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Mini Display Shelf


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In ancient days, I saw a post of Anne's mini display shelves. It was made of a clear plastic. I want to make my own, but don't know exactly what she used, what she used to glue them together, how much it costs for a sheet (or square foot), etc. Can anyone clue me into those details?


Thank you.

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I've built several for different people - normally I use 1/8 or 1/4 inch acrylic or ploycarbonate (depending on what I have sitting around at the time and the span I need to cross).


You should be able to get acrylic locally pretty easily from hardware/window repair stores. Last I checked (month or so) it was going for about $90 per sheet...4x8 sheet. Most places sell it based off that price at a square foot cost, so $3-$4 per square foot.


The glass shop should be able to cut it to size for you...though most do charge a few bucks for that service. Figure out your sizes and go to them with your cut list. Better glass shops will also carry the capillary cement you will need to use to glue it all up. If not, you can order it from several online retailers. It is hazardous, explosize, cancer causing and every other thing you can think of though according to the label - wear gloves. The stuff I use is SC-325. A little goes a long way, I am still on my first can after doing a dozen or so display shelves and a like number of aquariums.


Make sure that when it is cut the edges are smooth and square. If they are not you will either want to have them try again - or go ahead and clean it up yourself. The stuff can be cut with normal wood working tools - though it makes a bit of a mess with the plastic shavings clinging to everything that they touch (static only, so you can get them off easily enough...they will just cling to what you used to get them off). I normally cut slightly oversized and then run the adjoining edges across my jointer to square them up and make sure I won't have any problems.


Anywho - glue up is pretty simple. Align your parts. I use magnetic clamps on a steel bench top...though most people just use masking tape along one side. Apply the glue. You don't need or want any space between the parts...it is a capillary cement and will wick in between the edges. A space will make the joint weaker.


Once everything is glued up, a bit of Mother's polishing compound on a felt bob will make the joint disappear if done right. It will also make the edges clear again (really nice effect when the light hits them).


An added finishing touch is to send the shelf edges across a bull-nose bit on a router table. Polish that up when finished and it looks extra special.



Poked around a bit (needed a break anyway) to see if I could find what you were refering to, and I figure it was quite likely this here:

Anne and Display Case


With that in mind, you would want to use a few additional items to fully flesh it out and make it like the one shown.


The first would be hinges. While I have used normal hinges on acrylic before, I don't recomend it at all - and normally will only do so if the customer requests it. If you decide to go that route you will want to drill and tap the screw holes in order to recieve machine screws. Don't try to use a wood screw with plexiglass. IT WILL CHIP/CRACK! Anywho, It does machine easily enough and you can make it look pretty slick with some stainless steel hardware, especially if you like that modern look.


The better option are acrylic hinges. $1 for a pair of normal style hinges or $2 per foot for piano style hinges. Both work quite well. Normally I will use the normal hinges for doors less than 24 inches and piano hinges for doors longer than 24 inches. They get glued in place with the capillary cement just like the sides and what not do.


One thing missing from the one pictured (they mention Scotch Tape in the thread) is a latching mechanism. This is something that I find to be very important. Keeps the doors from flopping open when the wall they are hanging on isn't quite plumb. Additionally it will go a long way towards keeping the kids off the minis. The ones I use are acrylic again and cost about $1.50. As before, position and glue.


You can get everything you need from US Plastic (I use them alot and they are pretty good). You may be able to find it locally as well, though out here at the end of the line, most things are special order if you can even find someone who knows what you are talking about.



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or you can buy one from Ikea for $60ish

Anne had told me her cases were made some time ago by Kleer Kase. They were in business until this year after changing ownership but are out of business now.

If Ikea makes a clear acrylic display case I could not find it listed on their site. Do you have a link?


Edited by thrush65
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This is the original thread with a few links to ikea display cases.. one of them, probably the one you wanted, is apparently no longer carried by ikea, but there's a much larger and nicer one for 60 bucks that's about halfway down the page that might be just what you're looking for.

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