Memorial Case USMC

I am starting a memorial case for my father in law. He was a Marine and very proud of it. I am starting with the memorial flag case. The larger case to put his military memorabilia in come next.

Here is the flag case cut out of walnut. I will carve his name on one of the top half pieces and USMC on the other. I looked it up and the official font of the USMC is Trade Gothic. I downloaded the font and here are the simulations. The flag will go inside a cabinet with a door. So I will also make a small pedestal for the flag case to sit on so it is fully visible inside the case. On the pedestal base I will put his birth and death dates. The name and USMC will be filled with red epoxy.

Here is a picture of what will go inside the case.

I will design some hangers for the swords and cut them out on the Shapeoko.


That will look great.

I have made several shadow boxes for retired firefighters and friends. Here is one my brother did for my father in-law. A good tip is to make picture frames for the pictures you wont have to worry about any of the pictures curling up or adhesive bleeding through. The boxes I made for the firefighters had a full size axe and the mounts were permanently attached to the axe. You don’t want the swords moving around any. A felt lined back and a hot glue gun is your best friend when attaching items to the back. If you use glass on the front it will be heavy Looks like your box will be large. I would go with the plexiglass to lighten it and safer when handling.

Please post pictures of the project as it is built and finished.



I got the two top pieces carved. I need some advise. The name and USMC will be painted or epoxy filled red. The rank insignia is yellow. Should I fill them red or yellow? Any Marines please advise.

Here are the two carved pics.


Ooh Rah!!! (Marine here). I would definitely go with yellow/gold on the rank insignias. The text would look cool in red, if you can get a nice bright red. I haven’t had much luck with red epoxy so far. It always seems to come out too dark. I even tried mixing in some white first then adding the red until it’s bright in the mixing cup. But on the job it still looks too dark & subdued. Perhaps someone has a trick to get red to ‘pop’ more.?

Looks like the text in the name gets smaller from left to right. (Optical illusion?). A couple pieces of paper under the right side should level the board out & get it even. Most stock paper is 0.004" thick.

I have no clue if this will work but I wonder if you did a thin coat of white epoxy first then the red on top of it?

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I have some updates. I am partially color blind and when I showed the rank insignia to other people they said my yellow was gold. I got the carved part epoxy filled today. I did the name and USMC with red. In the past I have trouble getting red and not a red so dark it looked black. So when I mixed the red epoxy I put only 3 drops of Transtint dye in. I wish it was a little darker but looks acceptable. The same for the rank insignia. I looked online for some gold but most of it is mica powder and that looks great for some things but is not really an opaque color and looks swirled. So I mixed some yellow and epoxied the rank insignia with that. Again maybe a little too color but I dont want a neon sign for a flag memorial case. I will let it dry tonight and sand it off tomorrow. When I get the piece glued together I will put some keys in the joints to reinforce them. I already have a table saw jig for doing that.

I applied dewaxed shellac to the lettering with an acid brush. This helps keep air bubbles from coming up from the wood below the epoxy.

I applied the dewaxed shellac to the rest of the board.

Here is the epoxy poured.


I look forward to seeing the finished piece!

More progress. Just got together. Will prefinish the inside before glue up. Will add splines to reinforce the miter joints.


Looking fantastic! The red turned out good!

It will look better with finish on it. The last picture is mineral spirits on it. The yellow/gold stripes are a little translucent. I have put too much colorant in in the past and this time I put too little. The flag memorial box is about the flag and not what is on it. You live and learn.

Ooooh-Rah I think it will be a fitting memorial for a real hero. Now to start on the larger cabinet this will go in.

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I got the pieces sanded and some dewaxed shellac on the inside pieces. I put the first coat of polyurethane on it. I will put about 3 coats total, glue it up and then finish the outside. The “glass” is plastic for safety. I will have to have it captured during glue up and that is why I am prefinishing the inside so I wont get finish on the plastic.

The tape is to keep the gluing surfaces from getting finish on it so the glue will set properly.


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