I have an opportunity to get three display cabinets (two are in the pictures) very cheap. A friend is retiring and selling everything in her antiques mall. These are 81”H x 41”W x 17”D. I figure I could place 24 to 27 hats in each if I add more shelves. The front door slides open left and right. The only thing that has me a bit concerned is that there is a gap of about 1/3” between the door and the cabinet do to the sliding mechanism. So the hat could get dusty. Right now I keep all my hats in boxes - one to each box. Is that enough of a concern to pass on this? Or do I pull the trigger. BTW these are Polanski and are not antique. All three are the same and I can get them for about 1/4 cost new.
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I personally love the display case idea and think it's a classy way to store and show off your hats. I pitched the same idea to the wife when I first started collecting but she quickly shot it down, so we compromised on available wall space:
Just for reference, those are 48" long with 8" spacing between.
In your situation I think 27 hats per case is a bit aggressive. You're probably looking at 24 max, and perhaps even 21 per case. Are the dimensions you list OD or inside workable space? Don't forget to factor in shelf thickness since you'll be adding more shelves. That little bit of stack up may make the difference on whether you can comfortably fit another level or not.
Theoretically you could probably do 6" spacing at an absolute minimum assuming you don't have any open crown hats to store, but then it becomes a pain in the a** to get the hats in and out. And you lose the visual appeal as a lot of the hat depth is hidden. I think the 7"-8" gap is ideal, but that's just my two cents.
If you have the floor space available I say go for it. Just make sure you post pics when you're done!