How to get a custom display case built?
June 9, 2011 6:10 AM   Subscribe

How should I go about finding someone to build a custom guitar display case?

My stepfather was a musician. He died suddenly a couple of weeks ago, and after discussing with my mom what to do with his guitar, the urn and a few other mementos, I think we've come up with a winning idea, but I have no idea what it'll cost, or what kind of professional to contact with the work.

The readily available, 'mass market' guitar display cases that collectors use are never deep enough for the urn. I was actually thinking something a bit bigger, like a large table top thing, with the guitar upright, urn in front, room for a CD/LP or two, and his organ donation medallion.

What kind of craftsman makes items like this? Is it carpentry? Even though it'll be mostly glass? (at least the front anyway) How do you find a reputable one?

Is this going to be in the thousands? or just a few hundred dollars?

(I can't do it myself. Mom would appreciate it, but I'd see every imperfection ever time I saw it)
posted by DigDoug to Society & Culture (5 answers total)
My first thought is a frame shop. I've seen them make things like shadow boxes and framed glass cases for folded flags and such. This would be just sort of a larger size shadow box. Maybe larger in scale than they're used to, but might be worth a shot.

Will probably be pretty pricey anywhere you go though.
posted by j03 at 6:18 AM on June 9, 2011

Best answer: This would be done by a furniture maker or a better-than-average custom cabinet maker. It is outside the skillset of most (but not all) people who call themselves carpenters. Prices will vary widely with your location and the maker. If you get a student at a woodworking school to take it on, it would probably be in the several hundred dollar range. A shop that's actually making its living doing this would probably charge $1-2K. A successful studio furniture maker serving an affluent market could ask much more, but would probably be a poor choice if you've already worked out a detailed design that you like.

(FWIW, I do this sort of work occasionally. I'm good at the craft, but it's tough to make money at it.)
posted by jon1270 at 6:26 AM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I should probably have mentioned that I'm guessing at the cost of work that's on par with what I do, which is fine furniture-caliber stuff. If you're just looking for a larger version of an inexpensive particleboard and melamine case, then the prices above are likely to be off by quite a bit.
posted by jon1270 at 7:01 AM on June 9, 2011

Seconding a custom furniture/cabinet maker for this. If you have a good-sized music store in your area that sells vintage guitars it's quite possible they might know of someone who does this for collectors.
posted by tommasz at 8:28 AM on June 9, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks guys.
posted by DigDoug at 9:56 AM on June 9, 2011

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