Logo 1 #topThe Poor Man's Fix-it shop.[not for the proficient craftsman] . . . .Logo 2


Site Map


General rules


(click image to enlarge)



    The two Tabernacle models depicted here I made for a lady across the country from where I live. She plans to use them for a demonstration she has in mind. My job was to construct the models so they're light and easily transported. The how's of how I did this I don't have pictures of since I was only concerned with showing her how to put the model together, not how I made it. You'll have to kind of set your imagination in gear to fill in what I can only try to describe in words. I have an abundance of pictures, probably too many, but then maybe they'll be a help to someone.

    The break-off knife in this picture is the tool I tend to use the most. I use it for whittling, and for cutting thin veneer, and as you can see in the picture, for cutting plastic and wool dowels..




    I'm assuming here that you already know what the Tabernacle looks like, but if you have any doubts about what I'm showing you, look at the pictures further on in this page.

    This is the pillar that stands at one end of the Tabernacle entrance. This pillar has to sit right up against the wall of the Tabernacle. To enable this, I drilled a hole in the pillar, and a matching hole in the wall. The dowel fits these, and the small pieces of Velcro holds the pillar in position (upright).



    The dowels here are really far longer than they need to be. I cut them down to less then half on the models I made.

    The silver strip along the side are the bases for the boards. But more on that later.

    For the most part you'll have to ignore the colors in the pictures, my camera makes everything blue.




    Consider this to be the actual starting point of these instructions (if instructions they can indeed be called). The models are scaled one cubit to one inch. In other words 1 inch = 18 inches. I first measured the layout for the model, which comes out about 30 inches in length, and 10 inches high at the walls, and 10 inches in the front of the Tabernacle, as well as at the rear. A break can be made at the junction of the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place if you want to break the model into smaller pieces. I did this, but I'd prefer to have kept the walls the total length since it would have been much easier to make, and a whole lot easier to assemble, the sides being the hardest part (for me) to assemble without having the model collapse on me during the process.

    When I bought the 1/8 inch plywood I had the man cut the board into 10 inch strips since this is the main size I would be working with. This way all I had to do is cut the lengths since the height of the walls has already been taken care or. I didn't take this into consideration at the time, but when you cut the wood, make the cuts so the grain of the wood goes up and down the wall, that is, cut the board lengthwise of the grain. My grain went horizontally, and no matter what I did I couldn't cover the grain and it looks like wood under the paint. If the grain had gone up the boards, it would have looked more like metal than it would wood.



   In this picture I've installed the metal rods that will hold the curtains. I drilled a hole most of the way through the boards that serve as walls, and inserted some cut knitting needles I bought from a thrift store. They were already gold in color which worked out well. By having the holes these rods fit in to rather tight, it causes the rods to hold the model together at the top. Here also you can see where I cut the wall into sections. One part I primered, and the other I varnished, these being am attempt to cover the grain. Neither worked, even with several applications and a lot of sanding in between coats.

    Once I had the walls (plywood veneer) cut to the sizes I wanted, I then made a frame from 1" by 2" lumber, and cut it precisely the size of the wall pieces. Then I glued and nailed the plywood to this frame. I allowed the top and the bottom of the walls to be the full length of the frame pieces since it's the top that will be seen. Then I filled in the the difference (vertical parts of the frame) with pieces of 1x2. I added another strip of this framing lumber down the middle of each wall (horizontally) for added support, and to prevent the walls from bulging or waving. I built it this way both for weight, so it will be light, and because it's a lot cheaper than trying to use 1x10s for the walls.



     Here you have the side walls standing. Notice the strips of veneer at the base of the model. I carved notches in the base where these strips will sit, which serve as guides for assembly, and they help hold the bottom of the model at the same position (and distance apart) as the rods at the top. And like the rods, the notches don't go all the way, only about 3/4ths of the way into the walls. Again, since the frame that the rods and these notches are to go in is solid wood, it gives strength to the assembly.

    Back to building the walls. Once the walls are constructed, I measured 1 1/2 inches across each board, representing the width of each board in cubits, and I cut grooves representing the individual boards. I used a straight rule and my mat cutter for this, then I went over the grooves with a three-cornered (small) file and made the groves cleaner and wider (more visible). You can see results of this in the picture above.


    There are various interpretations as to how the five rods are placed on the Tabernacle. Some place two on the inside and three on the outside of the walls, and some have all five on the outside, Here I only have four showing because the lady wanted one to run "through" the wall itself, something I tend to agree with after researching for this model.

    This model is gold where the other I left unpainted. But otherwise both are exactly alike.

    Most people use little eye screws for the rings. For me this was too expensive, so I bought some heavy staples (or double pointed nails, it coming with different titles) which I cut shorter (I wanted to use heavier dowels for rods than needed) and clipped the legs shorter at an angle (so as to be sharp) so they wouldn't go through the other side of the wall. Yes, that's a lot of clipping. Some of the nails I had to round the tops of, for which I used a small bolt as an anvil and a hammer. These I painted gold.


     Assembling the back to the extra boards. Here is another area where there is controversy over how these extra boards connect.
    I tried using wood dowels for connecting the pieces, but they break far too easily. So I bought a bunch of knitting needles the same size as the dowels and cut them to size. This worked a lot better, though it ended up being quite a bit more expensive.
   I realize that I'm giving a very sketchy and disjointed presentation of what I did to make this model. But as I said at the beginning of this Handyman corner of my website, it's not my intention to teach how to do any of this, just to present ideas as to what might be done, and what a person might consider. I just want to stimulate the creative process and facilitate the making of a model, not lay down a step-by-step set of instructions.


    Another assembly shot from a different angle.


    In this picture you can better see how the boards have been carved into the veneer.
   The bases are cut strips of veneer, glued and nailed to the bottom of the walls, inside and out. There are two bases for each board, as called for in the Bible. I cut these out and painted them before assembling them to the model. On the painted model I didn't install the bases until the model itself had been painted gold.
   The reason I both glue and nail such things as the bases is that while I want them to be solidly glued, I don't want to spend the time it takes to clamp each one and let it dry, so I use small nails as vices.
    There's more still on the next page. Just follow the thumb.



Thumb Back  Back To Previous Page...... To page 2  Thumb


to Contents Page

© Tumbleweed Gallery (All rights reserved)