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mtdoramike

Display case for my Victory: The hunt Begins

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I'm better than half way through my HMS Victory project, which will be a donation to my local Library. I have begun looking around for a suitable display case for her and have been coming up rather short. My local glass shop no longer does display cases as custom orders, well they never really did, there was a guy who worked there that would build you a display case during his lunch hour and would take a couple of weeks to get. I had him build two for me in the past, but he's no longer there. My only other options are to have one custom made and shipped or buy a kit style display case, again custom ordered and shipped. The prices I have been quoted have been quite a shocker to say the least. The most expensive was $4800.00, $2500.00, $1200.00 (doesn't include the base nor shipping cost, shipping would be $150.00 and base any where from $150.00- to the moon depending on wood species.

 

Now the size of the case would need to be at least 54 inches long X 40 inches tall X 20 inches deep. So the case isn't for the faint of heart for sure and would be the biggest case that I have had to purchase. Now I could build the display case myself, but by the time materials were purchased, I would have close to $500.00 invested in the materials. The Plexi would be about $200.00 a sheet and would require a minimum of two sheets and would have to be special ordered from my local lumber yard. The other elephant in the room is, I sold off my routers, table saws and most of my power tools a few years ago, BEFORE I decided to tackle this project.

 

There is one glimmer in the dark shadows of my hunt though, I happened upon this ebay (yes) ebay listing when I was searching display cases. The seller can make me the case that I need for about $870.00 with free shipping. It would come in kit form and includes the base and is put together using tabs that are made into the plexiglass or acrylic. I have attached photos. This is the first I have seen of one of these style cases in Large form. Any thought on this?

 

MIke       

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Hi Mike,

 

Looks like a nice case and easy to assemble. Seems a little on the steep side price-wise though. Not too sure how well those tabs on the sides of the case would hold up over time. Looks like they may be prone to breakage, depending on how thick the plexi is.

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Looks good. A great price, much lighter than glass so a huge bonus!

Another option I've used is an aquarium shop. Ive had a couple made from a local aquarium shop that makes custom sizes. I had one recently ordered for my caldercraft Diana, and only cost me $400. Of course I had to make my own base but it's such a great price. Only downside is its glass, so needs two people to take off from the base.

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You could always cover the edges with that wood corner stuff. Silicon it in and it should add extra strength. Obviously you loose the clean lines of a simple clear display though but still would look good if matched with the base.

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I'm wondering if you could contact a firm that builds display cases for businesses or even convention type displays. Might try Google on that one. Bill

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I have tried numerous companies that build display cases for businesses, most are located quite a distance from me and either said right out "We don't do that" or the cost would be quite expensive since they would have to reset their machines blagh blagh blagh. Thanks for the link CW, I emailed him to see what he can do, but with him being located in Canada and me being located in Florida, the shipping alone would cost quite a chunk of cash.

 

I found an ebay listing for someone who has a used model display case and the exact dimensions I need who is located in Ft. Lauderdale, which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from me. But he's wanting $1500.00 for the USED case. I emailed him and offered him $600.00 for the case or quote me a better price than $1500.00 since I would have a 7-8 hour round trip drive to pick up the case. But no response from the seller.

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Unfortunately Modeller's Workshop would be about middle of the road as far as price goes. So no happy ending there. The display case is for the HMS Victory that I'm working on as a donation for my local Library as well as the display case. So the whole thing is out of pocket for me, which is why I'm trying to locate a display case as cheaply as I can get away with. The most I'm wanting to pay was $750.00-$1000.00 for the case. 

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Mike,

 

Are there any cabinet/furniture makers where you are?  We have a small shop here and I found his prices to be most reasonable.  Maybe there's one near you?

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Hey Mark, no, no cabinet makers to speak of, the only one we had in our area went out of business a few years ago. Most here just order their cabinets through Lowes or Home Depot (the Walmart's of the building trade) hhahahaha. I think I have hit up about everyone with 100 miles of me who deals with glass or acrylic and they are either way out of my price range or will not even consider it. I prefer Plexi or similar over glass since this will be going into a library around lots of children. I would hate for someone to fall into the case and get hurt. I don't mind the model, I can fix it, but an injured child I can't. My wife thinks I'm losing my mind going through all the work and expense to do this, but It's something I really want to do.

