There are a variety of television shows that revolve around the collectables theme, whether it be antique or more modern collections. Almost every collector loves to show off their collections or at least parts of it to those who are interested. In this article and video we build a small wall hanging cabinet with glass door, and with battery operated motion sensitive light, precisely for showing and storing a collection.
In order to make the collection the focus, we purposely built the cabinet fairly plain, and even finished it with a dark color to help take away any distractions from the wood and the cabinet. After all, the whole purpose here is to show off the collection, not the cabinet.
This cabinet could also easily be built without the door, in our case it was a requirement, but for others it might not be so. Our cabinet was a modest 14 x 6 inches and 4 1/2 inches deep. The main reason for this size was to make something small enough that a battery operated illumination would enhance, and it did ...
The cabinet carcass was standard construction, with the exception of the joinery. For a cabinet this size, we could have chosen any one of a variety of joints, butt joints, rabbet joints, box joints but we opted to make ours 45 degree joints to utilize a prototype doweling device from Dowelmax who very kindly provided us with the tool to evaluate. We found it very easy to use, and as usual for a Dowelmax tool very accurate. We felt something like this might also be useful for smaller picture frame construction.
In the construction of the collectables case, we wanted it to be able to hang flush on the wall, like any wall hung cabinet, so we utilized a cleat (sometimes called a French Cleat) system. The advantage is it makes the cabinet easy to hang, can easily be made to hang level and is a very secure hanging mechanism. The only disadvantage, particularly for a smaller cabinet is the real estate it takes up in the back of the cabinet which makes the overall cabinet a bit deeper.
We also decided to use clear plexiglass for the shelves, in our case, only 2 shelves, but the advantage is that when the light was on, some of that light would spill through the plexi onto the lower shelf ... and it does.
Sadly, the LED light that we obtained from Amazon.com appears to have been replaced by another that no longer has the motion detector feature, but there is likely another source for this same light elsewhere on the Internet.
Update - It appears that there is a replacement light after all that is very similar to the one I used in the project. It is called the LE Under Cabinet Lighting you can see it here ... Amazon.com
The doors in our cabinet were a bit or a concern. We wanted them small enough leave a large opening through which to view the collection, but large enough to work and to be able to glue the rails and stiles together, and to attach hinges to. We decided on doors to help keep out dust, and to keep people from wanting to touch the collection. These a personal preference.
All in all, it was a fun project with many different aspects of woodworking involved in such a small project ...
Copyright - Colin Knecht