DIY: How To Build a Custom TIE Fighter Shelf

C6hzFz-U8AEQhVXHuge thanks to our friend Ashley Grenon for putting together this amazing DIY article about how to build your own custom TIE Fighter shelf!

Ashley has a number of other great articles just like this one with other projects at her site at AshleyGrenon.com where you can pay her a visit and see some of the other awesome stuff she’s working on.


Hi, I’m Ashley.  I’m a fellow geek living in the city of Huntsville and I’m going to share how to build a Star Wars inspired TIE Fighter Shelf.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 1.51.57 PM.png

Tools and Supplies

The following items are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to build the TIE Fighter shelf.

Tools

  • Drill/Driver
  • Kreg Jig
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Xacto knife

Supplies

  • 1×12 – 24″
  • 1×6 – 48″
  • 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood glue
  • Gray spray paint + primer
  • Black spray paint + primer
  • Gloss sealer
  • Painters tape
  • Contact paper or removable vinyl paper

How to build a TIE Fighter Shelf

Step 1: Cut the boards to length

  • Cut the 1×6 board into two 20″ long pieces
  • Cut the 1×12 into two 11 1/4″ pieces.

Step 2: Cut out a hexagon shape for the TIE Fighter wings

  • Orient the 1×12 squares such that the grain is running up and down.
  • Mark the midpoint on the left and right side.
  • Mark 2″ from each corner.
  • Draw a line connecting the midpoint to the 2″ marks.
  • Cut along the lines with a jigsaw or circular saw.

You should have a hexagon shape.  Refer to the image below.

Step 3: Drill pocket holes

I like using pocket hole joints.  They are quick and easy to make.

  • Drill 2 pocket  holes on the ends of each 1×6 board.
  • Drill 3 pocket holes on the side of one 1×6 board.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 1.52.54 PM.png

Step 4: Sand

Prep the surface of the boards for painting.  Sand, sand and sand. I used paint with primer.  If you are not using a paint that contains primer take a moment and prime the surface.

Step 5: Apply the base coat of paint

  • Paint one face of each 1×6 board with gray paint
  • Paint 1×12 boards black on all sides

Allow the paint to dry completely before continuing on to the next step.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 1.53.21 PM.png
Applying a base coat of paint

Step 6: Paint the TIE Fighter wings

  • With 1″ painter’s tape, tape off each side of the hexagon
  • Tape off the diagonals
  • Apply a piece of tape from the left side to the right side
  • Paint the exposed area with gray paint

Repeat this 3 more times for each face on the hexagons.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 1.54.08 PM.png

Step 7: Paint the TIE Fighter cockpit

Painting the TIE Fighter cockpit is the most difficult (and possibly most frustrating) step in the whole project.  I used a mixture of contact paper and tape to create a stencil for spray painting the cockpit. You may find it easier to hand paint the cockpit.

Here are the dimensions for the cockpit:

  • The circle has a radius of 4 1/2″
  • Each side of the octagon is 2″
  • The line thickness is 1/2″

I cut out a semicircle and half an octagon from contact paper.  Once that was in place, I taped a line from each point on the octagon to the semicircle.  Refer to the picture below for details.

I did not have 1/2″ painters tape so I just cut my existing tape in half.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 1.54.33 PM.png

Step 8: Assemble the shelf

To assemble the shelf:

  • Join the 2 – 1×6 boards together
  • Join the shelf to one wing
  • Join the shelf to the other wing

I used a scrap 1×4 board to help attach the shelf to the wings:

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 1.54.47 PM.png

Step 9: Seal the shelf

Seal the shelf with a few coats of your favorite sealer and you’re done. Enjoy!

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