Building Trophy Cases

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Basic Design

  • The basic design of a trophy case is simple. It involves a floor and a frame of four upright two-by-four boards or metal rods. The back wall is made of solid plywood, while the two sides can be made of plywood or glass. The front is always made of a sheet of glass. This sheet can be held in place by the two two-by-four boards, as long as a channel is routed into them. The top can be plywood or glass, depending on where the case is going to located.

Building the Frame

  • The first step is to build a simple floor for your trophy case. A sheet of plywood strutted with two-by-fours is as basic as you can get. Then you can mount the side walls, which can be built using two-by-fours or metal glass case frames bought from a metal supplier. If you use two-by-fours, mount them to the floor using metal braces. But before you do this, channel route a groove in the center to hold the glass plates.

Finding Glass

  • Glass can be bought at any glass supplier or glass store. Sheet glass is sold in many sizes and can be cut to your specifications. You can also find it in many grades (machine glass, leaded crystal, tinted glass, etc.) and each one will vary in price. Be sure the type of glass you buy fits the case you build. If your glass is going to be inside of a door, it should be very light, because it will be on a hinge. It should not be more than 1/4 inch thick. If the glass is not going to open and is partially load bearing, it should be at least 1/4 inch thick and preferably 3/8 inches thick.

Buying a Trophy Case

  • You can also buy metal and wood trophy cases from suppliers and vendors who sell cases for the home and for retail watch dealers, jewelers, schools and other businesses. These companies sell pre-built cases that you can have shipped to your home and install them yourself. They include wall mount, floor cases and custom designs.

Time Considerations

  • Building an elegant trophy case requires a great deal of work. You can get as elaborate as you like but it will require woodworking skills and tools. You will need a route to create grooves and joinery as well as molding for the case. You will also need braces to glue the pieces together and have a large workshop to store your project as you build it.

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