any pictures of that process but just imagine everything sticking to everything. It wasn't quite a nightmare, but it was close. Patience is the key, but you still have to work quickly enough to beat the dry time. I ended up lucking out on the initial placement of the material and then used my fingers and finally a flat bladed screwdriver to carefully work the material into the corners. Once everything was in there and pretty much set, I went around and pressed firmly on all of the surfaces and corners.
Step 26: Trimming and Final Assembly
I left it alone for about an hour and went to the opposite end of the shop to work on something else to prevent having a nervous breakdown. When I came back, I gave the excess cloth sticking up some gentle tugs and it felt pretty solid. The cloth still felt soft on the glued areas too so I was pretty stoked on that.
There are a few tricks I can share for this next step that I learned by doing it. First of all, grab a brand new razorblade/boxcutter/xacto knife blade. Trust me. Don't even try the blade you have in there right now. Its not sharp enough to cut without fraying the material.
Grab the excess and with the knife, cut slow, short, light cuts from the inside of the case to the outside. This keeps the material tight to the glued surface while you're trimming. With the cloth tight to the glue, it has a really tough time fraying.
I got a few frays but I just kept trimming until they were all but gone. I kept running my fingers over the edge of the case. If it produced a fray, I'd keep trimming. Eventually, I think I produced a pretty smooth cut that was just under the edge of the wood.
At this point, I was pretty much done. The only thing to do was to test fit and put the hinges back on. I put a dab of paste wax on the screws and put them back on.
Step 27: Glamour Shots and Comparison
Just a few glamour shots. I think it turned out pretty good. The cloth ended up a bit misaligned due to the super tack of that glue but I think all in all it looks pretty cool. The last picture is of her current case just as a comparison.
I'll have to get a few shots of the glasses in it when I give it to her for a very late Mother's day/birthday gift. In the meantime, thank you for checking this out!
I hope this was enjoyable; I tried to be as detailed as possible. You'll notice I didn't leave any measurements and that's because I don't think they would be of any use. If you were interested in making something like this, you would need to make your own measurements as a base to start from.
I'm not sure how this will survive an impact, but I'm positive it will protect the glasses from the crushing powers of the contents inside of her purse. It may serve as a better keepsake/decoration piece rather than something functional. I'm aware of most of this, I'm just happy to have made it from a design in my head to something in my hands using a material that was out of the ordinary for me.