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Monday, March 28, 2011


MIA stands for missing in action. Maybe my present situation would be more of a case of missing WHILE in action. OK! Bad joke. There have been many times in the past that I didn't post for a while that I started getting emails from people concerned about me. I wanted to let everyone know before that happened this time that I am doing fairy well lately. I am just in the middle of a very large project. I also couldn't help but post my current progress. What you see in the photo is just the first two levels of a desk cabinet I am currently building. At the present point in construction, it stands two foot and seven inches tall. When completed, it will be over six feet in height. The finished piece will have a total of fourteen doors of different sizes, four drawers, and a fold down writing table. I'm not sure how much longer this one is going to take. I will be back with more photos when it's done though.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chippendale Buffet Cabinet

This is what has been keeping me busy as of late. This is the Chippendale Buffet Cabinet. The plans for this cabinet can be purchased here from Wildwood Designs. It looks quite intimidating to build. It really is not. It does require that you have plenty of patience and time though. The actual cabinet part of it I built in a day. The feet took me another two days to finish. The scroll work took me close to two weeks. Then it has to be finished.
Let's talked about those feet. The cheapest feet I could find that were anything close to what the design calls for were close to twenty dollars plus shipping. I also found some I really liked that were closer to fifty dollars. With those prices, and the fact that this cabinet has six feet, prohibited me from going that route though. So I made my own feet. With a little knowledge and a band saw, they really aren't that difficult. The hardest part about making them was the sanding. I use power sanders for pretty much everything. There was a lot of hand sanding on these though because of the curves that the power sander just could not get into.
As for the wood, I used cottonwood for the feet and the actual cabinet. Then I stained the cottonwood with Minwax Gloss Pecan stain. All of the scroll work was done using half inch cabinet grade plywood. After assembly, everything was then finished with three coats of Minwax semi gloss polyurethane.
I changed quite a few things having to do with the construction from the plans. According to the plans, all the scroll work was supposed to be done with quarter inch material. I done it in half inch. Also, for the thin sections near the top and bottom, you can't see them, but there are hidden cleats that help support everything. I just didn't like the weight that was supposed to be sitting on nothing but scroll work. The other changes were caused by the fact that four main plates I built using three quarter inch cottonwood. The plans call for half inch. The fact that I changed this thickness threw most all of the measurement off on everything else. It wasn't a big deal, but it did make me have to stop and think through everything as I was constructing the various pieces.
I hope you all enjoy seeing something like this. After doing the very large chandelier a while back, I realized that I really enjoy building large pieces that include a lot of scroll work. So, furniture seemed like a natural progression to me. I enjoyed building this so much that my next project is a cabinet that is larger than this one. So, it looks like it may be weeks before my next post too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Reader's Project

Some time ago I got an email from a guy named Bruce that had seen the motorcycles I have built and posted here on this blog. He wanted to build one. He and I talked back and forth for a few days via email. I offered him whatever advice I could think of on the building of the project. I really didn't know if I was much help or not, but I do try to help fellow wood workers in any way that I can.
So, I got an email from him the other day. He had completed his project. He sent a photo, but to be honest about it, I was so tired that night that I saved the photo without even looking at it. Well, I did look at it tonight and I was simply flabbergasted. In my opinion, this far surpasses anything I could have done. Great job Bruce. So what's your next project?
Any fellow woodworkers out there that read my blog, I would love to make this a regular thing, showcasing other's works as well as my own. Send me an email with photos to