Any ideas on how a girl can convert a gun cabinet to a china cabinet?

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Forum topic by aimeew posted 08-12-2013 07:03 AM 3069 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1745 days

08-12-2013 07:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cabinet shelf shelves help advice

I recently inherited an oak gun cabinet from in-laws who were moving to Florida. We don’t have guns, and if we did, we would put them in something more secure. This is a nice cabinet though, some one made it by hand, not in some factory shipped to the US from China. It would make a nice China/Kitchen cabinet. I would like to put shelves in the cabinet, preferably glass, but I could do oak as well. I know a lot about finishing wood, but not much about building or converting. I know this is something I can do, I just need a bit of someone else’s expertise to get me on the right track with this project. Thank you for any help you can offer!

8 replies so far

View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 2245 days

#1 posted 08-12-2013 11:29 AM

Buy some Chinese guns? Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 08-12-2013 11:46 AM


If still interested, could you send some photos? There is always a way to do things but it would help to see what you have.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2495 days

#3 posted 08-12-2013 11:47 AM

If you could post some photos it might be a bit easier for someone to suggest something. It’s noot too hard – once you have the photos on your computer just click on the “img” button at the top of the text box and point add them in. Press the preview button before you’re done just to make sure that they have all been added correctly.

Good luck

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Don W's profile

Don W

18707 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 08-12-2013 11:52 AM

As stated, post some pictures. You’ll get a lot of help and ideas here.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2954 days

#5 posted 08-12-2013 12:25 PM

“We don’t have guns, and if we did, we would put them in something more secure”
Smart statement! Wish everyone on the forum had that attitude.
Conversion should entail taking out the bottom and top racks and putting in shelving of oak or cleats or pins to hold the glass. As mentioned, a picture of the cabinet and interior would really help.

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1811 days

#6 posted 08-12-2013 01:37 PM

As stated before, some pictures would be a big help. Knothead has it right both with his comment and advise. Years ago I worked for a small company that made gun cabinets. I’d have to laugh if it was one I made.

-- Fredj

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3540 days

#7 posted 08-12-2013 01:41 PM

I would opt for glass shelves. Just line drill shelf peg holes. A shelf peg jig can be bought at or one could just use peg board to follow as a template in order to drill shelf peg holes. After drilling your holes, take some measurements of the opening size, subtract 1/8” from that and use that measurement to cut glass. I would call in my measurements to the glass company. Ask for 1/4” glass, indicate this is for shelving and request the edges to be polished and dressed so no one gets cut. I would add a light kit. Remove the top/bottom gun holders. Maybe have a mirror cut that fits the back side of the cabinet.

These are just random ideas that come to mind. Maybe something you like, maybe not. But certainly a Curio cabinet would have shelves to hold those items you wish to display. Shelves could also be cut out of wood but I don’t think they are as nice looking for Curio cabinets.

-- .

View aimeew's profile


3 posts in 1745 days

#8 posted 08-12-2013 02:21 PM

Wow! Thanks guys. I wasn’t expecting such a response. I will work on getting photos of the cabinet posted today. I have some errands to run this morning, but should have them posted by this evening. Thank you again, I am very appreciative of all your help. Fredj, I believe this cabinet was purchased in the Roanoke/Charlottesville area of Virginia. By the looks of it, I don’t think it was made by a company, more like an individual. The knobs that open the doors are not even, there is a gap in between the doors. I can open the locked cabinet without the key by turning the key hole:) You’ll see when I add the photo’s.
~Hope the day finds you well.

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