Card and tuck display

When you want something done right, gotta do it yourself!

Card and tuck display

Unread postby ryzellon » Sat May 31, 2014 1:04 am  

I was looking for a reasonably economical way to display some of my favorite cards and tucks. Since I don’t have the money or space for uncut sheets, I designed a simple display from common hardware and materials. At the simplest, it is two sheets of plastic bolted face-to-face, using longer bolts at the bottom that double as a stand:

Specs for the small, card-only display:

2 sheets of 8” x 10” polycarbonate @ 0.093” thick ($4.24 ea). Acrylic would have been cheaper, but that was the only stuff available in the size I needed at that hardware store.
1/4” nuts & bolts:
  • 2 x 3/4” bolts
  • 2 x 3” bolts
There were also washers I grabbed from the plumbing section. They had padding.

fed52 500px.jpg
fed52 500px.jpg (227.8 KiB) Viewed 1903 times



I aim to have enough room to display five cards, but with larger sheets I can fit in more cards (a joker, a double backer, etc.). In order to display the tuck, I bolt on a smaller, tuck-sized sheet at one corner of the larger sheets:

Specs for the larger card + tuck display:

The larger display with tuck was sized so that I could get two displays out of a single sheet of 20” x 32” 0.093” thick acrylic ($15). The display as photographed, however, had 1/8” thick large sheets and 1/16” tuck sheet. (See below for the shop’s “inability to follow directions.”)
  • 2 sheets of 14” x 10” acrylic (or 13” x 11.5” for something that’ll fit in a medium flat-rate USPS box)
  • 1 sheet of 4” x 5” acrylic
  • 2 x 3/4” bolts (the upper corners)
  • 3 x 1-1/2” bolts (all corners of the tuck, except for the bottom, outside corner)
  • 1 x 3” bolt (“foot” opposite the tuck)
  • 1 x 4” bolt (“foot” at the corner of the tuck)
If the tuck is much thicker/thinner, or if the plastic is much thicker, then the lengths of the bolts will need to accommodate the difference. The two “feet” are probably the most annoying to get right: the bolt going through all three layers of plastic needs to be longer than the other “foot” by the thickness of the tuck plastic sheet + tuck.

The bolts are from the hardware store bulk bins, but I got some nylon washers and nuts so that there’ll be less marring of the acrylic. (Ebay, ~$9 for 100 of each, shipped.) Not that it would likely make a difference, since the bolt/nut is going to cover any scrapes they make when the display is assembled. When buying the bolts, especially if it’s from a bin, check to see if the threads are marred. Trying to screw a nylon nut over non-aligned threads is a pain. Going over it with a metal nut, or sheer brute force, will often straighten the threads out, but save yourself the trouble in the first place. It’s extra annoying on the long bolts if the threads near the head of the bolt are screwy and you don’t discover it until you’ve already spent forever spinning the nut.
Emperor 1000px.jpg


Display 14 x 10 lrg.jpg


Notes and thoughts...

Given that the prevailing stereotype of collectors is to never even take decks out of the cello, I assume that this purported majority will have no interest in this display. Anyone who’s willing to open up a deck can weigh the risks of damage/exposure himself. The most risk I see is in the holding of the tuck. With some cards removed, there’s potential that over-tightening will distort the tuck, especially at the corners. I probably wouldn’t use this display on super rare decks, but there’s really nothing in my personal collection that I wouldn’t just open up and play with the cards.

