Building an Ark of the Covenant from our kit

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by bluerealm, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Philip Wise here to show how to use our Ark kits to build an Ark of the Covenant, just like the one I finished years ago. The kit has been posted in the classified section.

    Since we had a couple assembly commissions waiting on the kits, we used that first one to document the process so I could post this build guide.

    The creation of my original build, and the source of all the parts, was chronicled over at my Rebelscum forums: http://forum.rebelscum.com/showthread.php?t=1098610

    Here is my gallery of reference photos of one of the Arks on tour. These photos were taken at the Cube in Anaheim. Rebelscum Star Wars Photo Archive

    Here's my Ark at the unveiling during one of my prop parties.

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    A finished kit

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    Here's the cast parts in the kit.

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    Lid custom milled double cove wood pieces

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    Here's the custom milled wood trim parts

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    Here's the aluminum lifting ring parts.

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    The kit includes everything needed for the build except the cherubs, flat boards, and miscellaneous assembly hardware like screws and nails. This material I recommended for the lid top and bottom plus the cabinet bottom is 1/2" MDF. 3/4" plywood for the cabinet sides.

    The first thing you want to do is wash all the plastic parts well with soapy water. We don't use mold release on the parts, so having paint stick shouldn't be a problem, but it's a good practice to do this first anyway.

    Here is a cut list spreadsheet for the ark box parts. You will need this for the build.

    Assembly starts with the very large wood double-cove profiles that make the frame for the top. You will receive 4 pieces that are already mitered for assembly.

    You can see that we use a long band clamp and corner clamps to join it together. You can user your 1/2" MDF that becomes the bottom of the lid and assemble the four lid pieces with it in place to hold your parts square. Just don't glue it in yet. Be sure and check that your pieces are square with diagonal measuring during assembly. We use a special inside corner nail gun for this but you can use glued wood blocks or screwed metal corner brackets attached inside the corners. You will need something to stiffen the joint since you can't rely on just glue for the miters. Since they miters are HUGE, the joints may not be perfect. Do the best job you can getting them close in a dry fit so you can see what you're up against. This is a large and stressful glue-up even for an experienced woodworker. Be sure and get an assistant to help you. You'll want to use epoxy in the miters instead of wood glue. Don't try to use a 5 minute version. Get something that's longer and do two on one end first, then the other two. Use blue painters tape to prevent the gaps from leaking and don't worry about squeeze out as you'll be sanding them anyway and the joints don't show on the finished ark.

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    Here's the orientation of the lid profile pieces showing which side is up.

    lid-profile.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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  2. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The top and bottom of the lid should be cut from 1/2" MDF. First flip the frame over to install the bottom. Install it with wood glue. You don't really need nails, but if you use them I'd recommend using a 23 gauge headless pinner as that's the same type of nail gun you will need to attach all the cast parts to the top. Don't worry about filling the gap around the edge yet, as you'll do that after you have the top side attached.

    Flip it over to have the top side up. You'll want to place a support in the open area of the lid between the bottom and the top to ensure the top never droops at all. Anything will do, such what's in the photo below.

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    Once this is all set, you will need to sand and fill the long seams on the lid profile pieces, the large miters, and the gaps around the top and bottom pieces. We use Apoxie Sculpt modeling compound to fill our gaps. 1 lb should be enough for the entire Ark. Here's a link to it at Amazon. http://amzn.to/2bao69Y

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    I added a 1/4" piece to the underside of the top that serves two purposes. First it will prevent the lid from sliding too much on top of the box. The other is important if you are planning to send it off to be spray chromed. The piece covers up the bottom of the lid where they will need to support it during the chroming process. This piece will get separately chromed, and then it goes in place to cover up the area that's not chromed. It's cut about 1/2" inside the edge of the inside of the box all the way around. Just to make sure it goes back on how it comes off, the middle screw hole is off-center by 1/2", forcing the same orientation each time it's attached. I used #6 brass wood screws for mine.

    You can decide if you need the piece at all.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  3. Customrelic

    Customrelic Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Went to your site, but didnt find any info on it. Do you guys have a price in mind yet? I I assume the pieces will not be goldplated?
     
  4. Olaf

    Olaf New Member

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    Nice looking Ark!! Is that 1:1, I haven't seen the film in a while but it feels small for some reason.
     
  5. ThomasBond

    ThomasBond Active Member

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    How much was it to ship and get plated?
     
