Military Award Pistol Display Case

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Project by Blake posted 952 days ago 3689 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years ago my best friend won a series of awards from the army. The coins were the first awards in the series, followed by the knife and the Colt 1911 pistol engraved “NCO of the Year” by the army. He had asked me to build a display case for them and I finally got around to it.

The frame is built out of Padauk with inlayed banding. The items are “french fit” into a multiple-layered bed of 1/4” plywood sheets with the shapes cut out on a scroll saw. It is lined with stretched blue felt.

The frame is reinforced with hardwood splines and steel miter nails in several layers. The “glass” front is actually ‘unbreakable’ Lexan set into construction adhesive. The back is screwed into place with 12 stainless screws. A security cable is attached to the back and can be bolted to the wall. These all make for a “medium security” case. In other words, it is made to seriously slow someone down who might think of taking it off the wall. The recipient also has a home security system (and no children yet).

There is a desiccant tin built into the middle of the box to control moisture and prevent the pistol from rusting. Several “channels” run different directions in various layers of the plywood sheets to aid in air movement to the desiccant. The middle of the desiccant turns green when it is saturated and only needs to be baked in the oven to re-activate it. I included a plastic “window” in the back of the case so you can see when the desiccant changes color without opening the case (you can see the small round widow in the last photo).

Did I leave anything out? Oh yea, I am also including the appropriately sized lag bolt and stainless washer which the security cable attaches to and also the case will hang from.

He is out of state, and since I can’t send it to him in the mail (because of the gun) he will have to wait until he is in town to collect it. So these photos are his Christmas present.

Merry Christmas, Dave.

-- Happy woodworking!

16 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3075 posts in 1540 days

#1 posted 952 days ago

The is a very nice display case. the inlay banding complements the padauck very nicely.

All the security measure will definitely slow down any Thief.
What impresses me is the moisture controll system.

Merry christmas!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View MShort's profile


1724 posts in 2024 days

#2 posted 952 days ago

That’s a GREAT looking display case Blake. Well done!!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View a1Jim's profile


112002 posts in 2183 days

#3 posted 952 days ago

Nice work blake.

-- Custom furniture

View Ken90712's profile


14848 posts in 1794 days

#4 posted 952 days ago

Blake what a cool story and great display case. Nice work, I always love looking at paduak. Hope you and your family have a great Christmas.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Rick's profile


6455 posts in 1638 days

#5 posted 952 days ago

VERY NICE WORK Blake!! I’m sure your friend will be pleased!!

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Maveric777's profile


2687 posts in 1682 days

#6 posted 952 days ago

Handsome top notch work Blake… Brother you never fall short of perfection. Very cool project!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View mmh's profile


3334 posts in 2328 days

#7 posted 952 days ago

Beautifully done and with a unique design.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View konaman's profile


75 posts in 2237 days

#8 posted 952 days ago

i really like this case, great workmanship

View HamS's profile


1128 posts in 995 days

#9 posted 952 days ago

Very nice work.

As a retired NCO I am aware of the significance of the NCO of the Year honor and this display is a fitting way to exhibit the tokens of that honor. I salute your friend.

-- My mother named me Hamilton, I have been trying to earn my nickname ever since.

View bob62's profile


160 posts in 1223 days

#10 posted 952 days ago

This is a very well thought out project! Good Job!

-- Robert, Mississippi,

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

324 posts in 1736 days

#11 posted 952 days ago

Nice job Blake!

-- Dale, Ohio

View NormG's profile


4007 posts in 1609 days

#12 posted 951 days ago

That is some project and very nicely done, thanks for showing the assembly

-- Norman

View ShopTinker's profile


873 posts in 1374 days

#13 posted 951 days ago

That is a very nice display case. It would appear that you thought of everything when designing it. Your a good friend.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View BTKS's profile


1967 posts in 2070 days

#14 posted 951 days ago

Excellent work and support for a fine Soldier! Give him our best when he collects his treasure.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Roger's profile


14177 posts in 1410 days

#15 posted 949 days ago

a very nice display box Blake

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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