I’d appreciate advice on something I want to make for my dining room
ceiling. I want to make something like an oversized oval serving tray,
only the outside bottom and sides of which will be visible (painted a
particular blue). This would be an oval 36 inches by 54 inches, with
the sides about four inches high. The purpose of this is to hang three
lightweight pendant lamps from it, so those can be centered over my
dining table. The big oval is big enough to extend to an off-center
ceiling electrical box, which can’t easily be moved (concrete slab
ceiling). I’m an apartment dweller with only hand tools, a jigsaw, and
a power drill. My tentative plans:
=Plot an oval on a computer plotter, mount that lightly with spray
adhesive on the Masonite, and cut the oval out with a jigsaw, then rasp
and sand that to be as close as possible to a perfect oval. I thought
Masonite would be the easiest to make really smooth. Would thin plywood
or drywall or something else be better?
=Put a 4-inch strip of veneer around the perimeter, gluing it to blocks
spaced every few inches around the top inside perimeter of the Masonite.
These would probably be dominoes or child’s block’s from the dollar
store (something that’s already cut perfectly square). Where the veneer
strip ends join, should I put an 8-inch piece of veneer on the back side
across the joint (imagine it glue side to glue side, though veneer this
wide may not come preglued) to make sure the curve is smooth and the
ends don’t separate? Seems like I should put a bead of glue all around
the inside where the veneer meets the Masonite oval. How do I keep the
glue from seeping through to the finished bottom side?
=Run three or four ribs across the oval, glued to the dominoes and to
the Masonite. Then put a couple of stringers between each set of ribs,
also glued to the Masonite. This framework is to keep the Masonite from
sagging or corrugating. Should that be balsa or just regular 1x4s? Is
there something simpler? I thought about using the aluminum Ts used for
suspended ceilings, but couldn’t think of how to attach the Masonite.
=Fill (very little, I hope) the corners where the veneer strip joins the
Masonite, sand lightly, and paint the outside and drop the pendant
lights on cords from this platform. Then put four lead anchors in the
concrete ceiling and somehow suspend the platform (probably with
squeeze-type gate latches).
Thoughts on how to make this easier or better?