  6. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For mine, we built a crate, and shipped it via uship from Texas to Pennsylvania. It was Cosmichromed for $3600. I learned some things about how to send a better prepared ark as mine required some repair after it arrived. I *think* that price included additional labor to fix the problems. I believe it was $275 each way for shipping, which took 3-4 days.

    The Cosmichrome cost included the Cherubs, which I had from Mark (sskunky).

    I have a lot more to write about in the build guide that's specific to the Cosmichrome process. I expect many of the arks built will be sprayed gold in garages, and weathered. I also have quite a bit of information on that, though I haven't done one that way personally.

    philip
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  7. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Installing the leaves on the lid

    he only way I found to install the leaves well was to use the 23 gauge headless pinner I mentioned earlier. They aren't terribly expensive, though if you get a Grex, it is the best one made. Others will shoot the pins you need for this project fine. You'll want to use 1/2" long pins. You'll also use 5 minute epoxy and a lot of acid brushes.

    You will need help to put all these pieces on as it's a two-person job. Get your epoxy, your pinner, some rubbing alcohol and q-tips. You'll use the q-tips and alcohol to remove any epoxy that squeezes out.

    The process is to first fit the corner pieces, all four are the same.

    Notice how the edge of the leaves fit flush to the edge of the lid on the bottom in the photos below. On the top leaves, they sit down about 3/16" below the top surface. Look closely at the position photos for the large leaves so you can see where they fit.

    Test fit the corner leaves so you know how they fit. Mix up some epoxy and use an acid brush to apply it to the back side of the corner leaf. Don't go all the way to the edge because it will squeeze out badly if you do. With your assistant holding, put pins into the top edge. Then, using the leaf tip spacing template, push each tip down and put a single pin in it. If you have squeeze out, deal with it right away. Do the remaining 3 corners the same way. The leaves between the corners are different between the long side and the short side. There are 12 sections for the long side and 6 for the short side. The long side leaves have 3 dots in the back side of the casting for identification. The short side leaves have no dots.

    Get your leaves and use one of them to place and mark the end of it over and over to see how they space out. It should be pretty close to fitting end to end, but it might require slight adjustments to the spacing so you don't have an overly big gap at the end. Take some time with this as taking the time to get this right will really pay off in how well the finished spacing looks.

    Once you are satisfied with the spacing at the tops of them, use the same glue process as before, doing the top of each leaf section first then the leaf tips using the spacing templates.

    philip

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    Top Leave Position

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  8. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The top rail has 4 unique corner pieces. Look at the first photo below to make sure you are putting them where they go relative to each other. They will have numbers on them.

    The front edge of the rail pieces fits flush with the edge of the top, all the way around.

    I found when shipping my ark for Cosmichrome a few of the rail-to-rail joints cracked. I had used bondo to smooth the joints. Now, we drill a tiny hole in these joints and superglue in a piece of about 14 gauge wire, but anything close will do as you're just working to eliminate any possibility of flexing during shipping.

    Start with the four corners and epoxy them all to the top, along with pinning them with the nail gun. The middle rail sections are all the same. Lay them out and pencil in the location of the joints to get a feeling for any adjustments you may need to make for an even spacing of them. There will be enough play in the fitment of the pieces to slip in the joint pins as you fix the location of each piece with epoxy and pins from the pinner.

    After you have them all attached and the epoxy is cured, start working on filling the joints with Apoxie. You'll really appreciate the way you can finish the Apoxie by smoothing with wet fingers, just like you work clay. The bottom joint of the rails to the top needs to be filled with Apoxie as well.

    philip

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  9. Customrelic

    Customrelic Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thats awesome. How come the kit does not come with the cherubs?
     
  10. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Years ago sskunky sold beautiful cherubs here on therpf. The only other ones available were budget priced, but not great. Certainly not up the quality of this ark.

    The ones from sskunky were so well done, the set I received with primer on them went straight with my ark to be Cosmichromed. Nothing had to be done to them.

