The Makings of a Custom Display Case

Jan 20, 2010 | Blog

When Ron builds a custom display case for a customer, he has several considerations to take into account before deciding on the case construction. One of these is the size the finished case is to be. If the case is small in size, a thinner and less expensive acrylic sheet can be utilized since there are less stresses placed on the sides and less chance of the acrylic warping from gravity especially on the top surface. If a case is to be large, then a thicker acrylic sheet is used which will support its weight better and eliminate the chance of changing its shape or warping.

Another consideration is the model being placed in the model display case. Since Ron builds cases for modelers of all types of items, some customers have asked for woods other than the standard solid oak that’s used in most cases. Also, the surroundings where the case is to be displayed sometimes calls for a darker wood like walnut or sometimes maple or cherry. Some customers are displaying aircraft and want a wood that has a very smooth grain to represent a smooth surface like an aircraft carrier deck or an airstrip surface. When a special wood is asked for, Ron has access to any and all woods and is always happy to oblige.

The acrylic cover is constructed from an acrylic sheet cut to the overall size of the front, back and top dimension by the width or length of the case.  The acrylic pieces are cut and formed into a finished box.  The assembly process is meticulously followed and provides a very clean and flowing finished look.

With regard to the solid hardwood bases, a piece of wood is picked for its quality when being milled. Ron chooses wood that is free from knots, warps and cracks, and has a nice grain pattern. Often a custom case requires that the base be very wide, and when this is the case, several pieces of wood must be glued together to make a board that’s wide enough to work. It is important to pick grains that work together so the finished base looks like it was one piece from the same tree.

Once the hardwood is chosen, it must be milled. This includes producing a straight edge, planning both sides to produce a flat true piece, cutting to the finished size and then routed on all four edges to produce a raised lip that the acrylic sits over. This lip keeps the acrylic from sliding around and keeps it in it’s place. The routing also produces a smooth decorative edge that makes this become a one of a kind case, and a piece of furniture that can be displayed anywhere in a home.

The last step is the finish which involves either staining the wood to a color that works for a customer’s room and other furniture in that room, or just leaving the wood natural. Then once the stain has dried for at least 24 hours, a final topcoat of oil based polyurethane is applied with two coats being used and 24 hours dry time for each. This gives the wood protection and produces a very smooth lustrous finish as well.

When you want a display case for a very special build or keepsake to be displayed in, there are all kinds of cases available. Some are just injection molded plastic, some more the kind described here and still others that are custom as I produce. What sets Ron apart is each and every one of his cases is one of a kind, made specifically for a customer’s requirements, and each is made with customer satisfaction as its most important quality. With each order Ron produces, he is the only one to work on that case and is totally committed to its quality and to the customers satisfaction with his work. The website, has several testimonials from customers that confirm Ron only produces what he would be proud to display in his own home.

In conclusion, if a model just needs to be covered, you have other options to choose with regard to a display case, but if this model is one you’ve worked hours and hours on, are proud to call yours and want it to be shown to others in a setting that says quality and pride in workmanship you must consider a custom model display case created Ron, someone like you who takes great pride in his work. An acrylic display case is more than a plastic box and when created with pride it becomes as important as the model being protected by it.

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