I am also a modest collector of vintage pocket computers and calculators. This year, with a friend, we decided, for the Advent, to show each day in turn a piece of our respective collections.
To display our joined collection nicely, I decided to transform the changing table into a display case. The former table consisted of two frames, each one with an MDF board, held by a groove into the frame. So it was mostly a matter of replacing one board by a glass plate, and putting the frames together.
Instead of using a "Sniglar" Ikea table, I guess that two large drawers could be used too.
The result is a surprisingly high quality stylish display case. It is quite heavy and very stable, hence rather meant for standing than wall-mounted.
And last but not least it is back-lit by LED bands!
Step 1: Needed Stuff
- the Sniglar Ikea changing table. Or two large drawers. Hard wood bars will do it too.
- One plate of plastic, 3 mm thick.
- L-profiled soft wood bars
- Hard wood bars
- Shelf supports
- Glass plate, cut to size by the shop
- Hinges. Ideally, hinges that can be sunken. This way, the frame can stand on the side with the hinges.
- LED bands, and dedicated power supply
- Some electronics wires
- Break-away male connectors
- Stripboard (small area, possibly leftovers)
- Spray paint, linseed oil, a few screws.
Step 2: Planning the Work
On my fav vector drawing software, I designed the shelves by drawing their cross section. So I could model the number of shelves, their spacing, slanting, and how to bind them to the frame.
Step 3: Making the Sides
Each side has one hole per shelf, in which the wooden bars will be inserted and rotate like axles.
For each shelf, there is one shelf support tightened by a screw, which I painted black.
Step 4: Making the Shelves
- One black plastic plate (3 mm thick)
- For the front edge, one L-profiled wood bar
- For the back edge (and acting as pivotal axle) one rectangular-profiled hard wood bar, slightly longer than the shelf
The plastic is sanded where the bar get glued to improve sticking.
Step 5: Fastening the Frames
Some holes for dowels remained unused, so I filled them with dowels that I cut and sanded.
Step 6: Oiling and Painting
The back board got two layers of black spray paint on the inner side.
Step 7: Adding the Hinges
The position of the holes were carefully drawn.
With a special drill bit, the holes were bored. Then the hinges were screwed.
Step 8: Adding the Latches
Step 9: Adding the Glass, Final Assembly
Then, the glass plate is carefully washed and inserted into the grooves of the front frame. Finally the last side gets tightened.
Basically, the display case is finished.
However, having opted for a black inner color, there is a lot of reflections on the glass, so an inner backlight looks very necessary.
Step 10: Adding Lights
The LED bands that I found consist of 1 meter strips of transparent plastic, containing LEDs (connected in parallel by groups of 3 LEDs in series) and their resistors. The backside of the bands has adhesive foam. The bands can be powered in series or in parallel with a dedicated 12 V supply.
Because they are meant to be directly connected together, I had to use some extra wires, break-away male connectors, and small pieces of stripboard to solder properly. A jack on the backside allows to plug the power supply.
All must be carefully tested to avoid shorts, before plugging the power supply!