Moving On.

"Moving On" Completed 11/13.

Built with knotty pines and black cherry for the case, doors, and back. Rosewood and Bloodwood exotics trim out the details. The interior drawer fronts are spalted maple.

 The wall cabinet is 31 1/2" tall, 17 1/2" wide and 8 1/2" deep.

The exterior is finished with two coats of Watco Natural Danish Oil followed by a hand buffed paste wax top coat.

The interior is finished with burnished in beeswax using the polissoir method rediscovered by Don Williams. With the exception of the drawer fronts which received the same Danish Oil and Wax treatment as the exterior.

 Though the piece was inspired by the work of James Krenov. I was compelled to add some of my own flair. Lately I have been experimenting with the linings of boxes, particularly with paper. I will hand marble my own paper, and infact I did so for the interiors of the drawers, but the doors required larger pieces of paper than I have been able to turn out.

I found the lining for the doors at an area art supply store.

It's difficult to be objective about a piece when you've finished it so recently. I would call this the most ambitious and challenging thing I've produced, and then there is little wonder why I feel the near insatiable desire to nit pick the whole thing to death. As I look at it I can see every detail I missed, see different design decisions I should have made, and see every wayward straying of both hands and tools.

Still, I believe it has accomplished the overall goals I set out for myself in the beginning.

1) To build a case piece ala Krenov that would push the boundaries of my abilities in design and execution by stepping outside my comfort zone. .

2) To use materials I had been "saving" for a long while.

3) To build without a measured drawing or even a completed plan in place from the start and complete the process from "The Point Of The Tool" with minimal use of a linear measuring device. Instead I tried to let the material help dictate the outcome of the piece.

I titled the piece "Moving On" because that is an apt interpretation of what the work here really means to me. For one, it's deciding to be done with this piece that has haunted me, for years in my imagination and for months on my workbench. For another it's road marker that breaks from my focus on the techniques of "How" I make something and just dives deeper into the making.

I used to build pieces and break them down on the "How" It was important to me "How" I flattened my stock, or "How" I cut my joinery, The handwork I focused on was my personal badge of honor and the chip on my shoulder. Since starting work in my new shop I've had the space, power, and convenience to rediscover a lot of my old shop machines that spent most of their time covered in tarps in the old shop. This cabinet saw more time on the table saw than any project I've built in the last three years. The way I use my table saw is markedly different than how I used to, but I am using it again. Who knows, at this rate I may even shake hands with my router table again.

It's become less about "how" I make something, and more about "what" I make. And in my mind that's opening the doors to many other areas of the craft I've found fascinating from a distance, but have never been able to muster up the confidence to move into. Veneer work is one of the next things in my sights and not just thanks to the recent "Roubo on Marquetry" book I've come to adore. I'd collected half a dozen books on veneering before I managed to get my hands of Roubo's tome, but I was reading them and saying "someday." Now I'm ready to revisit them, move on, and say tomorrow.

I'm ready for the next step in my evolution.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. Looks fantastic. It seems that you, like myself, want to point out to everyone who will listen where I made mistakes. What didn't come out right. What's not perfect. I'm trying to cure myself of this perfections's view without a perfectionist's skill.

    I think it's fantastic. Well done.

  2. With the finish on, it really comes together. Well executed "in the style of" but not a copy of. The personal touches are evident.

    Favorite detail: I love the breadboard pegs. I had not noticed them before.

  3. Great work, I really like how it came together. I think the lining paper really pushed it over the edge, it's a lot texture and color with the different woods and lining but I really like the overall effect.

  4. Looks great! Just curious how you attached the back of the cabinets with the dovetailed sides?

    1. There is a rabbet in the back of the carcass and matching rabbets in the backing boards so I could fit a thicker back board in and it would then hide the rabbet joint on the inside of the case. To leave the dovetails unmolested the rabbet on the top and bottom carcass pieces are stopped rabbets.

      You can see something similar here in the last photo of this post.

      (you'll have to cut and paste the link into your browser)

      then the back is set in place, matching rabbets interlock and I can simply nail the back on with some headless cut nails.

      Hope that helps and I hope it makes sense.


  5. Looks great! Just curious how you attached the back of the cabinets with the dovetailed sides?

  6. Excellent. This is similar to how I build too, I'm trying to let the wood inspire the piece rather than the 'how'. Mostly things come together well, but then I spend a long time building something, always trying to get the best out of an unusual, but not exotic, piece of wood.
    I love the pine.


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