Featured Old homemade coin cabinet with potential

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Clavdivs, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the long post...

    My plan this summer is to build a coin cabinet.. I was thinking a small "table top" type with slide out drawers that would nicely hold a few of the inexpensive "Lighthouse" type coin tray liners (like below).
    We each have our own way of storing our coins.. I have thought about this a lot over the last year - I dislike flips very much as I like to handle my coins a lot. My plan was to number each compartment in each tray with a small "dot" sticker under the coin... this number would correspond to a binder I am building with 5X7 photos of the obverse and reverse of each coin with attributions, a paragraph or two on the history of the ruler or the coin itself (describing the god depicted or other information about the coin that makes it interesting to me.) I own about 80 coins - so this is a large undertaking - I also understand that my collection is very small compared to most here...

    Then I came across this homemade coin cabinet and picked it up yesterday for really next to nothing..
    It seems to have some age to it - it had rolling castors on it - I removed them today and the screws used seem to be from the 1950's or earlier (although I am no expert on dating the hardware - but I know enough to determine they are older than me).
    This is obviously a small piece of furniture that was converted at some point into someone's coin cabinet. I think the overall cabinet is quite a bit older than the conversion date.

    It's rough but I think it has real potential.

    My wife wanted a low/long cabinet to sit behind our couch/sofa in the basement. My current plan is to lower the cabinet about 4 inches (it was artificially raised to hide the castors underneath) - remove the top - add shelving units on either side - stain or paint, add a long top that makes it all one unit.. and hopefully make my wife (and me) happy.

    Here is the rough cabinet.. sorry terrible pictures:



    The trays themselves will also have to be completely reworked. They are flat plywood with cardboard (??) and some very thin felt added.. this just won't do. Still thinking about the best way to improve this situation.. but I will.


    There are 78 trays (3 different widths) so I will certainly enjoy attempting to fill it over the years.

    I will add to this post over the summer as things evolve.

    Does anyone else store their coins in a cabinet? If so I would love to see it!!

    adding a coin I just purchased from Ken Dorney's recent auction.. it's on its way:

    Domitian, 81 - 96 AD
    AE Sestertius, Rome Mint, 35mm, 30.75 grams
    Obverse: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GER M COS XIII CENS PER P P, Laureate head of Domitian right.
    Reverse: IOVI VICTORI S C, Jupiter seated left holding Victory and scepter.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
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  3. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    That's one great cabinet, nice pick up. Like your coin too.
    masterswimmer and Clavdivs like this.
  4. ManfredNam

    ManfredNam Non-functioning

    That is a "gem" Send us pics after restoration.
  5. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    Does anyone else store their coins in a cabinet? If so I would love to see it!!

    I've used one for years, bought it from a charity shop for £54.
    44 inches wide, 38 inches high, 6 large drawers and 26 half size drawers.
    Very heavy and even heavier with coins in.:D

    All the drawers are felt lined and I keep the coins in Lindner trays.
    It contains around 1000 coins.


  6. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Those are both awesome cabinets. I would love to have something like that, though I would barely have enough to fill a try or two haha. Looking forward to seeing the end result.
    daveydempsey likes this.
  7. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    That's really promising. Please keep us updated about how it progresses.
  8. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Great looking cabinet!!
    daveydempsey likes this.
  9. Chris B

    Chris B Well-Known Member

    I would love to find one of those. Sounds like a fun restoration project.
  10. usmc 6123

    usmc 6123 Member Dealer

    WOW. It would be a dream come true to have either one. I must try harder to even find one. I am very jealous.
    7Calbrey likes this.
  11. jb_depew

    jb_depew Well-Known Member

    Very nice. I've converted a couple of old cabinets into coin cabinets. I find that it's easy to cut and glue strips of masonite to the drawer bottoms to create the coin pockets, over which you can spray glue felt (use a bone folder like you'd use in book binding to work the felt into the corners). I like how the wool felt offers a little grip so your coins don't go flying if you open the drawer too fast. Repurposing old cabinets alleviates the issue with off-gassing of fresh wood that some indicate is an issue with new construction. I've heard some use mahogany for this reason. If I remember I'll snap some pics of my cabinet conversions later today.
    arizonarobin likes this.
  12. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Well-Known Member

    Very good advice.. would love to see some photos. I have a general plan but always looking for improvements.
    What about covering the whole bottom of the tray with felt and then overlaying a thin veneer with the coin holes already cut? I think cutting 500 perfect circles out of felt may drive me crazy :woot:... I will do a few tests and see what works.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
    arizonarobin likes this.
  13. harley bissell

    harley bissell Well-Known Member

    Beauty is only skin deep. Both of these cabinets are lovely as is. I would advise you to be very careful if you attempt to restore or beautify them. Check very carefully the effects on your coins of the chemicals you use to restore the cabinets. Your attempt to make your cabinets pretty could easily destroy the surfaces of your coins and cost you a lot of money.
    scott schultz, Paul M. and 7Calbrey like this.
  14. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    wow..the find of the century i'd reckon..kool Claudivs..:)
    scott schultz likes this.
  15. NYandW

    NYandW Makes Cents!

  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Love the stuff that you craftsmen get up to.
  17. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Supporter! Supporter

    I really love it. I am excited about your find and look forward to seeing how you fix it up! Congratulations!
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  18. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Congrats..
  19. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Supporter! Supporter

    I kept thinking about your cool drawers and I think I could (at least for now) reorganize my craftsman tool cabinet and use only the removable top part for coins. You guys know it looks like this. Mine is red though. There is lining inside but i see another special material that might be used which seems to inhibit mold, rust. Since the lining is non-slip, perhaps I could fashion some easy way to make sure the coins don't move out of place. I'm excited to keep thinking about it.

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  20. jb_depew

    jb_depew Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple of budget cabinet projects I put together. Each was around $20 plus a little more for supplies.

    The first I use as my coin cabinet. Originally it was musty-smelling, beat up, and the drawer bottoms were warped. I sanded and refinished it with shellac, replaced the drawer bottoms with masonite, and created some partitions with masonite strips, which I then felted. I have a very organized "digital catalog" using Google Keep Notes, so my cabinet isn't the pinnacle of neatness. A person could use the same technique with felt and quarter inch masonite to create individual coin pockets if desired.


    The second is a cheap Danbury Mint JFK half dollar coin chest, which ironically I use not to store coins, but stone cabochons in my lapidary shop. I replaced the cheesy etched glass with replacement glass cut at the hardware store, and tore out the coin partitions, re-felting it with the left-over felt from my other project.

    With a little elbow grease, it's totally possible to create a workable coin/display cabinet in the sub-$50 range.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  21. caristeele

    caristeele Member

    I absolutely LOVE all of these ideas, can't wait for pics. Thanks for sharing.
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