Memorial Day Project: Flag Case

I’ve been working on this off-and-on for a while now, and have pretty much resolved everything:

Remaining adjustments are to put in chamfers to allow the tenons to fit despite being cut with a round (or maybe ball) endmill.

One thing I’m curious of, is if small endmills are available with less acute angles — I’d like to find some 1/8" endmills with more obtuse angles than the 90 which is the least acute angle I can find.


I believe I have all the chamfers place appropriately:

It ought to allow one to just clamp three pieces of wood in sequence, cut with a 1/8" endmill, and then should fit together with minimal tweaking.

Next up:

  • sorting out feeds and speeds on a Shapeoko for a 1/8" endmill in various hardwoods (first up red oak, then some rosewood, then some sapele)
  • doing CAM in MeshCAM — really wish using Carbide Create for this was an option (did put in a feature request which ought to make that possible)
  • using Carbide Create to make a fixture to hold it nicely centered
  • re-working the design for an Art Deco version cut in pieces which will fit on a Nomad (did I mention I need to make 2? And anyway, one might as well make 2, since that would allow cutting the glass to a square, then cutting that in half)

Nomad version should be easy to make with small sections — just add pockets for extension pieces, then cut narrower pieces to fit.

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Great project Will and good timing as well. I’m looking to make something like this in the near future as I’ve got my fathers flag, which was in a cedar chest for 35 years and has now been on a shelf since I became owner after my mother passed a couple years ago. I need a good way to box it up, and to make something myself would just feel right. I’ll be following!



So did you by chance finish this?

Nope, hopefully this year.

Yes and no. My wife bought me a flag case as a gift before I ever had a chance to make one. I had really wanted to make it myself, but the one she bought me is really great and I didn’t go out and buy it myself, so it’s perfectly acceptable in my mind. I have it displayed on a shelf in my man cave along with my fathers slide rule, my great grandfathers pocket watch, a China serving dish of my grandmothers, my mother’s reading glasses and some photos of my two oldest sons. It’s my shelf of “Things that matter if a natural disaster strikes”, get the family out, get dog and cat out, then grab everything off the shelf and let insurance replace the rest.



Revisiting this at:

Next up is actually resolving the joinery — this has a couple of different issues:

  • need to cut a 22.5 degree angle — a couple of possibilities:

    • use a 135 degree V endmill
    • model the angle in Carbide Create Pro
    • create a gradient which when appropriately placed and sized will cut the angle as a depth map in Carbide Create Pro
    • write a custom program to generate G-Code for cutting that out — for other options see: Thoughts on cutting specific angles into projects?
  • actually cutting the joinery — it should work to cut a series of slots using a square or ball-nosed endmill — these would then need floating tenons — need to work out the geometry for this, and see if using a cove radius endmill could result in a void free joint

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Working the joinery angle, we model this:

and then draw things up as a side view — insetting by the radius shows us what we can expect to have in terms of flat surface area:

Next is modeling this shape in 3D and working out how it might be cut out.

For the 45 degree join we get:

Which it turns out is scarcely more than a ball:

Unfortunately, 1/8" wooden (or other balls) are not readily available — 3mm seed beads are, but that’s not much to register against.

Slightly larger balls are readily available though, 4.5mm airsoft pellets — w/ a matching endmill one could cut round divots w/ space for glue and use these to register.

Why couldn’t you just mill a notch (or two) on the angled edges?

A spline would cover the “overcut” internal edge of the notch (since it’s cut perpendicular to the face), and you’d get the added strength and registration that you’re looking for.

I did the spline thing at:

Trying to see what else can be done.

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