Now that Christmas has come and gone I'm able to get this post put together and show off another project that I had worked on for a couple of Christmas presents. I didn't want this shown until my sisters each had gotten a Christmas angel light. The angel image I created using Corel software and it was engraved into a 1/4 inch piece of acrylic plastic. I then cut it out using my band saw and sanded the edges smooth. Also the bottom edge of the acrylic was heated with a butane torch to clear the plastic of the foggy effect you get when you cut it or sand on it. This allows the light to shine through the finished piece better. In the rest of this post you see how I put everything else together.
I started this project with a very nice piece of poplar wood. I selected this simply because it is a very easy work to work with and as you can see it has no knots in it. I machined the three wooden parts using my CNC machine to allow placement of the light and the electronics to run it and engraved the word "Peace" on the top face of the outer cover.
Here you can see how I clamped the two bottom pieces together to drill out the hole for the light switch using my drill press. The pieces were held on the drill press using a small vise. This made it a lot easier to hold the parts tight enough to make the perfectly straight clean hole. Another smaller hole was added to allow the wire for the power cord to be feed into the base of the display.
A small slot was cut out of the center top groove that is used to hold the acrylic angel. This allows the light to shine through the clear plastic.
The two lower pieces of the base were glued together at this point and allowed to dry. I realized after I had drilled the holes for the switch and wiring that I could have glued these parts together first and it would have been a lot easier. Live and learn.
Two small wooden pieces made from 1/4 inch plywood were drilled out to accept the small led light that was used in the display.
The light, light mounts, power switch, and a small 12 volt transformer were then installed into the base of the display. I set up grooves on the outer edge of the large pocket to accept the wooden light mounts. This made for quick and easy assembly of the electronic components.
Once I was satisfied with how the electronics were going to fit into the base I removed all of it to go onto the next step in the assembly. The top lid was screwed on to the light base using wood screws that were recessed into holes on the bottom of the base unit. This made for a very clean look when the base was completed. The parts were left assembled and then sanded smooth on a drum sander on my drill press.
The wooden parts at this time were removed from one another and four coats of polyurethane varnish was applied to each piece. Between each coat I sanded it very lightly to get a good clean smooth finish.
The electronics were then reinstalled into the base unit and tested. At this point I could breathe a sigh of relief as I am just a day one rookie when it comes to electronics. Even if I only had to solder a couple of wires together. Like every other tinkerer I am learning new things every day in my workshop. Just have to put a little effort into trying something new once in a while. I think my efforts have paid off very nicely. My sisters think so too!