Saturday, July 19, 2008

Viewport Construction - Part One

(Originally published June 27, 2008)

I've decided to start in on building the Iris Viewport for the back wall of the theater. It's completely independent of other components so there is nothing else that has to be don before completed. Plus it will be nice to have something so iconic finished that people will recognize as they visit the theater construction in progress.

The first step was to print out full size patterns for the components. Then the paper pattern was spray glued down to some 1/4" MDF (medium density fiberboard). This was cut out with a jigsaw to create a routing template.

The template was temporarily fastened to a sheet of 3/4" thick Ultralite MDF (lots lighter than regular MDF!) which had been roughly cut out a little oversize with the jigsaw. Then a flush cutting router bit in a router table was used to trim the 3/4" material to the exact shape of the template. This could also have been done with the jigsaw, but the router is so much faster and cleaner, particularly when making multiples of the same piece.

The top layer was then glued and clamped to a second layer of MDF, this time 1" thick. (Happiness is having lots of clamps!)

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