How to Build a Rifle Display Box

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One of the best ways to get friends and family to notice a prized possession is to build a display box in which to place the collectible. Because collectibles come in many different shapes and sizes, finding one in a retail outlet can be difficult. So the best option available to the do-it-yourself homeowner or the avid collector is to build a display case that will house the treasure in a delightful way. In this case, we're going to build a rifle display box.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of lumber, 1 by 6 by 70 1/2 inches
  • 2 pieces of lumber, 1 by 6 by 19 1/2 inches
  • 1 piece of 1/2-inch plywood, 18 by 70 1/2 inches
  • 2 pieces of lumber, 1 by 2 by 70 1/4 inches
  • 2 pieces of lumber, 1 by 2 by 14 3/4 inches
  • 1 piece of window glass 15 3/4 by 68 1/4 inches
  • Table saw
  • Variable speed drill
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • Wood glue
  • 8d finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • two 24-inch bar clamps
  • 1 magnetic door catch
  • Wood putty

Place all of the 1-by-6 inch material on the table. Drill pilot holes every 4 inches down one long edge of the 70 1/2-inch lumber with the 1/16-inch drill bit. Next, drill pilot holes down one long and the two short edges of the 19 1/2-inch lumber with the 1/16-inch drill bit.

Apply glue on the ends of the longer pieces and set them between the two shorter pieces. Secure them with the 8d finish nails. Clean up excess glue with a damp cloth.

Apply glue to the four edges of the plywood and insert it in the box where the pilot holes were drilled. Secure it to the box with the 8d finish nails. Clean up excess glue with a damp cloth. Set this aside

Set the fence of the table saw to 5/16 inch and set the height of the blade to 1/2 inch. Make one pass on one edge of each of the four pieces of 1-by-2 inch lumber. Next, mark the edges of the two longer pieces 1/2-inch from the end. Drill pilot holes all the way through the 1-by-2 inch lumber with the 1/16-inch drill bit.

Apply glue on the ends of the 14 3/4-inch lumber and place one of them between the two longer pieces. Insert an 8d finish nail into the pilot hole you drilled in Step 4. Tap with a hammer until they are all the way in. Slip the window glass into the grooves. Apply glue to the ends of the other short piece. Slip it over the glass and between the two longer pieces. Insert 8d finish nails into the pilot holes. Tap them with a hammer until they are all the way down, just as you did for the other end. Clean up excess glue with a damp cloth. Place the 24-inch bar clamps on these glue joints and let it sit overnight. This is the door.

Remove the bar clamps when the glue is dry. Install the piano hinge on one of the long edges of the door. Next, install the magnetic catch to the underside of the top of the display box. Install the strike plate on the inside of the door so it will meet the magnet when the door is closed. Install a knob or pull on the door as you desire to dress it up and for practical purposes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear safety glasses.
  • Decorative hangers can be installed on the back of the display box to hang a rifle on.
  • Apply felt to the inside of the cabinet as an alternative to paint or stain.
  • Another consideration would be to add a small light fixture inside the display box to enhance the look of the rifle.
  • Fill the gaps on the ends of the door with wood putty before staining or painting.
  • Do not raise the blade of the table saw any higher than needed to make the cut.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended.
  • Do not place the glass door in a high-traffic area while the glue is drying.

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