I recently got my very first passport so I thought a passport holder would be an appropriate project to make. I wanted to do something new and different so I added a resin window to the front. The UK passport has a really nice design and the window lets it be seen even when its inside the holder.
I have made a video showing the process here if you would like to watch:
- Table Saw
- Band Saw
- Hand Saw
- Belt Sander
- Orbital Sander
- Clear Epoxy Resin
- Greese Proof Paper
- Masking Tape
- Spray Lacquer
Step 1: Cut the Wood & Glue
I cut the walnut to 5mm thick at the table saw. You could use a band saw or even cut by hand if you wanted to.
For the holder I needed to 2 pieces of walnut (front & back). To make them the same thickness I used a technique I demonstrate here:
I wanted some contrast for the sides so I cut some 5mm thick Padauk to create a border around the passport.
Those pieces got glued into place and when they were dry I cut off the excess walnut with the band saw.
Step 2: Create Resin Window
Using a hole saw bit in my drill, I cut a circular hole in the front piece of walnut. This will reveal the passport deign.
To pour the resin I first covered a piece of plywood with grease proof paper to stop it sticking. I then clamped the walnut to the plywood and poured the resin into the hole. Using a blow torch to pop the bubbles works really well just be careful not to hold it on the resin for too long.
When the resin was set I sanded it flat and smooth on the belt sander. Sanding makes the resin frosted so to make it clear again I sanded thought the grits up to 1200. I would have liked to sand to a higher grit but 1200 was all I had.
Step 3: Spray & Glue Together
Before gluing the front onto the holder I needed to spray finish the inside. Masking off the edge helps the glue to stick later. I gave the inside 3 coats of spray lacquer.
I could then remove he masking tape and glue on the front piece.
When the glue was dry I cut a finger space in the top of the holder. This will make it easier to remover the passport.
Step 4: Sand & Finish
Now its time to shape the holder. The square shape is OK but I prefer a rounded look. So I add a slight curve to the corners at the belt sander. I also curve the faces to meet the padauk edge. I think it gives a much better look and feel to the holder. Hand sanding up to 1200 brings the resin back clear.
To finish I give the holder 3 coats of spray lacquer and it done. I also created a zebra wood version and another walnut version. These don't have the window in though. You can really mix and match with this idea. I really hope you like it.