Draw the design of your display case. Include the dimensions and the wood type you wish to use in the build. Hard woods such as cherry, oak or pine tend to last longer than plywood or pressed wood products, but will add greatly to your case cost.
Cut the wood to your designed dimensions. The rear panel of your case should be cut to the space desired of your case interior plus 1/4 inch in all directions to account for the width of the sides and top/bottom panels. For a 24 inch by 24 inch space, cut a 24 ½ inch square panel. The depth of the case will determine the size of the side panels, 10 inches should provide enough depth for a typical knick knack display case, so the side panels should be cut to 24 1/2 by 10 inches, and the top and bottom panels to 24 by 10 inches. For ease of construction, cut a case door panel sized 24 ½ inches by 24 ½ inches as well.
Sand the cut edges of the panels. The side and top and bottom edges can be given a beveled edge running from the exterior edge to the interior edge of the case for added visual effects. Create a beveled edge for the case door panel as well.
Construct the case by joining the rear panel with a side panel. Use a carpenter's level to make sure the panels are joined squarely. Secure the panels using 3/4 inch coated nails. Continue with the assembly by joining the top and bottom panels to the case, followed by the other side panel.
Mark the area in your panel door where you wish to install the glass pane, leaving at least one inch of space in the panel surrounding the pane. Cut a space in the case door panel to create the frame for your glass pane, cutting from the rear of the panel. Sand the cut smooth.
Cut the glass pane to the size needed, slightly smaller than the door panel frame, using a glass cutter.
Create the molding that will retain the glass within the case door. Cut the strips to size surrounding the framed hole, using a 45 degree angled cut where the pieces will meet. The molding should slightly overlap the frame hole.
Attach the molding to the exterior of the case door panel using finishing nails. Countersink the nails beneath the molding and cover them with wood putty to conceal them.
Insert the glass pane into the frame against the molding. Cut wooden dowels into quarters and fit them inside the frame against the edge of the glass to hold the pane into place. Attach the dowel quarters to the frame wall using finishing nails, concealing them as well.
Attach the case panel front to the case using hinges secured with wood screws and then attach a door handle for opening and closing the case. Finish the case with wood stain and varnish or paint as desired.
Mount the case to the wall by drilling four holes in the rear of the case corresponding to wall studs on the chosen wall. Level the case and prop to the wall using a carpenter's jack. Screw the wall in place using 2 1/2 inch deck screws with cabinet washers.
Things You Will Need
- ¼ inch wood planks
- Circular saw
- Carpenter's level
- ¾ inch coated nails
- Glass cutter
- Wood molding
- Finishing nails
- Wood putty
- Wooden dowels
- Wood screws
- Cabinet door handle
- Wood stain
- To plumb and level the case, you can use wooden shims placed at the case back between the case and wall, cutting excess shim material from around the case once it's installed