For my display cabinet, I have built this "shell" out of wood salvaged from a very old trade show booth I designed and built a long time ago, and long since retired. I have every confidence that this fire-retardant treated and sealed wood has long since dissipated any harmful fumes over the decades. As a further precaution, everything is treated with a nice coat of well-dried poly.
I will now build inserts (each measuring approximately 20x20x20 inches) with glass panels on the fronts to fit into the "bays" you see. These will be custom designed for whatever series of medals, awards or documets, etc. which will be displayed therein. Naturally, these inserts will have glass fronts; probably mounted permanently. The tops of each insert can serve to allow access to the contents; you merely pull them from the shell and reach down into them.
One insert will be fitted with canted- and cloth-lined shelving designed to hold a multitude of Iron Crosses. Another will be built with a drum inside on a little turntable, tinnies being attached to the drum, and probably to the side walls. Each insert will have strategically placed spot- or recessed lighting, depending on the requirements of the insert, dictated by the type of collectible being displayed.
These inserts will be buit from the finest woods and in a more craftsman-like manner than the rough shell you see now. They will have the advantage of adding a "second wall" to the display, and can be pulled from, and reinserted into the shell for travel, storage or just plain security (If I plan to be away for an extended time and want to remove the collection to a secure locale, I just yank out the fitted inserts, load them up, and away. This might not be a bad idea for those who travel to shows and are sick of setting up, then tearing down displays over and over.
Any lighting required will be built integral to each insert. Once an insert is slid into it's place, a power cord can be inserted through the back of the shell, which has been pre-drilled and electrified to accept this.
Until I can start building the inserts, the "best" of the collection resides in the cigar boxes you see stored in the bays. I plan only to display the best stuff and store the rest away.
As you can see, I have built the shell cabinet to encompass an old desk that my father-in-law built in the 1940's. It is a cherished family item and I plan to use it extensively to sit at and play...um...pursue my hobby! There is a 1937 "Goebbel's Mouthpiece" radio sitting on the desk, and you can see the mailbox nameplate from our old family homestead.
And yes, that's a humidor sitting to the right, stogieman, if you're out there!
Thanks for looking. I hope I've given you some ideas, especially those of you who are in the middle of building your own displays. A "mobile" collection certainly has it's advantages and the custom inserts can be redesigned/replaced/rebuilt again and again without harming the integrity of the overall cabinet.