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  1. #1
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    Jun 2014
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    Default "Wall Wart" Cabinet in Two Walnuts

    I'm getting very little shop time these days, so I'm doing a dreadful job of documenting the process. Unfortunately, this is a good example of that. I have zero WIP photos of this build. It's also a big part of why I'm less active on the forums in general. I truly hope one day it changes.

    This build began as several others have... because I got a new tool and didn't have anywhere to put it.

    I bought a 1920s era Stanley No. 8 for 75 bucks. Since they can bring silly prices up to $300 on eBay, I couldn't turn it down. It was in great shape and required very little restoration work to bring it back. Unfortunately, that put me in a situation where I needed to make space for it in my plane drawer, which was, by some miraculous stroke of luck, JUST long enough by about 3mm for the plane.

    There were two planes in that drawer which took up a lopsided amount of space. They were the router and plow planes. These planes are unique among others because they have interchangeable blades, thereby causing them to require more real estate than just for the plane itself.

    So I set about devising a way to get them out of the plane drawer, along with their myriad of blades and accessories. The solution was simple: A small cabinet with a "french fit" drawer for the blades. This would be what I call a "knock together" job, meaning I was going to make it as quickly as I could and wasn't going to spend a bunch of time fretting over materials. I would still cut all the joints by hand, etc, but I would do it as quickly as I could. I had five days and wanted to have it done before I had to leave town again for work.

    Another thing which would be unique about it was that the depth of the cabinet would be its major dimension, meaning it was going to stick out from the wall a distance greater than it was either tall or wide. I guess maybe I've seen that before, but it's pretty uncommon from a design stance, hence the name "wall wart".

    I had recently built this table using QLD Walnut (Cryptocaria palmerstonii) and Yellow Walnut (Bielschmeida bancroftii), so I had offcuts, including the resawn mate of the Yellow Walnut I used in the table, so I had the perfect size boards to make the carcase and internal parts.

    At this stage I'll just post photos and describe it (sorry, it was sunny outside and the ambient light made the pics a bit washed out)...

    IMG_1626.JPG

    That's the completed cabinet. It's about 225mm square and 275mm deep. Full dovetail construction, frame and panel front, and grooved in back. The carcase is Yellow Walnut and the panel is QLD Walnut. The latch is Lace SheOak from WA (Allocasuarina fraseriana. Thanks, dusteater). The frame of the door has a small, roundover and fillet moulding which I scraped using a scratch stock and coped at the corners using a carving gouge.

    You can just barely tell on the top at the back that I've plowed my grooves for the back "right through", as Charles Hayward would put it. If you've ever read my previous posts I always complain about having to make stopped grooves in everything I build and this time I said NO. I draw the line here. I just took em right through, leaving some square holes in the end grain of my rearmost dovetails on the top and bottom of the cabinet. The cabinet hangs at head height anyway so they'll never be seen, but if some day I just can't stand it then I'll plug the holes. I doubt that day will come...

    IMG_1628.JPGIMG_1629.JPG

    The internal divider is a installed with a tapered, sliding dovetail joint which is only dovetailed on one side. This went together well. The drawer is a QLD Walnut front and American White Ash (Fraxinus americana. Super cheap and readily available quartersawn here) secondary parts. The hinges are from Horton Brasses (highly recommended).

    The pull is leather. This was something which came to me during the build and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. When the door closes it folds down perfectly in the recess behind the panel, leaving the drawer to sit perfectly flush with the front of the carcase.

    IMG_1630.JPG

    The drawer insert was a fun exercise in carving, chopping and routing that took about an hour and a half or so. The wood is American Cherry (Prunus serotina). This was an offcut that I scavenged during my brief foray into professional cabinetmaking.

    IMG_1631.JPG

    And so it hangs on the wall in quite warty fashion. Using a french cleat, of course. The only way to fly.

    IMG_1632.JPG

    And so the number eight found its home among its brethren:

    IMG_1750.jpg

    And they all lived happily ever after.

    The End.

    Cheers,
    Luke

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vic
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Maddux View Post
    You can just barely tell on the top at the back that I've plowed my grooves for the back "right through", as Charles Hayward would put it. If you've ever read my previous posts I always complain about having to make stopped grooves in everything I build and this time I said NO. I draw the line here. I just took em right through, leaving some square holes in the end grain of my rearmost dovetails on the top and bottom of the cabinet. The cabinet hangs at head height anyway so they'll never be seen, but if some day I just can't stand it then I'll plug the holes. I doubt that day will come...
    That's Great to read Luke . Music to my ears. A good sign of someone who knows what the **** is going on with woodwork even !

    Stopped grooves , Stopped rebates. Its not Done generally in good design.

    The top of the cabinet could have been mitered just at the back to hide it maybe. Just in the depth of the groove. Doesn't matter though. The most important thing is you dropped the dumb stopped groove idea.

    Rob

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
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    68
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    6,686

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    Luke

    That is a terrific build and thank you for the detailed pix. I am guessing it is very removable in the event you have to up sticks and take your toys elsewhere. I am increasingly a big fan of these bespoke cupboards and I cringe when I think of the way the vast majority of my tools are stored.

    I was wondering also how easy it is to pick up the blades from their recesses. If it is a bit fiddly, a short piece of dowel about 75mm long with a magnet glued in the end makes life easier. I have several of these lying around for those commercial organiser trays where my fingers cannot get into the smaller sections. Needless to say, it has minimal benefit with brass and stainless steel . Doh, I said it!

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by auscab View Post
    That's Great to read Luke . Music to my ears. A good sign of someone who knows what the **** is going on with woodwork even !

    Stopped grooves , Stopped rebates. Its not Done generally in good design.

    The top of the cabinet could have been mitered just at the back to hide it maybe. Just in the depth of the groove. Doesn't matter though. The most important thing is you dropped the dumb stopped groove idea.

    Rob
    Thanks, Rob. Yeah, I'll do whatever I can to avoid them, but something tells me I'll have to do battle with at least one more some day...

    I had honestly never thought about mitring the back corners. That's a great tip, thanks a lot. I'm going to build a small hanging cabinet for someone's house soon and I think I'll use that.

    Cheers,
    Luke

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    Luke

    That is a terrific build and thank you for the detailed pix. I am guessing it is very removable in the event you have to up sticks and take your toys elsewhere. I am increasingly a big fan of these bespoke cupboards and I cringe when I think of the way the vast majority of my tools are stored.

    I was wondering also how easy it is to pick up the blades from their recesses. If it is a bit fiddly, a short piece of dowel about 75mm long with a magnet glued in the end makes life easier. I have several of these lying around for those commercial organiser trays where my fingers cannot get into the smaller sections. Needless to say, it has minimal benefit with brass and stainless steel . Doh, I said it!

    Regards
    Paul
    Thanks, Paul. Yeah, I love having an organized shop, and, as you know, with a growing tool arsenal (I avoid the word collection...) the need for storage arises. Maybe you should put a couple of those saws you have to use and knock something together!

    They recesses aren't particularly deep, but that is a very good idea. I may have to borrow it in the future.

    Cheers,
    Luke

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