In my previous post, I went over some of the early stages of my golf ball display cabinet. In this post, I’ll go over how I actually finished it.
I have already gotten a handful of emails and texts about the project – it turns out I’m not the only one out there who thinks this is a cool addition to the house!
A lot of golf ball display cabinets feature a green felt backboard, but I wanted mine to be a solid black to avoid taking any attention away from the focal point of the piece: The logo golf balls. I spray painted it teal and allowed it to dry before applying the dark wood stain.
The frame was assembled using 45-degree angles at the corners (using a mitre saw), and here is where it became evident I need some more tools. Specifically, a nail gun and corner clamps would have come in huge.
Without corner clamps or a nail gun, I wood glued one corner at a time, using scrap wood blocks to ensure 90-degree angles at the edges. After allowing the wood glued corners to dry, I put four small finishing nails in to each corner – two on each side of each corner.
With the frame assembled, I re-sanded the sides and all visible areas again, especially the edges to bring out the natural, rustic wood look that I like. Kelly and I are both big fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show Fixer Upper, which gave me my vision for the overall appearance of my project.
I again sanded and attached the back using wood glue and nails. The pine wood I used was slightly bowed, so the backing did not attach as smoothly as I would have liked but I got it close.
Looking back now, I would have attached the shelves to the back prior to attaching the back. Hindsight is 20/20, right?
Finishing the shelves was next, and let me say it’s a long and arduous process! A drill press would have been incredibly helpful at this step, as using a hand drill for all 203 tee holes presented at least 203 opportunities to make a mistake.
I used a chalk line to mark where the drill holes would go – slightly toward the front of the finished/visible shelf edges and with 2″ in between each tee. Measuring the distance from each side that would make sure the tees all lined up vertically took a while, but ended up requiring the first hole to be drilled just under 5 cm in from both the left and right sides.
Sand over the shelves after drilling them make sure the surfaces are smooth. Also, flip over each board to make sure the drill bit did not go through the bottom. If it did, use putty to fill the hole and wait for those to dry. Once dried, I spray painted the shelves the teal color and allowed them to dry.
After drying, I sanded down the shelves again and then stained them, allowing the wood finish to dry.
Next? You guessed it: More sanding.
Sand down the shelves after the stain is dry, and especially sand the edges to bring out the natural wood underneath. Sanding this time will bring out some of the teal under-cover, and make the wood look vintage and, thus, cool.
Next, get the tees that will be used in the display and find something effective for cutting them down. It took a lot of trial and error in this part of the project, but the best tool I could find was a wire cutter and the tee length that I settled on liking best is ~ 3/4″.
Cut the tees down just under an inch each and using a sheet of sanding paper sharpen the bottoms so they’ll slide straight in to the tee holes. Try to make sure they are all straight up and down; this will be tough to fix later.
When all the tees are rudimentally in the holes, there are a couple of options for setting them. The one that I used was taking a hammer (a mallet would have been better) and pounding on them until they were all the same height above the shelf, and fit snugly. Another option is to use a hand-clamp, but after a couple of cocktails on Saturday night I had a hard time getting the clamps to put the tees in straight and went back to the hammer.
It took a while to get the distances down for the shelves. Most important, of course, is that each shelf has enough space for a ball to fit comfortably underneath the shelf above it. I wanted to have a little extra space on the bottom shelf to have slightly longer tees, but looking back on that decision it really didn’t add much appeal.
Above the taller first shelf, the other five were spaced to be around 2-3/4″ apart from one another. The important part here is to make sure you like how it looks when they’re mounted, so avoid any nailing until you know you have the spacing that you want.
I made a mistake here and start wood gluing and then nailing in the shelves right away – the shelves look alright, but could have been spaced a little more effectively.
Always make sure to wipe off any excess wood glue whenever binding the boards – this will be awful to clean later. Put weights or heavy objects on top of them to let the boards set securely, and when they are dried it will be time to get some finishing nails through the sides.
When everything is dry, flip the board over so the backing is face up, and using the chalk line mark half-way through the height of each shelf where nails will be pounded in. The scrap boards shown below were screwed in to the corners earlier to help keep the corners and the back board tight.
After the nails are pounded in, the project should be just about finished!
The last step for me was affixing a french cleat to the back frame. The french cleat I got from Home Depot was ~ $15, has a 200-pound weight capacity and was super easy to install. One piece screws in to the frame (make sure it’s centered perfectly), and the other screws in to the wall – make sure to get at least two of the wall screws in to studs – the side attached to the frame will then sit on top of the wall side, and can be moved laterally (like the old tv wall mounts that are flush to the wall)).
Finally, 32 hours of work later, my project was completed and on the wall. The last thing left to do was put some golf balls in the display… I’m at 130 now, and have room for 73 more. Mission: Accomplished.
The last issue I had involved golf balls falling off the tees – I was able to remedy this with small pliable adhesive circles from Michael’s. They actually ended up being the exact diameter of the tees, working out perfectly.
Have you ever had the urge to take on a cool golf project? If so, what is it and how did it turn out? I’d love to see pictures of other golf enthusiasts’ projects!