Shadow Box for Trains

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Project by SubVette posted 03-06-2014 01:51 PM 2427 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to display my dad’s prewar trains, so I decided to build some shadow boxes out of poplar wood. I first had to select the lighter shades as some were green. I say this because I started this project in Virginia and then moved to Florida. This is important because I made all the cuts on a friends table saw in the winter time, and then decided to put it all together once i moved to Florida which was a few months later. Consequently it was much warmer and the wood had taken on a mind of its own. Luckily I cut enough that I could use the good straight pieces before assembling. My first lesson learned, always cut extra. I decided to build these boxes without any nails, just wood pegs. I included a picture of the side so you can see the pegs. I probably could have tried to hide them better with plugs, but I wanted to get the trains on display. I decided to keep the inside natural and clear so the color of the trains would stand out. The boxes are 30”x24”. I made three of them. I also routed out the trim using to different router bits to add interest to the front and routed out a groove in the back to hold the glass. I rabbited the inside and had the glass cut to fit. The back is clear pine and I dado cut the back so it would fit in. Stain was Dark Cherry. Hope you enjoy.
Total cost was about 100 dollars total for wood, glass and hinges.

-- John in Florida

8 comments so far

View PaulDoug's profile


2678 posts in 3153 days

#1 posted 03-06-2014 02:11 PM

Nice job. So the whole front opens?

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View SubVette's profile


202 posts in 2995 days

#2 posted 03-06-2014 02:24 PM

Yes, the whole front opens. I wanted to be able to run the train’s as well. I will probablly have to add some locks in the future to keep little hands out.

-- John in Florida

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3742 days

#3 posted 03-06-2014 04:44 PM

Very nicely done—great way to honor your father and proudly display a hansom train set.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Ivan's profile


17280 posts in 4317 days

#4 posted 03-06-2014 05:55 PM

Verry good, I have to do something for kids sport medals.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Northwest29's profile


1720 posts in 3940 days

#5 posted 03-06-2014 07:56 PM

What a super idea and very well done. I have an oldie myself down in the basement that this would be perfect for. It is a circa 1955 steam engine with cars and this would be just perfect. Thanks for the idea and inspiration. I presume the front frame hinges at the top? Did you use a piano type hinge?

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View SubVette's profile


202 posts in 2995 days

#6 posted 03-06-2014 08:11 PM

Yes it hinges at the top. I used a piano hinge.

-- John in Florida

View scarpenter002's profile


619 posts in 5355 days

#7 posted 03-08-2014 03:21 AM

Very nice job, though I must say I am more fond of what is behind the glass. :-)

-- Scott in Texas

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3625 days

#8 posted 03-13-2014 01:30 PM

Great job on that display box, very well made and like the use of pegs and dark finish. The awesome train collection deserves a beautiful home.

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