On fabrication:
  • You may be able to find fabricators who can do the job for you for a reasonable price. Despite my pride at being pretty handy/crafty, I ended up going this route because (1) it’s shedding season and there’s two long-haired and one short-haired cat in the house, (2) the largest flat surface available has a curved edge, making it less suitable for snapping the plastic once scored, and (3) the ratty old drill I have is not really good for getting perpendicular holes.
  • The quotes from fabricators to cut and drill the display varied enormously, and few of them addressed all the information I asked for (est. price for 1, 3, 10 units, and est. shipping to my zip code). It ranged from $80 to $15 per display, but most were in the $45 range. (Not including shipping.)
  • When requesting quotes, I noticed some pretty frustratingly high shipping prices. I re-designed the dimensions so that the display sheets can be loaded in to a medium flat-rate USPS box (box: 13-5/8” x 11-7/8” x 3-3/8”). The modified dimensions only affect the large sheets: 13” x 11-1/2”, rather than 14” x 10”.
  • Be aware of the price/quality balance if you opt for outsourcing the fabrication. I went with a local shop that had low prices, along with a marked inability to follow directions. They managed to completely screw up the project on their first attempt: got the orientation of the tuck sideways, the tuck sheet was half the thickness it needed to be (if anything, one of the large sheets could have been 1/16” but not the small sheet!), they made a single unit when I requested two units, and the holes were drilled too big. But then again, with a rate so much lower than any of the other quotes, I went into it expecting less-than-stellar quality. If I went with quantities of 10+, the laser cutting shop would have been in a similar price range, but it would have been about double the price at the lower quantities. At least I was given a 30% discount on the screwed up display: I can use it to display a horizontal tuck. (But I don’t have one worth displaying yet.)
  • Acrylic brand names include: Lucite, Perspex, and Plexiglas (single “s”). They’re all the same thing: polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).
  • Extruded plastic is much cheaper than cast plastic. For my purposes, extruded was fine.
  • Anti-glare and UV-resistant coatings greatly increase the price of the plastic. I opted not to go for them. The next step up, if I wanted to go fancier, would be using specialty plastics for the front and tuck panels, skimping on the back panel.
  • Acrylic is great to cut with a laser cutter (bonus: beautiful edges without routing/sanding/polishing), but polycarbonate is best cut with a water jet. CNC/saws work fine on either.
  • Plastic sheets (both acrylic and polycarbonate) cut fairly easily. A plastic cutter ($4-7) simply scores a groove, and then you snap it along the groove. The most difficult parts are maintaining a straight score, and not accidentally scraping something you shouldn’t. It’s much easier and forgiving than cutting glass, but very similar principles apply. (Though the plastic is not going to separate along the full length of the score all at once like glass will when you use a grozer.)
  • The stuff also sands easily. 300 grit sandpaper and a bit of elbow grease will smooth out jagged edges/sharp corners.
  • I’d like to mill off a lot of the threading on the longer bolts. I found it tedious to spin the darn nut all the way up/down a long bolt when I only need the top inch or so threaded
  • I’d personally prefer to use standoffs rather than bolts, though, if the cost weren’t astronomically higher. The bolts do emphasize the DIY nature of these displays, and I’m proud of that, but the minimalist nature of the displays would look much slicker with steel/aluminum standoffs. (Also awesomer with a cable suspension display.)
  • Perhaps using significantly thicker plastic would allow more interesting routing of the edges. A pronounced bevel may look good. But that also means the edges need to be much cleaner, and I don’t have a blowtorch here but I don’t want to pay the extra for flame-polishing.

On assembly:
  • Plastic sheets often come with a paper or film covering.
  • When bolting everything together, I had to remove the coverings on the inside faces. All faces that I could still access from the outside I left protected until the unit was fully assembled. I did peel up the corner under the tuck, but only enough to clear the tuck: I left the rest of that film on until final clean up. The film was easy enough to stretch, so once everything was bolted together, I started peeling the film off. When I reached a bolt, I gently loosened it and stretched the plastic film over the head, re-tightened the bolt, and continued peeling.
  • Removing the paper/film will often create a ton of static electricity. This’ll attract dust/fur. It also makes the cards stick to the surface of the plastic when laying them out. On the smaller polycarbonate display (which I assembled in winter), the cards practically leaped out of my hands and on to the sheet due to the static. I had opted to skip the “get in the bathroom and run the shower for a few minutes to de-dust and de-static the room” method. I have enough problems with the cards warping in the ambient humidity.
  • Anti-static guns exist.
  • Anti-static guns are expensive.
  • Oh. That weird brush with radioactivity warnings on the box I found in the library storeroom years ago was an anti-static brush. Too bad I didn’t keep it. The ones without polonium don’t work very well.
  • Theoretically, the bolts don’t need to be too tight, since there’s so much surface area in contact between all the layers. Unfortunately the larger sheets may bow, making it harder to maintain enough pressure on the cards (especially towards the center) to keep them in place if moved around/jostled. If left on a shelf, it should be fine, though. The smaller display has shown no signs of letting the cards shift.
  • I wonder if introducing a slightly concave bow to the larger sheets of acrylic will make it hold the cards more securely at the center.
  • Are there other ways to introduce a little extra pressure/holding power?
  • Would more precise cutting of sheets/holes reduce/eliminate the issue? (I.e., how much of the gap was exacerbated/created by the less-than-accurate fabrication?)
  • I haven’t quite come up with a good solution yet, but making sure the bolts are not loose, especially the one on the tuck closest to the center of the display, can help.
  • This means that the small sheet of plastic needs to be pretty stiff. 1/16” will flex if the bolts are tightened. A small bit of flex, though, isn’t really noticeable.
  • Maybe relocating the tuck to the center of the display (or, at least, centered along the bottom edge) would introduce enough bolting pressure at the middle of the larger sheets to maintain adequate pressure along all surfaces. I’m not sure I like that, though, since it introduces more holes and bolts. It might look too cluttered.
  • In order to neatly arrange the cards, I made a template that I could print and lay under the display sheet. The template was made in CAD to ensure precise rotation, placement, spacing etc. I placed everything so that the template could be printed on standard letter sized paper, even though the display is bigger than 8.5” x 11”. In theory, if I aligned the printed template with the bottom left corner, all the cards would have their outlines visible, at least in part, on the template. Due to discrepancies in printer margins, though, I found that it took a bit of tweaking to get the sizing and placement right. All in all, this made it much easier to arrange the cards in a symmetrical/regular pattern than just eyeballing things. (Though I did wing it for the placement of the Ace/Joker, but even then it was centered to the display and at the same level as the tuck and double-backer.)
  • Using a small weight to hold cards as I placed them in the right place helped prevent shifting what I’d already done. I had some small cubes of wood (1”, or so), a tube of chapstick, and an eraser employed to keep things in place as I went along. Even a (metal) nut or two did a good job stabilizing the cards. I placed the weights vertically where possible to minimize touching of the cards, and to make it easier to pick up the weights.
  • If placed on a stable surface, the display will also stand upright without leaning on the bolts at all. It’s not precisely rock-solid when balanced like that, but in a house without pets/small children/earthquakes, it’ll probably stay up.

