Military Award Pistol Display Case

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Project by Blake posted 12-23-2011 07:19 AM 4263 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


3100 posts in 1682 days

#1 posted 12-23-2011 07:27 AM

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


1729 posts in 2166 days

#2 posted 12-23-2011 07:47 AM

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


112883 posts in 2325 days

#3 posted 12-23-2011 08:15 AM

Nice work blake.

-- Custom furniture

View Ken90712's profile


15304 posts in 1937 days

#4 posted 12-23-2011 10:38 AM

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


7312 posts in 1781 days

#5 posted 12-23-2011 11:44 AM

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

-- How long is a Minute? That depends on which side of the Bathroom Door You're On!

View Maveric777's profile


2691 posts in 1825 days

#6 posted 12-23-2011 03:00 PM

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

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View mmh's profile


3480 posts in 2470 days

#7 posted 12-23-2011 03:35 PM

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


76 posts in 2379 days

#8 posted 12-23-2011 05:29 PM

i really like this case, great workmanship

View HamS's profile


1224 posts in 1137 days

#9 posted 12-23-2011 05:36 PM

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 1365 days

#10 posted 12-23-2011 08:26 PM

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

-- Robert, Mississippi,

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

359 posts in 1878 days

#11 posted 12-24-2011 01:43 AM

Nice job Blake!

-- Dale, Ohio

View NormG's profile


4510 posts in 1752 days

#12 posted 12-24-2011 07:15 AM

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

-- Norman

View ShopTinker's profile


881 posts in 1516 days

#13 posted 12-24-2011 06:31 PM

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


1971 posts in 2212 days

#14 posted 12-24-2011 09:37 PM

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


15305 posts in 1552 days

#15 posted 12-26-2011 06:40 AM

a very nice display box Blake

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

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