    As my project went along, I advised everybody that was interested in a kit to get cherubs from him. Still stands today as the recommended cherub.

    philip
     
  11. Customrelic

    Customrelic Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Im still learning who people are from here. Have you had any contact with him lately? Would you know if he even still offers the cherubs for the ark? I would hate to buy an ark and not be able to complete it due to unavailable pieces. And important pieces. But it looks awesome so far. Great work
     
  12. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Definitely. I thought I had linked him earlier, but it seems I didn't. We bounced some email recently and specifically about more Cherubs a couple weeks ago. He's sskunky here.

    philip
     
  13. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Building the Ark box

    I made the sides and ends of the box from 3/4" plywood, which in the US is thinner than that. How much thinner depends on what plywood you buy, but mostly it's 23/32" thick. The thickness matters because the long side dimension depends on knowing how thick your material is. Make sure you select plywood that has a face without defects or the football patches some plywood has. I use plywood because it's more stable than solid wood, which I feel is very important. In the time since mine was finished, there have been no issues show up related to the wood moving due to changed in humidity, which might be a problem with solid wood.

    Each side is made up of 4 boards. The boards need to be glued and screwed together using pocket screws. The recommended method of doing this is to buy a basic pocket screw kit from KREG. Their Kreg R3 Jr system is $39 on Amazon and includes everything but a clamp, which you will need as well. The clamp is used to hold the drill guide to the board while drilling for the screw. It's also used to hold the boards to the table while fastening them. Kreg sells the clamp for about $21 at Amazon as well. You'll also need Kreg 1-1/2" long coarse pocket hole screws assuming you're not using hardwood for your sides. If you decide on hardwood, get fine pitch screws.

    Kreg Kit: http://amzn.to/2bv8ICA

    Kreg Clamp: http://amzn.to/2b962f6

    Regardless of which wood you select, be sure and test your joint as it's not uncommon for the screw to penetrate the front of your joint, which isn't what you want to happen. It can also happen if you run the screw in so hard it goes farther than the pocket in soft wood.

    When you finish your box, it needs to be 33-15/16" x 17-13/16" outside. The height of the box needs to be 15-5/8".

    You'll receive a cut list in your kit with specific dimensions for the box boards.

    However, the width of the long side vertical boards (called the stiles) will need to be calculated. Referring to the cut boards photo below, the stile width is determined by the taking the thickness of two of your boards away from the overall length and then taking away the length of the long board (called the rails). IE, if you measure two of your boards thickness at 1-7/16", and the rail is 24-9/16", then the calculation is 33-15/16" - 24-9/16" - 1-7/16" = 7.9375". You need to divide that in half for the two boards, which is 7.9375" / 2 = 3.9688" or 3-31/32".

    This is an important dimension to calculate correctly, so be sure and check your numbers before cutting.

    The rest of the board dimensions are in the cut list and may be run as indicated.

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    The end panels are a bit more tricky to prepare for assembly because the edges that go into the legs have to be beveled at 45 degrees to match the inside profile of the legs. Look at the corner detail photo below to get a feeling for how this joint goes together. When you cut the bevels, you aren't going to cut a full bevel, you will leave about 1/16" of the board flat, not beveled. It's easiest to do this before you join the rails and stiles together.

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    It's pretty easy to get confused when working with this corner, especially when you go to do the pocket hole screws since you always pocket the boards with the good face down on the table. I recommend laying all the boards for a panel out just like they will assemble, but put them face down. Note the top rail is narrower than the bottom rail on all 4 sides. The top rails are all 3-13/16" wide and the bottom rails are all 4" wide. Mark the back side of the boards that will receive the pocket holes so you don't accidentally either do it on the wrong side, or do it on the ends of the wrong boards. You will put two holes in the end of each board.

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    Assembling the 4 panel pieces is pretty straight-forward. I use a long parallel clamp to bring the pieces together and the Kreg clamp to hold the boards face down to the table well. Be sure and use that Titebond III glue in the joints. I also make sure my drill driver has the clutch set to slip pretty easily so they screws don't go too far in. You'll see the joint come together as you tighten the screws.

    Philip

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    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  14. OBI WAN KEN0B1

    OBI WAN KEN0B1 Well-Known Member

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    All i can say is WOW.
     
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  15. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks!

    The kit has been posted in the classified section.
     
  16. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very impressive work there.
     
  17. Props N at

    Props N at New Member

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    This Ark is absolutely gorgeous! You can't beat the look of the Cosmichrome.
     
  18. KramStaar

    KramStaar Sr Member

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    This is an incredible piece of work.
    Warmest congratulations and thanks for bringing it to the fans..

    Highest regards

    MARK
     
  19. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. WingdSoldier

    WingdSoldier Jr Member

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    Been following this on Rebelscum. What a fantastic project!
    Too bad this is virtually unaffordable for anyone outside the US :(
     
  21. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    We're getting pricing to ship over there for a couple people right now, so we'll know how much it is. No doubt this doesn't make it any easier. But at the same time, sskunky is over there so you do save some money there.
     