Getting more elaborate

I’ve always loved the look of cable/rod suspension systems. It would be interesting to do a two-sided cable/rod suspension with multiple displays.

suspended display.PNG
suspended display.PNG (30.33 KiB) Viewed 1903 times


With more horizontal space, a checkerboard pattern might work to display more decks (two columns sharing one cable/rod between them). I’d have to figure out how to attach the displays to the cables/rods, though. The pre-fab hardware doesn’t look like it’ll integrate with the design as it stands, currently: it’ll be a problem near the tuck. If, however, I extend one (or both) of the larger sheets horizontally, then the hardware can be attached to the margins. It looks kind of cluttered, though, to have the bolts and the hardware attaching things to the cables. If the displays are light enough that a single pair of fasteners towards the top is sufficient, then the top two bolts could be reconfigured to be the points of attachment. If the cable is thin enough, I can just drill holes through the lower bolts to accommodate the cable.
Last edited by ryzellon on Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
ryzellon
Member
Novice
Novice
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:18 pm
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby Sher » Sat May 31, 2014 1:11 am  

Wow, this is a really awesome and detailed instruction set for DIY display. Thank so much for this! I'm sure members here will find it really useful. :D
User avatar
Sher
Moderator
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:00 am
Location: Guam, United States
Country: Guam (gu)
Has thanked: 49 times
Been thanked: 81 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby sinjin7 » Sat May 31, 2014 1:22 am  

This is really awesome, I appreciate the detailed instructions and illustrations. I open my decks, so this is very useful for me. I especially like the large cards and tuck box display with its 3D effect. Thank you for sharing.
User avatar
sinjin7
Member
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: California
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 479 times
Been thanked: 598 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby caramelo » Sat May 31, 2014 10:50 am  

Very nice work.
Very complete instructions and a great display solution.
caramelo
Member
Apprentice
Apprentice
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:25 pm
Country: Portugal (pt)
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby chach » Sat May 31, 2014 9:21 pm  

Very nice, but my only concern is the overlapping cards. With the pressure caused from the sandwiching, overtime they'd be prone to deforming the doubled up portions of the cards. Nothing that couldn't be fixed by rearranging the cards a bit of course and I really like the idea do putting the tuck on display as well. Would make a great display for the desk at work and can be changed out easily enough.
WTB/WTT: Vietnam Era Bicycle Secret Weapon Deck
User avatar
chach
Member
Grandmaster
Grandmaster
 
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 2:22 pm
Location: Armpit of California
Country: Australia (au)
Has thanked: 234 times
Been thanked: 273 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby Mike Ratledge » Sat May 31, 2014 10:00 pm  

Really great and detailed write-up! Looks very good, as Sher noted especially for those of us the "Do It Yourself" things... Thanks!
>Mike<

"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself"
Moderating in moderation...

