Building a Custom Hockey Puck Display Case

A couple years ago when I has having my basement finished I set aside an area for displaying some of my hockey memorabilia.  Actually, it was more an area so that I could start collecting the things I always said I would, as I’d kind of held off on collecting much due to space constraints.

I’d wanted to start collecting signed jerseys and sticks so I made sure to plan for those.  Along the way, though, I kind of lucked into some signed pucks that I had no plan for, so I came up with something.  I recently had to update that plan and realized I’d never written any of it down, so I figured I’d write about it here.

The problem I was looking at was that I had three pucks at the time and wanted to be able to add some more.  I also wanted the display to hang on a wall.  Most of the puck display cases available for purchase fit twenty or more pucks.  The smaller ones are built to sit on a tabletop.  I couldn’t find one that was quite what I wanted.

A mock up of how three hockey pucks fit in my hockey puck display case.
A mock up of how three hockey pucks fit in my hockey puck display case.

So I built one, starting with pretty standard 11″ x 14″ shadowbox.  The shadowbox is a little over an inch deep on the inside with a black frame and a black fabric backing.

That inch deep is important, as a hockey puck is 1″ thick and 3″ in diameter.  That also means that there’s room for three of them with a decent amount of space around them.  The pucks are positioned centered at 2 3/4″, 7″, and 11 1/4″ vertically.

Holding them in position are two 5/8″ wooden dowels, painted black and cut to about 7/8″ length.  The dowels are positioned 2 1/4″ apart, centered in the shadowbox, 1 13/32″ below the centerpoint of the puck they’re intended to hold.

The position of the dowels is what makes everything expandable.  When I got my fourth puck, I added a dowel 2 1/4″ to the left and right of the two existing center posts.  Instead of holding a puck in the center pair, I put one in the left pair and one in the right pair.  With the top and bottom rows untouched, my straight line of three pucks became a diamond of four.  Eventually the top and bottom row can be added to until the case displays six pucks.

I did make a mistake when I expanded the case to four pucks.  I cut the dowels much closer to an inch (probably measured one inch and took the line).  That mistake is one of the reasons I wanted to document this, so that next time I would know and not need to re-measure anything.  I don’t think the mistake is noticeable, though.

A photo of my hockey puck display case configured for four pucks.
A photo of my hockey puck display case configured for four pucks.

Update, 7/30/2016: I came back to build another one of these today and decided that a template for drilling holes would be nice.  It’s available for download here.