How to Build a Display Case

Clear display case with wood base
What You'll Need
1/8 inch thick Plexiglass
Band saw
Methylene chloride adhesive

A display case is an excellent way to show off your collectables. It focuses attention on them and gives you the chance to let people see them in their best light. You can always buy a display case but it's much more fun and cost-effective to make your own. It’s not difficult to do and only requires a small amount of skill.

Step 1 - Plexiglass

stack of plexiglass

The case part of the display case will be made out of 1/8 inch Plexiglass, which will sit on a wooden base. To make a display case that’s 12 inches by 8 inches and 8 inches deep, you need to measure out three pieces of plexiglass that are 12 inches by 8 inches and two that are 8 inches by 8 inches.

Step 2 - Cutting

Having marked out the sizes, you need to cut the plexiglass. You’ll be able to do this most easily with a band saw, which should give a sharp, clean cut. However, if you don’t have access to a band saw, you can use a circular saw as long as you have a fine blade attached. Make sure that wood is kept very steady.

Once the pieces have been cut, you’ll need to use sandpaper on the edges although you need to be careful not to scratch the other surfaces. Make the edges as crisp and even as possible.

Step 3 - Glue

rows of clear display cases

Now comes the tricky part of the process! You now have to glue the pieces of plexiglass together. You have to use the right amount of glue which should be enough to hold everything together. However, don't use so much that it smears across the viewing area.

The glue of choice for this is methylene chloride. This is because it melts the plexiglass a little and ensures a stronger bond. Start by joining one end piece and once side piece. Do it around the straight corner of a piece of wood to ensure the angle is at 90 degrees. Hold the pieces together until they bond firmly then allow to dry.

When this is done, repeat with the other side piece and the end piece, once again making sure the pieces are at 90 degrees to each other. Once the pieces are dry, glue them together to make a rectangle, remembering to check the angles once again.

Finally, you will need to attach the top of the display case. To do this, dry fit it to ensure it goes on correctly. Remove it and run a very thin bead of glue along the edges of the rectangle of plexiglass. Place the top on and weigh it down with books so it will secure into place.

Step 4 - Plinth

With a wood plinth, you have a choice of making it slightly smaller that the display case or slightly larger. Take a piece of wood that’s 12 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. Sand it smooth and stain to the color you desire. Allow to dry completely then put the display case on top.