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maandag 6 november 2017

Tomb / Tombstone Storage

Besides my tombstones, I built something else for our graveyard this year. This tomb is more than just a prop, it also serves as storage for the tombstones! Transporting and storing props is always a major pain in the butt, and this is a very elegant solution.

  • 5 mm plywood
  • 35 x 35 mm lumber (recycled from old props)
  • 28 x 70 mm lumber 
  • Trim molding
  • Wood glue, nails and clamps
  • Band saw
  • Hand saw and mitre box
  • Hot wire cutter
  • 20 mm thick XPS foam
  • 20 mm thick EPS foam (for padding the inside)
  • Scenic Dope (see New Tombstones, Part 2)
  • Rubber window gasket
  • Carrying handles
The box
The starting point of the tomb is a plywood box. I calculated the size so it would provide the storage I needed, would fit in my car and could be cut out of a single large sheet of plywood. For reinforcements, I used pieces of lumber I recycled from some old props I no longer used.
I started with the bottom. It consists of a 120 x 60 cm piece of plywood, and a wooden frame on the bottom. This is attached with both glue and nails, just to be sure.

Next up, I attached the sides. These are glued to the bottom frame, and also nailed. The corners of the box are reinforced with pieces of wood. The lid is made exactly the same way as the bottom.

At this point, it looks like a simple, boring box. With the 28 x 70 mm lumber, I made two borders around the box, one at the top and one on the bottom, and finished them with some trim molding. I used a hand saw and a mitre box to cut them at 45° angles.

For the top of the box, I put on an extra horizontal border to make sure the lid would fit nicely. The pictures explain it a lot better than I can :-) The arches - wich I'll talk about next - are already in place in these pictures. Yes, I know, my pictures aren't exactly in chronological order.

To make sure the tombstones in the box won't get damaged during transport, I also padded the inside with some cheap 20 mm thick styrofoam (EPS, the white beady stuff).

Tomb ornaments
First of all, I wanted gothic arches all around the tomb. The outside dimensions of the box are roughly 60x120 cm, so if I made 30 cm wide arches, four of them would go on the long side and two of them on the short side, for a total of twelve arches.

I cut twelve 30x20 cm pieces of XPS foam, and then cut out the arch. I used the foam I cut out as a template for drawing the arch on all the other pieces, and after a lot of cutting on my bandsaw I had my twelve arches, wich were glued on with PU wood glue.
After the glue had dried, I took my hot wire cutter and cut some nice decorative profiles in the foam, just like I did with the tombstones.

I wanted to put more ornaments on the sides of the tomb, such as skulls, but unfortunately time was against me and, as usual, I was working on too much projects at once. But there's always next year!

The lid of the tomb is adorned with a big cross. I had designed a lot of crosses for my cemetery, so I had no shortage of inspiration.

Painting was done the same way as the tombstones. I started with two coats of scenic dope and sand, and then the usual load of shading, washes and drybrushing. Not much can be said about it, the process is explained in detail in my Tombstones painting tutorial.

To finish the tomb, I glued a strip of rubber window gasket on the bottom of the lid, to keep out moisture a bit. I also attached two carrying handles to each side, to make carrying and loading it in and out of the car easier.

There you have it! An extra prop for the graveyard, and an elegant way to store and transport my tombstones. I bought a new car a few months ago - a Peugeot Partner - wich can be transformed into a van by removing the back seats. My entire graveyard (wich includes a few more props I'll talk about in my next post) fits in it, with room to spare!

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