If you have seen the last couple of Mere Minutes, you will know that I made a version of this shadowbox many years ago. I consider that one a prototype, because there is a lot that I was never happy with.
I spent a lot of time wiring and soldering, trying to get a little light bulb to shine into the box. It never really worked well: it wasn't very bright and seemed to just drain the 9 volt battery. Thankfully, today we have LEDs, which are brighter and last much longer. Not only that, they are cheap.
I used a "Stick 'n' Click" puck light for my new shadowbox. Cost $4.00. It uses three AAA batteries that will last for 1000 hours.
Don't waste good wood by building with it.
I made my original box with solid purpleheart lumber for the entire project. This was a waste of good wood. Many projects have a large percentage of secondary surfaces: structural components and other areas that aren't visible. Ain't nothin' wrong with using poplar or plywood on anything that won't show. And if it's something to be painted, MDF is outstanding. It's easy to cut and sand, it glues well, and paint flows on beautifully.
So this time, I used MDF for nearly the entire shadowbox. But it's the small bit of zebrawood that steals the show. I used just a two foot length, but resawing gave me six feet.
I also decided to improve this model by adding a mirror. In fact, once again I built the project around stuff Tim Sluder sent me. Along with the Shaker pegs, he sent four mirrors. I still have three left for more projects. Thanks again,Tim!