I’ve been struggling with designing a custom display for my wife’s and my aikijujitsu belts for several years and finally stumbled onto using Chicago screws to attach the cross pieces to the frame. I was very skeptical of my ability to glue all the pieces with good alignment, and in trying to figure out some kind of screwed-on template, realized that I could simply use the screws themselves.
In this particular application the screws are completely hidden, but they look pretty nice even when visible if laid out with sufficient symmetry:
The 10mm Chicago screws available here (Amazon) almost exactly match the stacked depth of two “thick” Proofgrade plywood pieces. Note that screw heads are not counter-sunk (e,g. via engraving). The internal 10mm depth of the assembled screw fits the two pieces of thick Proofgrade plywood.
One other challenge was using only standard 20x12 plywood stock given the length of the complete display:
I have yet to experiment using the feed slot on the Glowforge with oversize stock.
The Japanese kanji are vector images purchased from Kanji Sensei.
Great display! Nice touch on the engraving.
I love the connection that allows the full length. Nicely done.
What a wonderful display! Beautiful design.
Looks great! Glad you found a solution.
Any other projects ahead with Chicago screws?
Looks fantastic! I’d always thought black belt was the highest rank. What is the black with red? And how long did it take to get to that level?
Note to self…don’t mess with this family
You’ll be shocked to learn that Hollywood has misinformed you. In martial arts that follow the Japanese belt convention, the black belt traditionally represents a serious student who has proven their interest and capacity. It is quite analogous to the “journeyman” rank of tradesman because martial arts in most cultures were essentially trades held within ethnic clans.
After the black belt there are usually degrees of higher level (“dan” in Japanese) so my wife is “nidan” or 2nd degree black belt in aikijujitsu. That particular school awards degrees up to kyudan or 9th degree, although there is no curriculum or new content beyond 2nd degree. Different martial arts and even individual teachers set their own requirements for belt ranks. Beyond some rank for each school you are expected to become a teacher, and possibly branch out to start your own school.
Aside from making my own display and probably for a few friends who are also martial artists, I’m intrigued by having a way to join engraved layers precisely and without glue. I’m hoping the GFC runs with it!
Very interesting. Thank you for explaining it to me!
The 20x48 stock is on sale at half price
I just bought 2.
What a classy display! The design fits perfectly with the function.
those Chicago screws, cant beat them
I am a big fan of Chicago screws when I make leather bags.
I have a tip —-use Loctite to secure the screws. There are 2 versions of Loctite threadlocker. I use #271.
Wow! Those are so cool! I wish I had that when I did Karate as a kid!
Very nice work! Great display!