Attach Gun Display Case to Base - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-04-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Attach Gun Display Case to Base

Good day. I've tried to exhaustively search for an answer on this forum, but can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

I am in the planning/drawing phase of building a gun display cabinet with a base and have been trying to figure out the best way to attach the top cabinet to the base. I don't want to use pocket screws and do not want to have any visible fasteners. The back of the piece is designed to be against a wall, so it will be all one piece of oak ply, attaching the top and the base together. I do not feel that this would be sturdy enough and am looking for additional ideas. I've toyed with the idea of adding threaded inserts to the bottom of sides of the top piece, screwing them from underside of the base's top, but not sure how well that would hold (maybe okay as long as I have the back secured well enough to both the top piece and base?).

Thanks for any input.

Jeremy
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-04-2019, 04:26 PM
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welcome Jeremy - what part of the country are you in ?
if you update your profile with location, it would be convenient.

you asked:
I've toyed with the idea of adding threaded inserts to the bottom of the
sides of the top piece, screwing them from underside of the base's top,


I have built several gun cabinets where the top display cabinet sat on top
of the base cabinet that had drawers, etc.
I connected the two just as you thought. just wood screws up through
the top of the base cabinet. it is plenty secure enough (if you use enough screws).
if you want it to be removable, threaded inserts would work well, as you indicated.
do you have a design or sketch already to work from ?
looking forward to seeing some of your projects when you are ready.
(USN-RET)

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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 12-04-2019 at 04:29 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-04-2019, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, John. I updated my profile...still trying to navigate this, so thanks for that reminder.

I am designing the cabinet now in SketchUp. It will be a 10-gun cabinet (5 long guns on each side) with adjustable shelving in the middle to accommodate hand guns. I would prefer to have the whole piece permanent, so using screws from the base to the cabinet, as you mentioned, is a logical and good idea. I am also donating it to a charity raffle, so I would like it to be as secure as possible, so when the new owners move it, it is nice and rigid and any fear of it coming apart is mitigated by a securely fastened cabinet to base.

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post #4 of 10 Old 12-05-2019, 11:05 AM
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Caution- open cabinets are an invitation to theft. AMHIK.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-05-2019, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Caution- open cabinets are an invitation to theft. AMHIK.
Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear on the plan of the display case. The cabinet and base will both have doors with locking mechanisms; while not a "safe", it will be marginally secure, at least.

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-05-2019, 12:11 PM
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You are calling this cabinet a "display cabinet." Is it or is it not a display cabinet? A display cabinet will use glass to a large extent, or else the guns will not be displayed. You could purchase glass that is smash resistant, but it is very expensive. I know, I just wrote a check for $2,600 yesterday for a hurricane proof window.


I do not think this would go over good at an auction. A cabinet of ordinary glass would not be considered secure.



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post #7 of 10 Old 12-05-2019, 03:33 PM
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this is the "style" of gun display cabinets I made back in the '70s and '80s.
the common wood would be red cedar or cherry. occasionally red oak.
Name:  Gun Cabinet.jpg
Views: 48
Size:  39.4 KB

I had a friend that owned a glass company nearby and I purchased my
custom cut glass from him. I always used the laminated tempered glass
with the plastic film in the middle or the gold chicken wire between the
two panes.
normally, it was just the simple desk type of key lock. just to keep the
kids out, not from a burglar.
on some, I installed a simple 1/8" aircraft cable (painted black) that went
through the trigger guards and discreetly wound down the insides of the top
cabinet into the inside of the base cabinet and secured with a padlock.
this was a full loop cable - the ends were not connected to an eye bolt with
screws that could be easily yanked out with a stout tug.
so a burglar would have to haul the whole cabinet outside to get away with it.
and no, this was not designed to be a "gun safe" it is a "display cabinet".
you can argue "home security" and "home invasion" all day long - but let's not.

the original question was how to secure the top cabinet to the base cabinet.
there are several methods as options - let's hear yours.

and for the screws to marry the two together, I would suggest a flat washer
style of screw - or use washers with the screws you use.
similar to the GRK screws that are often used in furniture making.
Attach Gun Display Case to Base-grk-screws.jpg.

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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 12-05-2019 at 05:29 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-05-2019, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Meier View Post
Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear on the plan of the display case. The cabinet and base will both have doors with locking mechanisms; while not a "safe", it will be marginally secure, at least.
If it's wood, it is easy to break the door. Locks are for honest people. In 20 years, our Hunter Education booklets have moved from trigger locks to stating that a safe is the best way to prevent theft. From my experience, I take several minutes in my classes to give the details- 12 guns gone, 3 were my grandfather's. Our retired sheriff is a member of our Sunday School class- "Anything that delays the thief is a plus. They want to be in and out as quickly as possible."

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-06-2019, 10:46 AM
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I think the screws John suggested would be appropriate for attaching the top to the base. I'd probably use way too many just to be safe. That said, I'm of the mindset that the days of gun display cases are probably gone. I'm not even thinking so much of the theft issue as the "keeping firearms out of the hands of the curious and/or untrained." I just read a tragic news story again yesterday about a small child getting his hands on a parent's firearm and accidentally shooting a sibling. A display case, even with a lock, just isn't secure enough in my mind. I just personally don't think I have the emotional fortitude to deal with that if it happened with a firearm displayed in a case I built.

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post #10 of 10 Old 12-08-2019, 09:07 PM
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Over 4,000 firearms are stolen EACH DAY in the USA. Do the math. As I mentioned, mine were gone forever. There are those who want to hold gun owners responsible for a crime committed with a firearm stolen from them. One could do like the Clint Eastwood movie where the bank's safe was enclosed in a cabinet.

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