 

Mike  

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Well, I have a promising quote from http://www.abordage.com/. Their quote for a 55 inches X 40 inch X 20 inch display case to include UV treated Plexiglass with polished  finished mahogany base board and frame is $545.00 + estimated shipping cost of $130.00. Now this is a kit which requires assembly. They are located in Coral Gables Florida, which is about 200 miles south of me. I have emailed them and awaiting verification of the quote.

 

Mike  

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Mike,

 

You mentioned, above, that you no longer have your table saw, routers, and other woodworking equipment. Since you know how to use these tools, maybe a high-school shop class would take this on as a supervised project with you sharing your experience. I know that many shop programs no longer exist, but this would be the most cost-effective and fun for all involved.

 

Another angle would be to approach the board of directors of your library to see if they would procure the case for you. You ARE donating hundreds (thousands?) of hours to the project, and maybe someone has deep pockets and willingness to assist with funding.

 

The idea of tabs in the set of pictures, above, would be asking for someone to break them--just as another member has already commented.

 

Finally, as you know from your own experience, plexiglass scratches easily and must not be cleaned with anything except specially-formulated nonabrasive cleaning liquids. When I've built items with plexi, I supply a starter bottle of the right cleaning fluid. Hope this helps.

 

Bill

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 Try  Specialty Plastics, Hamilton, Ohio

 

www.CasesForCollectibles.com 

 

1 800 582 -0938

 

Ask for Angela

 

They'll make you a custom sized acrylic box with a MDF fitted base.  They're not cheap   but I've purchased a dozen or so display cases of various sizes ( up to 50 x 24x 30  for my HMS Surprise. They've been excellent in quality and customer service..

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Hey Bill,

 

Thanks for the great information. No, my high school stopped shop class long ago, for money and probably liability reasons as well. I want to supply the display case, I don't want my donation to cause them to have to expend funds that they normally wouldn't have to. Our Library is funded by the City, which after working for the City for 20 years, I can attest that they are tighter than Dick's hat band. :rolleyes: Yeah, I plan on supplying a cleaning solution along with instructions on cleaning the case.

 

Mike   

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If not mistaken Desert Sailor, I have contacted them a short time ago and inquired about a display case and they gave me a not too firm quote of $2500.00, but this did not include shipping, which they said would be quite high because they didn't sell kits, they sold and shipped display cases already assembled and my case would have to go freight.

 

Mike 

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Well, it seems the above quoted price was a tad bit too good to be true, upon further verification, I found that the acrylic that was going to be supplied was only 1/8 or 2.5mm, which I feel is too flimsy for that size case. I'm now awaiting verification of the last quote I received of increasing the acrylic to 1/4 inch upt the cost to $725.00. I waiting to see if that includes shipping and taxes or not.

 

Mike 

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I build my own display cabinets, the two pictures are 4 mm glass but the victory will live behind 2mm glass to keep the weight down, those cases were built back in 1994 and the kits are as they were when they went in. The bead for my ship case will be darker and more ornate in design but anything I choose I can use. There is now way a kit taking so long to build is to become the victim of dust.

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Edited by Paul0367

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Hey Mike, you've probably priced it already, but have you thought about going with the model ship display cases from Model Expo (wait for them to go online), then source the plexiglass sheets separately?  I did that for the case for my Badger (of course, a much smaller model), and sourced the plexiglass from Dulles Glass and Mirror who did a very nice job.  I forget how much all in it cost, but I think I got the display case from ME for about $100, and the plexiglass ran me $150 - 200 or so.  

 

I tried cutting plexiglass from Home Depot myself to save money, but I could never get it to cut/break cleanly.  After cutting my hand pretty bad on a jagged piece that did not break cleanly, I decided to just pay extra to have someone send me pre-cut sheets.

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Plexiglass is easy to cut with a trim saw and fine toothed blade, I've cut several pieces of plexi or acrylic over the years and found that you can't score and break it like normal glass, it won't break evenly. Plus if you cover the area to cut with blue or painters masking tape, mark the line to cut and use a saw guide, it cuts like butter hahahaha. The tape helps to stop the fracturing or splintering when cutting it. Yes, I have thought about Model Expo and the largest case they have is 52 inches long X 42 inches tall X 18 inches deep, which if this is inside measurements might work, but would be a tight fit considering the Vic will be right at 50 inches long and the main yard will be right about 16 inches. Plus by the time 1/4" plexi is purchased, the display will be about $800.00.  

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Well, I have another promising option. A acrylic display company about 40 miles from me quoted me with a price $615.00 for just the acrylic display BOX in 1/4 plexi. But I will have to supply the base material myself. They also recommend that I bring over the wood to be used for the base so that they can rout out a deep groove in it for the display box to be sat down into in order to help keep it from being so tippy. The box will be clear view, no wooden frame.

 

Mike   

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The hunt is over, I decided on the display case from Abordage, due to the polished mahogany base and frame with plexi and shipping totaled $870.00. They say 6 weeks to receive the display case kit. I prefer the mahogany wooden base and frames rather than the frameless clear view look of all of the other cases that were under $1000.00. 

 

I'll post my experiences with this company and the display case kit when it arrives.

 

 

Mike       

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Looking forward to your assessment Mike,... I contacted them as well and initially thought the 1/8" acrylic may be too thin. However, they are the professionals and seem to provide top notch products. Are you getting the "lit" option?

 

J

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No, no light option. I also felt the 1/8th or 2.5mm plexi was too thin, so I opted for the 4.5mm thick plex, it's a tad thinner than the 1/4" plexi, but that was the thickest they had. My only other options were way over my budget of $1000.00 for mahogany base and frame, and the other options below my budget were clear view no frames with 1/4" plexi, but either supply my own wood base, MDF base or utilize the 3/16" black or white acrylic base supplied. Now if you ask for Abordage for the larger acrylic, expect to pay about $100.00 more for the thicker acrylic and also shipping due to the added weight. But if it is everything I want, the price will be great, if not then like the old saying says "Some Times the cheap comes out Expensive" when modifications come into play.

 

Mike 

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Mike,

 

"Tighter than Dick's hat band" is a new one on me, but it conveys the concept clearly and immediately. To build interest and appreciation of your model once it's in the library (and you've probably already thought of this) an essay contest about the Victory, model ship building in general, or a variety of related topics could be conducted. You could then be one of the judges and show up the day the winner(s) are announced dressed as a period-correct member of the ship's crew (officer? enlisted? conscripted?). You might ask for a time slot when you could read sea-related stories to young one to spark their interest. :10_1_10: Sounds like fun, and when I do the same for our local library you and I can compare notes on successes and possible program improvements. Having your model in the library with your name as shipwright might even generate a commission or two. B)

 

Bill

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hahahahahaha, Thanks Bill. No, This will more than likely be the last model I'll build. Although I do have an OCcre Montane's That I bought from a fellow forum member with the intention of building it after I finish the Victory as a donation to something like the Make a Wish Foundation or similar, no one seems to be interested in getting involved with it and my budget isn't going to allow me to bare all the expense like the Library donation has. But I will not say "NEVER", so anything is possible once the Vic is finished and in place. I know the Librarian is planning a little something of an unveiling even though I told her I wasn't interested in any fan fair or accolades, if I could have donated it anonymously, I would have. But like she told me, you can't do something like this for the Library and the City and not expect them to make a big deal about it. Yep, I suppose not ^_^. The Library bought a monitor that is hooked up to a DVR, which will constantly show all of the pictures that I have sent them of the progress of the ship model as well as pictures of the real Victory and a brief history of the Victory, which will run on a loop or similar, but will be able to be paused or fast forwarded by a key pad mounted to the wall below the monitor or TV. They just got it installed, but haven't gotten it up and running yet, but when I told her I was shooting for the Victory to launch by November or December, she said she will get to work on that project to get it finished.

 

But yes, I would love to do like a story time and read a nice sea faring story. Matter of fact, that what I was doing when I met with the Librarian, it was story time at the Library and I took my 1 1/2 year old grand baby there, he had a blast.   

 

 

Mike       

Edited by mtdoramike

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Ponto, some times the professionals don't know everything and from what most of the feedback that I have gotten on this site from fellow modelers is 1/4" or like 6mm plexi is best for large to very large cases, especially if they are clear view without framing. So we'll see how the 4.5mm plexi works on a case this large. Also, if anyone else is considering Abordage for a display case, you have to realize that lead time is 6-8 weeks for completion and delivery. I believe their manufacturing plant is in Dominican Republic and the Miami office is only a drop and ship office for the US market.

 

 

Mike 

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Mike I know you have made the decision and are underway, I'm curious why you didn't consider buying the Plexiglas at Lowe's or Home Depot, they will cut it to size for free., then assemble yourself????  I have no idea what the cost of 1/4 " would be, but I bought 1/8" or my case that way and it was less than $100 for wood, base and Plexiglas.  Mine was 48x20x18

Tom

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