A good friend of mine went to Afghanistan a couple years back and had flags flown for friends and family over the Forward Operating Base (FOB) he was at. At the time of this writing I work for the US Army at Ft Hood Tx and have seen a bunch of my friends and co-workers bring these back from whatever combat zone they were sent to. With that being said I had never thought of making something like this before. I love the ideas and inspirations for projects I get from other people. My friend asked if I would make four of these for him. I figured since I was making four, I should just go ahead and batch out ten, you know…just in case. I put the rest up on my Etsy store to see how well they do. I ended up selling some on Etsy and also at work. These made great retirement and going away gifts. I matted all the certificates in the pictures myself which required me to go get some new tools, such a hardship, I know.
I decided that in the design of these I wanted to make the certificate frame be either that, a frame or with a slight modification you could turn it into a shadow box. One of my clients did actually that. He wanted to be able to mount his fathers ribbon rack and other uniform accouterments to display. I simply inserted a spacer along the sides of the inside of the frame as a standoff to hold a piece of 1/4″ plywood about 1″ from the glass.
I made these out of Walnut, Cherry and Western Red Cedar. I wasn’t sure how the cedar was going to work out since it wasn’t a particularly hard wood. It ended up working out just as well as the hard woods and they all turned out very nice. I mitered all the corners and reinforced them with contrasting splines. The flag case was the most interesting in this respect. The top of the point is a simple 90 degree angle where as the lower two corners are only 45 degrees, 22.5 bisected. After a bit of head scratching and contemplation the light cam on. I wouldn’t need to modify my spline jig, I’d just have to make sure that the short side of the case that was adjacent to the 90 degree angle be against the jig when I made the cut. This would ensure that the splines matched the 90 degree angled ones since they were cut on the same side that the other 90’s were cut. Light dawns on marble head. Moving on…
I decided after dry fitting the flag case to the frame that I wanted some kind of shadow line to break up the transition. I cut a 1/8″ piece and simply glued it to the frame, then glued the flag case to it. I don’t think there will be any issues with wood movement since they are long grain to long grain surfaces. This added the exact look I was shooting for. I cut the glass myself and matted the certificates for my friend. A few that I sold I also matted the certificates, like the one below that has the Navy Seal’s emblem of the eagle, anchor and trident, affectionately known as “The Budweiser”. This certificate and flag were sent to me. I folded the flag, matted the certificate and shipped the finished product back to a very happy client. The last image below is simply what 10 of these cases look like before assembly.