My Dad's WWII display case & stand

  • Advertise with us
Project by wannabe12 posted 10-28-2010 03:54 AM 3407 views 10 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first woodworking project. I have always loved wood and I finally decided (at age 54) to go ahead & start buying tools to get started woodworking. When we learned earlier this year that Dad had been diagnosed with cancer, I wanted to start with something for him. He was a WWII veteran, a chaplain’s assistant in the war, and after the war, a pastor.
My wife and I had bought him a cheap shadow box to put his WWII campaign ribbons in. I decided to make him a nice display case (I used walnut) for his dog tags, campaign ribbons, Army photo, etc. I hoped to have it finished in time for his 90th birthday on April 19, 2010. I finished it the night before & presented it to him on his birthday. We thought he was going to hang it on the wall, but he wanted to put it on a table in his living room instead. I made a small podium (also walnut), to honor his life as a pastor, for it to sit on & was able to give it to him for Father’s Day , June 20. Dad passed away on June 29 and was laid to rest on July 2, 2010 which would have been his and Mom’s 60th wedding anniversary. My uncle (his brother) had just passed away in May & was also a WWII veteran. My other uncle (my dad’s sister’s husband) is also a WWII vet. I have just started on another display for him (this one will be oak and sit on top of a Craftsman style bookstand) & have some other ideas for projects after that.

-- Robbie, Laurinburg, North Carolina

21 comments so far

View kw193's profile


48 posts in 3328 days

#1 posted 10-28-2010 04:08 AM

Sorry for the loss of your dad. America has lost a lot of men from that “Greatest Generation.” That is a beautiful piece you made for him. I’m glad he got to see and appreciate it… Welcome to LJ’s.

View dan abalos's profile

dan abalos

106 posts in 3496 days

#2 posted 10-28-2010 04:15 AM

That’s cool!
Sorry for your loss. I appreciate his service to this great country.

-- Beer is the reason I exist on this earth, that and my family! (Aurora, IL) my blog:

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4420 days

#3 posted 10-28-2010 05:57 AM

You can see in his eyes he appreciated your honoring him by creating this memory….as if his life really meant something…and it did. That’s what everybody wants…to feel worthy…that all this meant something. He went to his rest knowing you thought what he did was worthy and important….and that his deeds will be cherished for future generations of his family. Nothing could be more important.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View MickeyD's profile


130 posts in 4040 days

#4 posted 10-28-2010 06:14 AM

Very nice case. Your Dad looked very pleased to receive it. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- -Willing to try

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 10-28-2010 08:09 AM

Thanks for sharing yoru work and your Dad’s story. Very nice job. Sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a great man. As Barry said, this project framed a worthy chapter in his life.

Welcome to Lumberjocks. We all look forward to seeing more of your work.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View Ken90712's profile


17745 posts in 3702 days

#6 posted 10-28-2010 10:43 AM

What a great present to honor one of our countries many heroes. Great to see you got this done for him so he could enjoy it! I’m sure it made him smile to no end!

Welcome to Lumberjocks one of the best site you’ll ever come across!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View wannabe12's profile


6 posts in 3282 days

#7 posted 10-28-2010 12:39 PM

Wow, I never expected all the comments. I am blown away. Thank you, everyone. Yes, our family misses “Grandpa Hepler”, but not for long: James 4:14, I Corinthians 15:52

-- Robbie, Laurinburg, North Carolina

View CampD's profile


1790 posts in 4000 days

#8 posted 10-28-2010 01:27 PM

Welcome to LJ’s.
That’s the greatest gift you could have given our “Greatest Generation”
God Bless

-- Doug...

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3380 days

#9 posted 10-28-2010 01:35 PM

This is very nicely done and a wonderful commemorative of your fathers service to his country. Congratulations!

BTW, Welcome to Lumberjocks; it’s a great place for wood workers of all kinds.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4407 days

#10 posted 10-28-2010 01:46 PM

Nicely done!!!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 4304 days

#11 posted 10-28-2010 02:30 PM

Sorry for your loss. I lost my dad last year 11/21/09. A Marine that was in Guadalcanal. I love the case and i’m sure he was very proud of it in the fact that you made it. I am looking for some ideas for my dad’s ribbons and flag and a version of that would be nice if you don’t mind. They were the Greatest Generation for sure.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


368 posts in 3996 days

#12 posted 10-28-2010 02:36 PM

Simply, GREAT STUFF! Say “thanks” to your Dad from me!


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3674 days

#13 posted 10-28-2010 02:39 PM

Out of the norm for a display case, and nicely done. I’m glad he got to see it before he passed. A very nice tribute. You have good design skills and finished it well. Welcome to LJ! Oh, and Robbie, I saw this on the home page but did not click on it yesterday. Later, I spent 15-30 min trying to find it again but couldn’t, not until it came up again when someone commented on it and I ‘happened’ to be watching. Could I suggest you edit and add some keywords such as ‘medals’, ‘father’, ‘display case’, ‘WWII’? :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View wannabe12's profile


6 posts in 3282 days

#14 posted 10-28-2010 05:14 PM

Again, thanks everyone. Rance, thanks for the suggestions, I am new to this & will try to figure out how to add keywords when I get home.
Bob42, I will try to contact you about where I got the ideas from. I guess there is some type of private messaging on this site & again when I am home I will look at that. I don’t remember who said that “imitation is the most sincere form of flattery”. Everything I do I’m sure is some form of imitation of what I have seen. Woodsmith magazine & ShopNotes magazine is where I have found most of my ideas.

-- Robbie, Laurinburg, North Carolina

View degoose's profile


7258 posts in 3868 days

#15 posted 10-28-2010 10:22 PM

A great tribute to an obviously much loved man.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics