Wouldn’t you like to show off all your little Lego people? Organize them? Have them watch you?
Let’s build a display case for them.
Step 1: What You Need
- Some Hardwood – I used oak
- ¼” Birch Plywood Sheet – about 20” by 30”
- Acrylic or Polycarbonate Sheet
- 1” by 1” Hinges
- Small Round Magnets
- Wood Glue, Superglue
- Table Saw
- Drill and Forstner Bit for the Magnets
Step 2: Build the Case
Cut and mill the frame pieces as shown in the drawing.
- Two Sides: 1¼” by 28” by ½” thick
- Top and Bottom: 1¼” by 18½” by ½” thick
- Eight Shelves: 1” by 16¼” by 1/8” thick
In the top/bottom pieces cut a ½” wide dado ¼” deep and ¾” from the edge. In the sidepieces cut eight 1/8” by 1/8” dadoes for the shelves, three inches apart. Cut a ¼” rabbet on the insides of top, bottom, and sidepieces. This is to glue in the plywood back panel.
Assemble the case and check the fit. Then glue the top, bottom and sidepieces together. Let dry.
Cut the plywood to size, fit into the rear rabbet of the case; and glue in place. Let dry.
Insert the shelves into the eight grooves. I apply glue to the rear edge of the shelves to permanently attach them to the plywood back panel.
Sand the front edge of the completed case smooth.
Step 3: Built the Door
Prepare the ½” by ¾” wood boards for the door.
Cut a groove on the inside edges of the four pieces (two stiles and two rails) about 1/8” deep. A single pass over the table saw blade should be sufficient to make the groove wide enough for the acrylic panel. Be very careful and use a push stick when you do that, as the pieces are quite narrow.
Make half lap joints at the corners of the door.
Dry fit, and then glue the acrylic and wood frame together to make the door. I used a little E6000 glue in the grooves for the acrylic panel; and wood glue for the half lap joints. Check that everything is square, clamp, and let dry.
Step 4: Assemble and Finish
Install the hinges on the case side, then line up, mark, and attach the door side of the hinge to the door. Make sure you properly pre-drill the holes for the hinge screws. I have broken off more than my share of brass screws when installing small hinges. The hinge screws I used were longer than the frame thickness and were sticking out on the front; so I glued on small wood blocks to cover them. A matching wood block serves as the door handle.
With a Forstner bit drill shallow holes in the case side (stile) and door frame to mount the small round magnets. The magnets will keep the door closed. Glue the magnets into the shallow holes with superglue.
Finish the Lego display case by sanding and staining or painting.
Of course you can modify the design to display other collectibles.
Step 5: Bonus
Make some extras for your Lego people!
- We have protest signs in case they want to … well … protest!
- We also have a prison in case one of them becomes unruly.
- I’m working on a lectern and blackboard, a bathroom stall, a TV, other necessities ...
Any ideas are appreciated!