Monday, September 25, 2017

WoodWorking for Wargamers: Troop Transport Case, Post 10

 Ok, how about a project that is actually relevant for a wargamer?  Over the next few posts I'm going to build a Troop Transport Case for ferrying troops and game materials to and from different theaters of operation.  The plans I'm using are for a Jimmy Diresta tool box that I've scaled down a bit (please see the link to the video at the bottom).

Troops, Tools - Tomatoe', Tom'atoe, it's still just a box with some attitude.

The first picture shows the 1/2 wide (12mm) plywood I cut out.  Eventually, you'll need most of an 8x4 sheet for this project.  I'll put the dimensions and cut list at the bottom of the post.

After cutting the basic parts, I decided (on the fly) to use 45 degree bevels to join each end.  Why? because I'm not that good cutting bevels and needed the practice.  I was originally thinking of using box or finger joints buy didn't have time to make the jig to cut the joint.

As in all hobby projects, you'll make decisions on the fly which usually adhere to the path of least resistance principal.  The use of 45 degree bevel joints is no exception - I'll need to go back and figure a way to strengthen the joints.

The second picture is the initial glue up.  Nothing to fancy here other than my Rockler 90 degree clamps.  I need to get 2 more!  They are wonderful.  As state earlier, one can never have too many clamps in a workshop.  It the same principal that applies to unpainted minis.

 In this picture the box is upside down as the front sides are glued on.  Why is there a 9 inch open gap?  I'l be adding some drawers for hold troops.

A picture of the case the rightsize up.  There'll be a storage tray on the top (4.5 inches deep) to hold rule books, dice and any other gaming supplies.  Just below that will be the drawers which is where the troops go.

A close up of one of the joints - it's ok bit not the best.  I need a lot more practice.
 So what are the final dimensions?

The box is 21 and 5/8's inches long - given the width of the plywood is 0.5 inches that provides an interior with of 20 5/8 inches.

The box is 14.5 inches tall
and it's 14 3/8 inches wide, again that provides an interior width of 13 3/8 inches.

Why the odd dimensions? - my table saw sled was off a bit as I was cutting the 45 degree bevels.  The box is square but I was a little off, hence the "non-multiple of 5" dimensions.  In other words, "I screwed up"

We now have a decision - how many and how tall should the drawers be (actually thats the same question).  We have a 9 inch space for drawers which means either 2, 4.5 inch high drawers or 3, 3 inch high drawers.

Drawer Decisions
At this point we need to decide what material will the drawers be built of off.  I'm going with 1/2 plywood for the sides and 1/4 inch for the bottoms.  The interior dimension of each drawer would be:

Interior Length (both options):
Length of 20 5/8 inches less 1 inch for the sides and 1/8 for clearance so 19.5 inches interior length

Interior Width (both options):
Outside width of 14 3/8 inches less 1 inch for the sides and 1/8 for clearance equals 13 1/4 interior width

Interior Height 4.5 inches high:
4.5 inches less 1/4 for the bottom and 1/8 for clearance equals 4 1/8 inch interior height

Interior Height 3.0 inches high:
3.0 inches less 1/4 for the bottom and 1/8 for clearance equals 3 5/8 inch interior height

The interior height is important as the maximum for how tall a mini can be.  Most of the tournaments I play in use 28mm troops (Bolt Action or Saga) and both have minis that are taller than 3 inches (tank models for one and troops with flags for the other.  If I was just transporting 15mm mini's then the interior height of the 3 inch drawer would be fine.

I'll be going with 2, 4/5 inch drawers for this project.

Given the the interior dimension of a drawers is 19.5 inches by 13.25 inches, that implies a storage capacity of 258 square inches (19.5 x 13.25).  If we allocate 1.25 inches per mini that means each drawer can hold 206 28mm figures.  A lot of my stuff (ACW, Napoleonics) are based on 4 figures per 40mm square base so I could fit 100 bases (at 2.5 square inches per base).

Dimensions & cut list for the outer case

1, 21 5/8 x 14.5 inch back panel
2, 14 3/8 x 14.5 inch side panels
1, 21 5/8 by 4.5 inch front top runner
1, 21 5/8 x 1 inch front bottom runner

3 21 1/8 x 13 7/8 bottom panels

Rough Project Plan (I doubt I'll actually stick with these steps)

- Installing the bottom panels with rabbet joints

- Drawers construction

- Installing the lid

- Reinforcing the Joints

- Wood finishing and clean up

- Hardware and other bling

Project Inspiration
I am "stealing" these plans from a Jimmy Diresta video, which is referenced below - Mr Diresta is a master craftsman and makes interesting videos.  I suggest you take a look to see how to build the case correctly rather than my haphazard way.


Curt C said...

Great work Miles. You're really on fire (maybe not the best analogy) with all these wonderful woodworking projects.

Lasgunpacker said...

I was thinking you probably used a table saw for the 45 degree angles until you mentioned it was a bit off... with solid (not ply) wood panels, could you have gone with a routed edge instead?

Sean said...

Good stuff Miles. As I may have mentioned earlier I had a fantasy of woodworking in the garage, it never got past buying a few tools. One of these days I'll sort out the garage and get it to be a usable space again. Right now it's just a place to throw clutter I don't want to look at.