Members are encouraged to
Show Us Your Cards!


Dondorf "Hundertjahrkarte" (1933)
restoration sets still available:
Late Backers Link
Decks produced & gilded by
Cartamundi, Restoration by Lotrek


UC members help maintain Portfolio52
THE Playing Card Database Online
Contact ecNate for details and access


UC2018 decks by Rick Davidson
"DeNovo" Funding on KS (click here)


>>> UC Deck Sales <<<



Insert disclaimer here...
All information posted as fact is accurate at the time of posting to the best of my knowledge.
User avatar
Mike Ratledge
Site Admin
Card Oracle
Card Oracle
 
Posts: 5166
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:25 pm
Location: Awendaw/McClellanville (Charleston county) S.C.
Country: Denmark (dk)
Has thanked: 1708 times
Been thanked: 509 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby ryzellon » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:02 am  

Thanks, all. I love to share this sort of info, and it's nice that the effort isn't wasted. (The blank, "who the hell cares?" look I get in response to most of my labors of love gets a little wearing.)

chach wrote:Very nice, but my only concern is the overlapping cards. With the pressure caused from the sandwiching, overtime they'd be prone to deforming the doubled up portions of the cards.


No doubt it's something to keep in mind, and something that could be a problem in theory, but with my display specs and how I've assembled them, it's a very, very remote risk. I'm not too worried about damage for a number of reasons:
  • These are decks I'd happily play with, so not things I am concerned about keeping pristine. They'd be more beat up from whatever else I'm doing with them.
  • In most instances, the overlapping sections will be pretty close towards the middle, and that's also where there's going to be the most "give" between the sheets.
  • A sharp tap was able to shift pretty much all of the overlapped cards on the large display, even the cards closest to the bolts. If anything, there's not enough pressure on the card faces.
  • It's possible, I'm sure, to configure the bolt holes and the thickness of the sheets to really put pressure on the cards. It's probably overkill, though: not much pressure is necessary to hold the cards or display purposes. Even the super-loose arrangement on the large display was sufficient, absent jostling.
  • After 5.25 months in the 8" x 10" display, the cards from the white Reserve deck are pretty pristine. I can't tell which way they were oriented in the display (no discernible deformation). Even butted up against a straight edge, I can't see the bends I'd expect to see if the cards were deformed from the pressure. Looking at the surface with a lighted 10x loupe, I can't see any marring or distortion of the finish, either. You'll have to take it on faith when I say that I do enough detail/fine/precision work that if I can't see it, the vast majority of people won't be able to, either.
  • For funsies, I pulled two more sets of 5 cards from the rest of the deck and looked at the three stacks end-on.
    cards stacked.jpg
  • The cards from the display are noticeably less warped. Perhaps the display acted like a card clip? I'll load the cards back into the deck and let them sit for a few months and see (assuming I remember) if there's any differences once they've all been in the ambient humidity a while.
  • Perhaps if the cards were left for years in a pretty tightly clamped display, there might be some issues. I would expect sun-bleaching, or something light-related, to be a bigger problem than warping the cards, though.
Depending on what the dimensions are, yeah, it wouldn't be hard to set the cards up without overlapping at all. My configuration for the Emperor cards could have easily been straightened out to eliminate gaps. The 8x10 display, though, doesn't have enough space to accommodate five cards side-by-side. I haven't tried a non-overlapping arrangement yet, but I have a suspicion it won't hold very well 'cause the cards at the center won't have enough pressure to keep them in place.
ryzellon
Member
Novice
Novice
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:18 pm
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby chach » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:45 pm  

Sounds like you have the bases covered, love how you did a lengthy detailed study on the effects, that's awesome! I have a few baseball cards that have been sandwiched in plexiglas (or something like it) for 20 some odd years and there's no ill effects to them and you've pretty much abated my fears of the overlapping portions. I'll be building some of these pretty soon for sure.
WTB/WTT: Vietnam Era Bicycle Secret Weapon Deck
User avatar
chach
Member
Grandmaster
Grandmaster
 
Posts: 1981
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 2:22 pm
Location: Armpit of California
Country: Australia (au)
Has thanked: 234 times
Been thanked: 273 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby Widdee » Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:31 pm  

As cool a display as I've ever seen. Nice work!!!
User avatar
Widdee
Member
Ace
Ace
 