  22. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Assembling the box

    Now that your four side panels are assembled, you have to start thinking ahead to how the legs will attach to the corners.

    I used 8 #12 x 1-1/2" long wood screws per leg. We will include laser cut acrylic templates that you can use to mark the hole locations you will now put in the ends of each of the side panels, before you assemble them. You'll do this now because you can't easily do this after the box is assembled. These holes will be used to attach the legs to the outside of the box corners.

    Notice there is a top marked on the template, as well as holes marked for the long side and another set of holes for the short sides. Per the photo below, place the side on a table, hold the template to the top and correct template edge aligned to the panel edge and mark the 4 holes. Do this on each end of the panels. Keep in mind you will have to flip the template over (mirror) it so the side with the correct holes is against the edge.

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    You'll need to drill a hole through each of these locations that allows the screw to go through with a bit of clearance. You then want to countersink them with a wood countersink drill deep enough the head is just below the surface.

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    Now you're ready to put the box together. You will need a flat surface to do this work on. I use two long parallel clamps to assemble the box. I put a bottom in my box, but even if you aren't planning on having a bottom, you will want to cut one from 1/2" MDF or something similar as it will help you square the box. Get your pinner or brad nailer if you have one, and your Titebond III glue. Remember to always do a dry run when assembling parts with glue.

    Identify the orientation of your four sides. It's very important to note they are in an upright position when the top rail is narrower than the bottom rail. You can do this by yourself, but it is easier with a helper.

    Place the bottom on your surface and stand up a long side beside it. Put glue on the end of your long side and add the end piece, clamping to keep it in place. Shoot nails through the beveled end of the short panel to the long panel. Use at least 1-1/4" long pins or nails. You want to avoid shooting nails where the pocket screws are if you can.

    Next add the other end, and after that do the other long side. Always keeping the box square around your bottom piece. Be sure you don't glue in that bottom though.

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    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
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  23. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Attaching the legs part one

    Taking stock of your legs, you will notice the holes in them for the lifting rings are handed, i.e, there's a two pair of a right and left. It's a good idea to mark them now in a manner that you can follow as you assemble them to the box.

    Those lifting ring holes are lined up with a machined aluminum "nut" that's sealed to the inside corner of the legs. Your lifting rings will screw into those at the end of the ark assembly.

    It's time to attach the legs. You'll need 32 of those #12 x 1-1/2" wood screws, a drill driver to run them in and plenty of 5 minute epoxy. I put them on myself, but a helper will make it much easier on you.

    Flip the box over so it's upside down on your flat surface. The bottom should not be in the box. Take a leg and note it's corner location so the lifting ring hole is correct. The next step is to hold the leg on the corner and use a drill to drill through those 8 holes in the panel corner you did earlier. Use a drill that is no larger than the core size of your #12 screw. These are so when you epoxy the leg and go to run those screws in they have a guide hole for them. Be sure and hold the leg to the corner for the best fit possible. There may be a slight gap where the leg profile hits the side of the box. A slight gap is ok, a huge gap isn't. Fuss with it before you drill those guide holes to get the best fit. And it never hurts to check that you have the correct leg on the correct corner so that lifing ring hole ends up correct.

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    With this done, you're ready to epoxy and screw it on. Get your screws handy and prepare for mixing the epoxy. I recommend an acid brush for spreading the glue on each leg. When you apply it, take care to put it to the edge this time as a little squeeze out is ok as this is a joint you will have to caulk. If a lot comes out, remove it with a qtip and rubbing alcohol. When you add the screws, don't run them in with a lot of power as it is easy to spin it in the leg plastic and lose your grip. Watch it as it goes in and you should be able to see the leg pull tighter to the box. I like to do one on the bottom, then one on the top of the other side, and try to alternate top and bottom end and side till I have all 8 of them in.

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    philip
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  24. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Installing the ark bottom

    I put the my 1/2" MDF bottom 1/4" up from the bottom edge of the box just to give myself a finger hold when lifting the box after it's finished. There are other options you may want to use on yours. If you put a bottom in it, and if you are sending it for any of the spray on chrome methods, you'll have to seal the all the joints with either epoxy or caulk. More on that later.

    In the bottom view photo below, notice the 2" square 1/4" thick piece of MDF in the corner? That is there to provide a place to seal off the top of the leg for the Cosmichome process. It also provides a handy spacer to hold up your bottom 1/4" above the bottom edge of the box. I just glued mine in flush inside the bottom of the box before I placed the bottom in. I also used another 1/4" piece as a gauge to make sure the middle of the bottom board was also 1/4" up from the edge.

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    On the outside of the box, draw a line where the middle of your bottom board is so you can have a guide to nail it in from the outside of the box, around the perimeter. I didn't glue it in, because later you will add some inside corner pieces that are less messy to glue.

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    Due to an over-abundance of caution for the leg attachment process, I also recommend adding an inside corner block that allows you to put 6 more screws into the leg. I do this because while the leg is pretty strong, the part you attach to is the thinnest part of it.

    Because I want the screws to go right into the corner, the easiest corner bracket to make is by taking a 2 x 4 and cutting a 45 degree bevel on one side. It will need to be 15-5/8" minus your bottom thickness and minus any hold-back you have from the edge to the bottom. In mine it's 14-7/8" long, though because it's more accurate, I'd generally cut this a 1/2" too long and mark the length precisely and trim to that, rather than cut to a measured length. You want the top to be as flush as possible with the top of the box. Note Note I happened to have the corner brackets I used made up from another project, so the one in the photo is a little more complicated than a simple triangle.

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    Once you have them cut to length, be sure and mark them so you know which corner they were cut for. Use the other acrylic template to mark the locations of the 6 holes for more of the #12 screws, though this time they will need to be 3"" long. The top is marked and you'll reference from there.

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    Get your drill ready to drill through the block into the corner of the box and leg. Use the same drill size as you used for the legs. Also have your driver ready to run the screws in. You'll use a lot of power to run these in and twisting out the leg isn't likely to happen since you are also going through your panel plywood.

    Put your Titebond III on the corner block and put it in place. Drill through your holes and run your screws in. Be sure the top of your block is flush with the top edges of the box and leg each time.

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    philip
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  25. CharlzO

    CharlzO Active Member

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    Absolutely loving the detailed write-up you've got posting. Looking forward to every update!
     
  26. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks. It's a pain to write though. :) philip
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  27. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Sealing the bottom joints

    If you're planning to have your ark spray chromed, part of the preparation for this includes sealing off any areas of the ark that can't be reached with the special base coat required for the process. Basically as water is used as the carrier for the process, if there are areas water can wash into and back out of, which will bring impurities out that can and will mar the finish, you need to seal those off with either epoxy, caulk, or if the area is small enough, primer that's part of your primer application.

    It's a good time to seal up the bottom if you need to. I used blue painters tape to mask off the area that I wanted to brush on epoxy for a seal, including allowing epoxy to go up onto the part of the leg that meets the 2" square filler block mentioned earlier.

    Get a couple disposable 1" chip brushes from Home Depot, mix up a bunch of 5 mintute epoxy and brush away, paying close attention to any cracks that expoxy flows into so they do get filled up. As soon as you're done brushing, pull your tape off. It will be much easier before the epoxy is cured.

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    While not necessary, putting corner trim inside the box around the bottom finishes off the inside nicely, so I recommend you do it.

    I just cut some white wood about 1/2" square and cut it to length, attaching it with glue and pins.

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  28. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Panel sculpture opening trim

    The next step is to put the trim around the inside of the panel openings where the sculpted pieces go. In your kit of parts you'll find a sample board showing how you need to cut your miters. We included this because it's not completely obvious how these miters need to be done.

    This is definitely a cut and fit cut and fit process because you want the miters to be pretty tight when you pin them in.

    The trim doesn't set flush with the outside of the panel. It sits back about 1/16" of an inch, which makes a nice detail step like the prop.

    Once you have your four pieces cut, gently tap them with a block until you're happy with the reveal distance and look. You can tell if it's flush around the outside by making sure the back side of the trim is flush. My process was to get the four pieces in, flush the backs and tap on either the back corners or front corners until it was where I wanted it.

    I also didn't glue these in until afterward, and then I masked off the inside edges and used epoxy brushed on similar to how the bottom was sealed.

    philip

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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
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  29. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Box bottom edge trim

    The trim that goes around the bottom of the box, between the legs, comes in 2 pieces per side. A left and a right piece that have been coped to fit the profile of the legs. There will be plenty of overlap material so you can adjust for a perfect fit.

    Begin by cutting one end slightly to square it. Fit the coped end to the leg. It should fit nicely, but you may have to ajust it slightly. Mark the end of the trim on the box. Set it aside and fit the other end / leg, and mark where you need to cut that board to length. Cut it a little long. Test fit both, and begin to sneak up on the end cut until you have a nice snug joint. Once you have it, glue with Titebond III and pin to the box.

    Next do the remaining sides.

    Note, because I had this ark when I was cutting the trim I didn't have to use two pieces per side.

    philip

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  30. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Mounting the panel sculpts

    The panels have each been machined so they will fit in the openings with little to no play, depending on how precisely you made the box. Be sure and test fit them before beginning work to mount them. Mark the back side of each panel so you know which goes where, and which side is UP so you don't have an upside down panel when you're done.

    They push in from the inside of the box. Without spacers, the panels will push in too far so you'll have to to make spacers that limit how far they go in, giving you a slight reveal on the inside of the molding. Since the panel isn't the same thickness all over, you will have to judge this for yourself, but if I say there's a number it would be about 1/8".

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    I cut strips of white wood about 1/8" thick for the long panels. I believe I cut slightly thicker ones for the small panels, but what you use may be different. You'll need to do test fittings until you're happy with the reveal. There isn't a single school of thought on how to cut thin strips on the table saw, but I always do it on the left side of the blade because it's the safest method. It means adjusting your fence for each strip, but leaves little chance of an accident. If you don't already have a practice for this, I'd suggest Googling it and decide which method you want to use.

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    Once done, I glued them to the back side of the panels with Gorilla polyurethane adhesive, which is very good for this joint. If you haven't used it before, there are a few tips. Always use gloves as the glue once cured will not come off your hands. It cures in the presence of moisture, so when you go to use it, wet a paper towel and dampen one side of your joint, preferably the wood side. Apply enough glue to the panel side and spread it with an acid brush. Clamp the pieces together and let sit a few hours. Don't overdue to glue as it will foam out a bit, though it's easy to scrape off if it happens. It has a long open time so you don't need to rush, but I'd do just one panel at a time anyway. You'll only need a small bottle.

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    I also used Gorilla glue to attach the panels. I did the small ones first, then the long ones. I cut spreader bars to put presssure on them while the glue cured. The long panels they were slightly bowed, which the bars sorted out easily.

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  31. Raiders March

    Raiders March Active Member

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    Great tutorial phillip!
     
  32. vaderdarth

    vaderdarth Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I agree, tutorial is fantastic!
     
  33. Trooper_trent

    Trooper_trent Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  34. sskunky

    sskunky Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hi guys

    Yes we plan to do a run of primed cherubs for the Ark purchasers.
    I will put an interest thread up shortly. Just working out costs. Etc. As we need new moulds. I'll need at least 10-15 interested to make this happen.
     
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  35. captainsolo

    captainsolo Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'll be in for sure


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  36. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The flat top leaves

    The flat top leaves are left separate because if you are using the spray chrome process and they are attached to the top, it's easy for impurities to run out from under them if they are not completely sealed on the edges. It isn't really possible to completely seal them to the top. This isn't a problem for you if you are painting it yourself.

    On the prop there are two attachement devices that appear to be holding the leaves down to the top. It's unkown what they are so we modeled them and are providing cast pieces. These are also not shiny gold, and appear to be rattle can gold. You can use these to cover screws that you use to hold down the leaves, or they can just be decorative if you glue your leaves down after they are chromed. Your choice.

    philip

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    The lifting rings

    The rings will come with the threaded rod ready to put in screw in place. Each leg comes with an internal machined aluminum "nut" that you'll screw your lifting ring into after you put the escutcheon on the threaded rod.

    We use red Loctite to fix the threaded rod to the ring. Once you have test fit your ring to each leg, you can either leave them there, or secure them with Loctite as well. I would suggest if you intend to lift it with poles through rings, you secure it in this manner. Since I have never lifted my Ark with poles, I haven't secured mine, so I don't know for a fact they will stay fixed when lifting it. If they do not, then I'd suggest securing them with epoxy in the hole in addition to the red Loctite.

    Note, that on the Ark prop, these pieces are not plated with the same shiny gold the Ark is. The finish appears to be just a sprayed rattle can gold paint.

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  37. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This wraps up the actual building of the ark.

    The next steps depend on how you are planning to finish it. If you are using a spray chrome process you'll need to fill all your joints with caulk. The spray chrome guy I used recommends DAP Kwik Seal Plus for the caulk.

