Custom F1D Travel Boxes

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2015 by nicholasandrewray

Custom F1D Travel Boxes


Mike Kirda

When I first built an F1D, I used a large cardboard box for transporting my planes. This works out well for local contests although the box is large and unwieldy. For airline travel it is impossible to use. I have been admiring the travel boxes of John Kagan and Brett Sanborn for years now. They are very nicely designed and work well for them. The issue I had is that I don’t have a decent table saw so that level of woodworking for me is very difficult to do.

At Kent last year Kang Lee showed up with this beautiful F1D travel box. This was all wood with front/back plastic panels. I was really impressed with it. He pointed me towards Jake Palmer. Jake has no website, only e-mail. We went back and forth a few times and talked about the wood choices and box size. Jake can offer boxes fully finished or as a kit for self-assembly and self-finish. I cannot quote prices here as they will not be accurate from box to box. Wood choice will dictate cost to a large degree, plus the labor can vary from wood to wood.

In my case I chose to get two kits made from Cherry, one for myself, one for Jeff Annis. The parts arrived and it took me quite a while to glue them up and get them sanded down well, then finished. If I had to do it over again, I would have Jake finish the boxes for me as it would have been cheaper overall. On the other hand, I learned a lot, I have a really nice random orbit sander now, and I have a greater appreciation for wood working and fine finishes on wood. I redid the finish on mine three times before I was satisfied with it.

If you do go to finish one yourself, I cannot recommend a random orbit sander enough. A normal ¼ sheet sander may take an hour to do a corner after gluing whereas a random orbit sander takes all of five minutes. For finish 3-5 coats of 1:1:1 mix of polyurethane:boiled linseed oil:mineral spirits works really well, just make sure to wait at least 48 hours before sanding with 400 grit between coats. A final coat or two of 1 part poly and 1 part mineral spirits, rubbed down with 0000 steel wool and finished off with several coats of Minwax wood polish makes it shine with wonderful depth. Thanks to Jake for suggesting that one for me.

Attaching the plexiglass sheeting is a bit tricky. I used stainless steel wood screws, size #4 x ½”. The plexiglass should be drilled with a #6 countersunk bit. The Snappy brand worked well for me. Just go as slow as your drill can go while drilling the plexiglass. When you get through, pull it out to remove the plastic tailings, then finish slowly. If you don’t remove the tailings, then tend to melt. I spaced the screws out between 3.5 and 4” apart.

Jake’s contact information is


Cherry Box -Top View


Cherry Box – Side View


Cherry Boxes


Corner Detail




Plexiglass Attachment and Corner Detail


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