Display Case - Craft Mall Necessity

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Project by Russel posted 08-01-2009 12:18 AM 2626 views 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tomorrow, Saturday, August 1th I will officially be part of the wacky craft mall industry. The initial inventory and reasoning are desribed in a blog here.

Part of my initial inventory is a collection of pens and pen/pencil sets. The problem with these small items is their ability to wander off unnoticed. To discourage the desire to roam I needed a display case with a lock.

What I came up with is a Walnut case. However, the Walnut was rather dark, so I made the back out of Ash to provide sufficient contrast to be able to see the product inside. The shelves are also Ash and held to the back of the case with glue and dowels. It stands 30 inches tall, 16 inches wide and 5 inches deep.

Now this particular case included two tasks I don’t enjoy and one I’ve never done before. I hate doing glass and hinges. They rarely, if ever, come out as good as they should. These came out functional and I’ll go with that for the time being.

I have never put a latch on anything before, let alone a lock. There were plenty of options for locking latches and I realized that I had not built the door appropriately for the type of locking latch I wanted. I thought that a simple latch that would allow a pad lock would do the trick, but the Mrs. said it didn’t look good enough. What I ended up with was a window sash locking latch that I thought was a little big, but the Mrs. tells me it looks better than a pad lock. Who am I to argue with the Mrs.?

I now have a display cabinet the will allow my pens to be seen clearly, but not allow them to wander off and get lost.

-- Working at Woodworking

25 comments so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 08-01-2009 12:47 AM

Very nice display case I like the mix of colors and the pens are very nice, what do they go for.

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 08-01-2009 12:53 AM

Hey Russel,

The case looks like it will work just fine. Like you said, the contrast is good.

Does the cashier unlock the case for a customer? Which location did you decide to go with?

Good luck my friend!!!!


-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3962 days

#3 posted 08-01-2009 01:11 AM

Thanks guys.

Rich, there will be a key with the cashier and if folks want, they’ll ask for the case to be unlocked. The Mrs. decided that the Livonia location had a better product mix so that’s where we’re at.

-- Working at Woodworking

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3453 days

#4 posted 08-01-2009 01:18 AM

Great cabinet! Love the contrasting woods. And the Stand-Up display shows the pens off very well.

Good luck on the mall.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 3464 days

#5 posted 08-01-2009 01:50 AM

Ill agree very nice contrast great job


View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#6 posted 08-01-2009 05:22 AM

Super case and pens

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mccreamark's profile


39 posts in 3556 days

#7 posted 08-01-2009 12:06 PM

Very nice work I really like the ash to light up the inside.I love ash i use it a lot .Nice pens too.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#8 posted 08-01-2009 12:12 PM

good plan; great case and bravo for following the wisdom of the wise one ;)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3962 days

#9 posted 08-01-2009 01:02 PM

Thanks all, I appreciate the kind words.

And, MsDeb, I’ve found that true happiness is best found in the happiness of “The Wise One”.

-- Working at Woodworking

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#10 posted 08-01-2009 02:00 PM

nice cab , russel ,
and more attention is gathered this way ,
the case brings you to the items within ,
and as you stated , they won’t wander .

as my friend of 30 years of marriage says ,
” to keep the wife happy , give her what she want’s “

good luck with your sales .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3962 days

#11 posted 08-01-2009 02:03 PM

Thanks David.

-- Working at Woodworking

View CaptainSkully's profile


1600 posts in 3581 days

#12 posted 08-01-2009 05:58 PM

The fact that your pens are pilfered is in some way a compliment. Nice job!

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3962 days

#13 posted 08-01-2009 06:51 PM

Thanks, Captain. I understand the possible compliment, but I’m a simple man and would much prefer they compliment me with cash. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3738 days

#14 posted 08-01-2009 07:11 PM

I did the same thing for our school open house. We display all the projects in the gym at the end of the year and this year we actually got the lathe up an running so we had pens to display. I didn’t want everyone fiddeling with the students projects, or worse yet, wondering off with them. I made mine out of cherry, but I used a white felt backing for the contrast.

I also used a piano hinge instead of barrel/pin hinges, which I think might be more durable for the moving from show to show that you might do. Another option I tried out for some shadow boxes is the cylinder hinges. They look great when it is closed.

Any way you look at it, this is better than what my dad used to use at the flea markets for his coins. A 1×6 plywood box with a piece of plexiglass that covered the top with a hinge and padlock. He spray painted it with gold paint.

Good job.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3962 days

#15 posted 08-01-2009 09:38 PM

Thanks tooldad. I never considered a piano hinge, but looking back (I love hindsight) I’m thinking that’s what I’ll use in the future for this type of project.

-- Working at Woodworking

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