    You'll specifically need to put this at the leg to box joints and around all the sculpted panels where they meet the trim. It smooths with water, so you should be able to get a nice fillet in there. You can even use a q-tip wet soaked with water.

    Where the leaves are on the lid it's less critical, but you want to seal the edges as best you can. The gap there can vary so the method you can use will vary from adding caulk, or epoxy and wiping it off well, to just brushing in some primer to bridge the gap.

    If you are spraying it yourself, it's up to you how you want to finish the joints.

    Finishing the inside of the box is entirely up to you. You can get machined wood fillers for the pockets made for the panel screws and cover those holes up. I'm pretty sure they are on Amazon.

    philip - philip@rebelscum.com for questions.

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  38. Panaflex

    Panaflex Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Magnificent build. Congratulations!
     
  39. DCM74

    DCM74 New Member

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    What about the cherubs ? How do you attach them to the lid ?
     
  40. KramStaar

    KramStaar Sr Member

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    Stunning tutorial.

    Thank you for the incredible effort you have put into this and into the kit offer - its sincerely appreciated.

    Kind regards
    MARK
     
  41. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They aren't attached on the prop, so I didn't attach mine. I just put a piece of felt on the bottom of them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the kind words. Couldn't have done it without all the help I got and the guys at Blue Realm doing the heavy lifting making the parts.

    philip
     
  42. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What a thread, what a kit, what an Ark! :eek

    Congrats on finally achieving what many have wanted for years!!
     
  43. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Building an Ark shipping crate

    Because I had to ship off the ark to get it sprayed gold, it needed a crate that would allow the pieces to travel without any chance of rubbing or wear on the parts.

    This is what I ended up with.

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    Functionally, the ark box is supported on the bottom with spacers that keep the legs and box away from any part of the crate, or even any packing material inside. It is attached to those spacers through the bottom with lag bolts. The lid is turned upside down and screwed to a shelf inside from the bottom. That shelf is screwed to horizontal runners, the long flat leaves get bubble wrapped and attached to wood that is and screwed to the inside of the long crate panels, and the cherubs ride inside the box in bubble wrap. The thin piece that is used on the bottom of the lid is attached to the underside of the top for travel. There are felt pads under the legs and on the shelf.

    The rattle can lines painted on the crate indicate the orientation of the removable top side and end panels, and which screws are used to allow that. The board on the top of the crate is there to make it less convenient for the shipper to place another pallet on top of this one because even when you specify no stacking, the carrier will do it anyway.

    The overall dimensions are 48" x 32" x 30-5/8" high, plus the base risers. The risers are 3-5/8" high (but anything close is good) and that top brace is 2-1/4" high (but anything close is good). Keep in mind you shouldn't exceed the 48" x 40" dimensions of a standard pallet.

    It's built from 3/4" plywood and some 2" x 2" material for the corners and assembled with drywall screws.

    The top, one end and side are taken off to allow access for loading and unloading.

    This isn't meant to be a project with dimensions or a cut list, but rather just a guide to show you how I did it in case you plan to ship yours as well.

    philip

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  44. belloq

    belloq Well-Known Member

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    Good God!
     
  45. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, I do have this one too, but it's not really great for shipping as it keeps getting the paint burned off.

    philip

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  46. Jintosh

    Jintosh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yep. :lol
     
  47. Jintosh

    Jintosh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I probably missed it.

    Is there a website for the EXACT guys you used for Cosmichrome ?
     
  48. bluerealm

    bluerealm Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's over in the classified section for the ark kit, but here it is:

    My recommendation for a build is to have it gold chromed via the Cosmichrome process. The place that did mine is in Pennsylvania and called Coat of chrome. http://www.coatofchrome.com.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It's over in the classified section for the ark kit, but here it is:

    My recommendation for a build is to have it gold chromed via the Cosmichrome process. The place that did mine is in Pennsylvania and called Coat of chrome. http://www.coatofchrome.com.
     
  49. scottjua

    scottjua Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bumping this! Having worked with the guys to build these, I gotta say it's one of the coolest prop replicas I've ever seen in person. If I only had the space for one... and a good face shield to protect from the melt factor.
     
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  50. N3rdyboy

    N3rdyboy Active Member

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    This is great! The Ark is definitely on my to do list. The actual prop is currently at Disney's Hollywood Studios and I was able to get some pictures
     

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