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:35 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby sprouts1115 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:14 pm  

@ryzellon - First time seeing this. I like it. It needs to be dummy proof. I see you want to show the 5 cards. The AoS, Major Joker and the back of card. That's 8 cards I have to arrange. Any way to mold the Plexiglass on the back side to fit the 8 cards? There would not be an issue of the cards being squashed together. You have a fundamental flaw. May I suggest a thin plexiglass stand under the tuck box. More bolts I guess? With 8 cards missing in the box I don't want to squash my box. Besides if you want to show off you deck because you opened it. I'm surprised you didn't get more hogwarts from here. Ppl don't open their decks here; It's a sin. You can just tilt the stand back and the deck will slide out like magic. Then you can show off the rest of the deck because you opened it. Blasphemy!!
Attachments
Screenshot 2014-09-19 17.16.53.png
Screenshot 2014-09-19 17.16.53.png (242.46 KiB) Viewed 1522 times
RussellSprouts
User avatar
sprouts1115
Deck Artist
Grandmaster
Grandmaster
 
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:05 am
Location: san antonio, tx, usa
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 96 times
Been thanked: 109 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby ryzellon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:29 pm  

Glad you like it. The goal wasn't to create a dummy-proof display, though, it was to come up with something that a reasonably handy person could assemble out of common materials with minimal fuss and expense, or something that would be relatively cheap and easy for a fabricator to make for you.

So for the recesses... well, sure, you can always machine away material. It would add exponentially to the difficulty and cost, though. I would need some pretty specialized tools to do it, though. Alternatively I could make cutouts on a very thin sheet of plastic and sandwich it in, but it would still require tools beyond a drill, and would be pretty visible in the assembled display (unless the cut edges are polished). Recesses would also dictate the number of cards and their positions. I might want to squeeze in an extra card, or skip showing the joker, etc. With the current design, I just lay a different paper template under the sheets and arrange my cards accordingly. Changing to a different arrangement just means using a different template.

And squashing the box: I just grab cards from some other deck--ad cards, whatever. (I got plenty of open decks!) There's a fair bit of surface friction holding the tuck in place so it doesn't have to be super squeezed. I did consider a ledge under the tuck, but again, it greatly complicates the construction. Sure, a little strip of plastic isn't complex, but given how easily you could assemble a display from off-the-shelf hardware components, getting and attaching that little bit of plastic is a big deal. I could run a bolt directly under the center of the tuck, but I'd want some way of removing or padding the threading on the bolt so as not to mar tuck.

I hear the "collectors neeeeever open their decks" line all the time, but I'm not convinced that it's as dominant a viewpoint as it's made out to be. Certainly no one has given me any grief about my preferences to open and play with my cards.
ryzellon
Member
Novice
Novice
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:18 pm
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby montecarlojoe » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:30 pm  

Jeez Sprouts, ryzellon went above and beyond here - really no need to piss on it because you think it might be a bit hard. You have the basics here (and in enormous detail) - if you want to mod the design to help arrange the cards then go ahead, and then post what you did - that's CONSTRUCTIVE.

You even suggested a solution, and teh tuck box is a no issue - you could pad it with any scrap card. Put your ideas into practice and show us how it goes.

For the record I open MOST of my decks.
User avatar
montecarlojoe
Moderator
Legendary Member
Legendary Member
 
Posts: 2529
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:10 am
Location: Portsmouth, England
Country: United Kingdom (uk)
Has thanked: 257 times
Been thanked: 295 times

Re: Card and tuck display

Unread postby ecNate » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:34 pm  

montecarlojoe wrote:Jeez Sprouts, ryzellon went above and beyond here - really no need to piss on it because you think it might be a bit hard. You have the basics here (and in enormous detail) - if you want to mod the design to help arrange the cards then go ahead, and then post what you did - that's CONSTRUCTIVE.

You even suggested a solution, and teh tuck box is a no issue - you could pad it with any scrap card. Put your ideas into practice and show us how it goes.

For the record I open MOST of my decks.



Yeah sprouts, that was a bit much. You do realize this is a DIY that he offered all specs for and no charge even, it's not going to be a commercial product. Feel free to modify the designs and make it your own.
User avatar
ecNate
Member
Legendary Member
Legendary Member
 
Posts: 2046
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:46 am
Location: Wisconsin
Country: United States (us)
Has thanked: 397 times
Been thanked: 403 times


Return to DIY Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest