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Thread: Display case for model train – need an idea

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    22

    Display case for model train – need an idea

    Up until now I have pretty much only build quick items for the garage (workshop).
    Now with a week of between Christmas and New Year I would like to try and build something other than just a simple plywood carcass on casters (if I can get some garage time), so I was thinking of building a simple display case for my model train.
    Something like this (#1)
    http://www.tracksidetrains.com/Graph...60-MARX-LG.jpg
    or this (#2)
    http://www.woodstore.net/allaroundtable.html

    The display case will be about 5’ long, 4” deep and .. don’t know how tall.
    I would like to try dovetail for the joinery, but I don’t have a jig, and I’m not sure I have the skill to hand cut them (never tried it), so I might end up with a simple rabbet join as #1.

    Where I need some ideas is for the door. I can’t decided if I should go with 2 sliding plexi glass doors, or if I should have a hinged frame plexi glass door, hinged at the bottom.

    Any suggestions ?

    Thanks
    Jesper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
    Posts
    4,632
    That would depend if you foresee a lot of movement in those doors.

    To me sliding doors tend to seal less the cabinet and allow for dust gettin in, besides I find them rather uncomfortable to use because you can only reach half of the cabinet contents.

    I would go for a complete door with piano hinges, or one with two vanes but with a very thin frame on the center.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    206
    I might suggest using magnets? If you build the front of the box as a single assembly (outer frame and window) and embed some neodiymium magnets in it, you should have no trouble having it stay put. Place a gasket of some sort between the box and the window, and no dust will get in at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    22
    ok, vacation time is here (oh, and Christmas - Merry Christmas ), so hopefully tomorrow I can start working on this small project. I spend last night playing around with some ideas on the computer and I think this is how I will build it.

    The overall size of the display case is approx 4x2. The sides are attached with biscuits, top and bottom have the edges 1/4" round over. Backpanel and cleat not show in the image.
    For the front I think I will try the magnets and just a thin frame (3/4) around the plexi glass. I'm thinking 2 magnets on top and 2 at the bottom.

    I purchased the material yesterday, so now I just need to get started

    Jesper
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails displaycase.jpg  

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    NorCal, USA
    Posts
    495
    Are you going to put down a cork bed and tracks and cover the bed with ballast? That would look real sharp!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    22
    >>Are you going to put down a cork bed and tracks and cover the bed with ballast? That would look real sharp!

    Hmmm, I wasn't planning to. I was just thinking of making 2 grooves spaced for HO gauge (16mm).

    Actually, now I just noticed that I should probably add a shelf at the bottom instead of having the 'rails' directly on the bottom piece, else most of the wheel details will be covered by the door frame.

    Jesper
    Last edited by jesper kristiansen; 12-24-2009 at 04:10 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Elgin, IL
    Posts
    442
    What about laying track on the shelves and have the trains sit on them?

    Randy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    22
    yeah, I might end up doing that

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,077
    With the 5 foot span I think simple sliding bypass doors would be a god idea. Glass is not expensive (if you have a glass shop nearby) and would up the appearance a bit.

    Your top and bottom could me 30% thicker than your shelves so that dados could be milled into them to hold the doors. A little wax for lube, some slip on pulls and your done. This would also give you a clear view all the way to the bottom. Or there is this type of product in plastic or hardwood.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

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