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Thread: Building N-Scale Display Case w/ Jalousie (Louvered) Window Panes as Shelves

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    Default Building N-Scale Display Case w/ Jalousie (Louvered) Window Panes as Shelves

    I have been thinking for a while that I would like to have/build a display case. Hate having everything hidden away in drawers (and running out of drawer space).

    My thinking led me to consider the possibility of using jalousie windows (louvered) window glass panes (example) to make the shelves in the case since I was thinking that this glass might be available cheap or free if someone had removed a louvered door or window. It also seemed like it would be a good size -- decent length and 3" or 4" or so would make a nice shelf (could either set locomotives on a diagonal or could have two rows of trains, possibly with the back raw raised up a bit). Anyway, looks like I found some relatively inexpensive salvaged pieces of glass like this (17 pieces 30" long x 4" wide/deep).

    Has anyone done something like this?

    I assume if I simply cut slots/notches for the glass to rest in 5/8" or 3/4" wood on either end and provide a support point in the middle in front and back this should be strong enough to hold a bunch of locomotives (and easily freight or made-up trains). I might also cut a slot across the whole back panel (although that requires a thicker / heavier wood across the entire back).

    I am also wondering about how to stand this up or mounts this -- gonna be heavy and shallow. Probably best to screw it to the wall but I hate putting holes in my walls.

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    How thick is the glass? If it's 1/8", the 30" span should be OK without any intermediate supports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhampton View Post
    How thick is the glass? If it's 1/8", the 30" span should be OK without any intermediate supports.
    Thanks -- I am not sure how thick it is (will measure when I get it). I know these are pretty thick generally (self-supporting in a normal louvered door / window situation) and the ones for sale from Home Depot as replacements are 1/4" thick. I will post again once I get the glass -- picking up tomorrow night.

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    I don't see why this won't work. I would build the wood frame such that there is an edge in the front to block the glass shelves from sliding out. You would install the shelves from the back and then slide in a sheet of wood for the back. Once sealed up, no matter how you shake it the glass shelves won't slide out.

    As for mounting, I would mount through the entire case so no matter what direction you bump the case (accidentally), it won't move. Take a look at the picture below of the case I built from scratch. Those two black dots are screw head covers. The entire case is mounted on mollys into the wall. You can bump it in any directions and not movement at all. The key is absolutely no movement so nothing inside slides off or out

    Also, if you can imagine my shelves being glass, in my design you would glue a 1/2" x 1/2" strip on the left/right edge from top to bottom. The glass shelves would slide into tracks cut with a dado blade on the two side. The strip will prevent them from moving. The back panel you can slide in and use screws to the main frame, thus "locking" the shelves in. The back panel will be removeable so that you can pull the shelves out for whatever reason.


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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    Take a look at the picture below of the case I built from scratch.
    That is really great looking. what type of wood are the shelves and outside made from?

    One of the reasons I wanted to use glass for the shelves (in addition to letting light through and low cost) is that I am not confident making something that looks really finished / polished (figured glass is already 'finished'). I have some 3/4" pieces of oak that I might make the outside frame out of (although they may not be long enough). I am getting 17 pieces of glass so if I put 4" between shelves (enough to maybe put a raised level in back to double the number of levels) I will have a roughly 6' tall cabinet.

    Maybe I am better off making two cabinets that are around 3' tall x 30" -- then I could put them over-under or next to each other.

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    I build mine using leftover 1x material. I cut it wide enough for Kato unitrak to fit on shelves. Piece of 1/4" ply for back. Piano hinge on top. Cut slot all the way around the door, inserted plexiglass. Handle at the bottom to open up.

    20161127_162708 by Adam Henry, on Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    That is really great looking. what type of wood are the shelves and outside made from?

    One of the reasons I wanted to use glass for the shelves (in addition to letting light through and low cost) is that I am not confident making something that looks really finished / polished (figured glass is already 'finished'). I have some 3/4" pieces of oak that I might make the outside frame out of (although they may not be long enough). I am getting 17 pieces of glass so if I put 4" between shelves (enough to maybe put a raised level in back to double the number of levels) I will have a roughly 6' tall cabinet.

    Maybe I am better off making two cabinets that are around 3' tall x 30" -- then I could put them over-under or next to each other.
    I just measured my case since I made it years ago and forgot. It's 21" x 41" outside dimensions. Don't ask me why it's in such a weird dimension! Now that I look back I honest have no idea why. My suspicion is that it fits nicely proportion wise to that section of wall. As for what type of wood, I got them as a closeout at my local Home Depot back then. $2 a piece for 4" wide by 48" long and finished on all sides except on one long edge. It's 1/2" particle board laminted with really nice Formica. They originally sold it for making drawer sides for DIY'ers. So I bought all of them (they didn't have much left).

    With my table saw I made a big outside frame and trim each piece separately to fit inside the frame, both length wise and depth wise. I was going to lay flex track so the locos can sit on them. But then I thought why add cost when I can make my own 9mm "track" spacing. So I groved each shelf to have its own "track". You can see it in this close up and also the Formica finish.

    Last edited by kingmeow; 13th Mar 2018 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Spelling and grammar

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    BTW, the 30" length of glass is kind of on the short side to use alone but too long to have two per shelf side by side - makes a 5' long case. Unless you have a big empty wall.

    Also, be aware that most plexiglass (assuming you are going to use that for the doors) longer than 48" on the long side tend to jump up tremendously in price. (Maybe that's why I limited mine to be under 48" on the long side.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    As for what type of wood, I got them as a closeout at my local Home Depot back then. $2 a piece for 4" wide by 48" long and finished on all sides except on one long edge. It's 1/2" particle board laminted with really nice Formica. They originally sold it for making drawer sides for DIY'ers. So I bought all of them (they didn't have much left).
    Now I know why it looks so nicely finished!

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    If you use hardwood like maple it would look just as nice. I did a smaller one before this with maple. Same design. Minwax poly left natural. It looked just as nicely finished. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of it and it's packed away in the basement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    But then I thought why add cost when I can make my own 9mm "track" spacing. So I groved each shelve to have its own "track". You can see it in this close up and also the Fromica finish.
    I always pleasantly amazed at the creativeness of the folks here at N-Scale.net. Well done @kingmeow!

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    All look great, nice job everyone!!!

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