How to Build a Showcase for a Knife or Pistol

News & Tips: How to Build a Showcase for a Knife or Pistol...

BuildingShowcaseKnifePistol blogIf you ever decide to buy someone a nice knife or pistol you ought to think about building a box to add a little extra flair to it as well as a personal touch. This will be something that they can't buy at the store and will set apart your gift as something unique as well as add class to it.


Of course you will have to have some basic woodworking skills as well as some woodworking tools. At the minimum you will need a table saw, drills and even a router if you want to add a little more class.


Wood Choices

What kind of wood should you use? There are a million different kinds and they all have their own beauty but if you're going to spend the time, effort and money don't use pine. I like oak. Walnut is also pretty, and I've even used redwood a few times in the past and thought that looked good. I bet some well-colored cedar would also be cool.



The first step will be to decide how big to make it. I usually make mine about 1 1/2 inches longer than the tool. I cut the width so it looks proportionate to the layout. If you struggle with the size, cut a piece of paper and lay the knife on it. Does it look large enough?


Now rip your wood 1 1/2 inches wide. You will need four end pieces and four long ones. Cut a 45-degree angle on all ends and set together. Next set your table saw blade 1/4-inch deep and cut a line 3/8-inch from the top on all four top pieces. This groove will hold the glass.


Next do the same on the bottom but make it 1/4-inch wide groove. This will hold the 1/4-inch plywood for the bottom. Cut the plywood the appropriate size and put the four pieces together around it. Screw the four pieces together (I also glue them). Set the screw head slightly so you can fill it with wood putty.


Next, sand out any saw marks to smooth it out. Now apply the varnish. Use thin coats, don't try to pile it on super heavy. It will take two to three coats to do it properly. As with all painting let it dry properly before adding the next coat.


We are now ready to assemble the box. Buy a pc. of glass and assemble the last four pieces of wood together around it. I like to use a slightly smoked glass. I think it adds a little class to the box. While screwing the top together or if you use nails make sure you're careful or you'll shatter the glass. Now set the top on the bottom and attach together with a set of brass hinges. I then like to add four brass corner pieces to the top four corners.


When you open the box you don't want the top to fly over and flop down, so I add support by screwing on a piece of brass chain. This will hold the top when you open the box to remove the knife.


Next you have to cut a piece of 1-inch thick Styrofoam to fit in the bottom. Lay the knife/pistol on the Styrofoam in the desired position and trace around it with a pen. Remove the knife and cut out the pattern 1/2-inch deep with a knife so the knife will slightly rest in the indentation.


Now you will cut a piece of velvet and wrap it around the Styrofoam and place it in the box. I think that maroon looks elegant but this year I made a couple with black velvet and they looked really nice. I have some blue and green velvet that also would look nice.


Another thing I've thought about doing but haven't yet is to cut a few arrow heads out of bone and lay them inside around the corners of the box. That would add a little something to the package. Well, back to the story, clean the glass with Windex and you're set. It will really set off a nice knife or pistol.


Sometimes if I'm giving one to someone special I'll go to an engraving shop and have them make me a plaque to glue to the front. For example when my brother-in-law retired from the Texas Highway Patrol Department. I made him a knife out of the femur bone of a moose I killed. I built a box for it and put a plaque on it commemorating his long years of service.


They're a little tedious to make, but if you want to do something special for someone you think a lot of, your time will be well appreciated when you present them with their new gift. It will let them know that they are special and that you think a lot of them.