How to Make a Watch Display Case

Written by contributing writer
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Do you have a collection of vintage watches you want displayed in a case, either at home or perhaps in your store? This article walks you through step-by-step instructions on building a portable wooden watch display case two feet long and one foot wide and two inches deep, able to hold 15 to 20 watches. All that is required in accomplishing this task is a few carpentry tools, plywood, wood stain or paint of your choice, hardware and a pre-cut piece of glass.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/2" high-quality smooth-finish plywood
  • Circular saw
  • 1/4" plywood
  • Sander
  • Wood stain or paint of your choice
  • A pre-cut piece of glass
  • One-inch wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Glue
  • Cloth lining of your choice

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    Cutting the Pieces for Your Watch Display Case

  1. 1

    Take the piece of 1/2" plywood and measure out a piece two feet long and one foot wide for the bottom of your display case. Cut this piece out with the circular saw.

  2. 2

    Measure out two pieces that are two feet long and two inches wide each from the 1/2" plywood. Cut these out for two of the sides for your case.

  3. 3

    Measure and cut out two pieces from the 1/2" plywood that are each 11 inches long and two inches wide for the other two sides.

  4. 4

    Cut out two sections from the 1/4" plywood that are each 1'11" long and 1 3/4" wide. These are part of the inset to hold the glass over the watches.

  5. 5

    Measure and cut out two sections that are 10 1/2" long and 1 3/4" wide for the other sections of the inset.

  6. 6

    Sand any rough edges off all cut pieces. Apply wood stain or the paint of your choice and allow to dry.

  7. 7

    Go to a local glass shop and have a piece of 1/4-inch-thick glass cut so that it is 1' 10 7/8" long and 10 7/8" wide for the display window of your case. Have all edges smoothed and finished.

    Constructing Your Watch Display Case

  1. 1

    Gather the four outer sides of your case and form a rectangle. Place the two-feet-long pieces parallel to each other one foot apart on their short edges. Complete the rectangle by placing the 11-inch-long pieces on each side in between the other pieces. Drive two screws through each end of the longer side pieces into the shorter pieces. You now have a frame for your display case that is two feet long, one foot wide and two inches deep.

  2. 2

    Lay the frame flat and attach the bottom of your case to it. Place the bottom piece over the frame and drive a screw every three inches into the frame through the bottom, all the way around the frame.

  3. 3

    Turn the finished section over on the bottom and gather the four inset pieces. Place one 1' 11" piece inside the case against the long side of the case so it is up on its edge. Squeeze some wood glue in between the inset piece and the side piece and press together. Repeat this process in attaching the other three inset pieces all the way around the inside of the box. You now have an inset for the glass that is 1/4" deeper from the outer sides of your display case.

  4. 4

    Cut your cloth to fit across the bottom of your case and up the 1 3/4" sides of the inset pieces. Spread glue over all surfaces inside the case and carefully attach the cloth. Allow to dry.

  5. 5

    Set the piece of glass on the insets inside the case. The glass will be even with the top of the four sides.

  6. 6

    Your new watch display case is now ready to use.

Tips and warnings

  • If you plan on removing the glass on the top of your case for frequent access, you may want to add a small handle or lever to one edge of the glass if the space around it isn't big enough get your fingertips into it in order to lift it out.
  • Be cautious when using power tools.

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