Display cabinet



When my youngest lad got married I did the usual 'Handy-Dad' bit and asked if they would like me to make something as a wedding gift. After much deliberation, they finally decided on a display cabinet. The wish list seemed normal enough, "curly type legs" (Cabriole) and a secret compartment - no worries I thought, but then came the killer requirement - PAINTED!!!!!!
Once I got over my initial shock, I realised it might be a good way to use up some bland timber if nothing else! While there was no turning involved, I had taken a few pictures and decided I might as well put it up here anyway.
I started off sizing up the frame timber from some Magnolia as it was easy to work with and straight grained. I then sized up some Sally Wattle for the base as it is strong but easy to work - and so easy to replace!
Lots of 10mm domino mortices were cut while the rails and legs were still flat stock and then all components were shaped by cutting the basic outlines on the bandsaw. This was followed up by a little bit of shaping with the angle-grinder, then micro-planes were used for some smoothing and finally a whole lot of hand sanding completed the job.
Glue up of the base was 'interesting'! but it went OK. The compartment for the concealed drawer had to be included in the glue up as it was also held in place with dominos - just in case anyone ever slips a trolley under it to move the cabinet!
  The side panels were my first shot at 'poke & stick' construction. I know this method of joining frame and panel cabinets has been used for centuries but I didn't trust it so I also set dominos in the joints as well to be sure - and they help with positioning which relieves stress while gluing up!
Note the filler used on the plywood panel surfaces in an attempt to get a smoother finish for painting.
Gluing up the carcase was easy enough and I was keen to sit the components together to see how it was going to look. The rails on the doors could have been a bit higher but it was too late to move them by that stage.
I used some White Cedar for the crown molding which machined really smoothly through the spindle molder. A combination of 3 passes with various cutters gave me the molding pictured which I was really happy with.
The back fitted, shelves sitting in place and hardware attached - all done now except the concealed drawer and painting.
I made the concealed drawer front from a piece of Veiny Denhamia which has to be the ultimate carving timber! I haven't done a lot of carving but I intend to if I live long enough and this will be my timber of choice for anything that needs to hold fine detail. Shaping this stuff with rotary tools like my Foredom is a breeze.
No point leaving the timber finish on a painted cabinet to I used Ubeaut water based dyes to colour it which highlighted the piece really well.
I didn't install the glass in the doors until it was in-situ at my sons place and I neglected to take any photos before it got filled with Hannah's crystal ware so these pics will have to do. Very happy with the finished cabinet as was my son and his wife. . . . . but I do feel sorry for the poor bugga in the future that thinks they have an antique and strips it back to reveal so many odd timbers!!!!


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