Posts Tagged With: quarter sawn white oak

Kitchen Cabinets and Renovation

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New Wall Cabinets Above the Fridge.

One of the reasons for the dearth of recent posts here is the amount of time I have spent renovating the kitchen. The project started with a new fridge —  that was slightly too tall to fit under the old wall cabinets. Those cabinets came out, the refrigerator went in, and I built a couple of new cabinets to go above it. The new cabinets looked significantly better than the old ones, and more wall cabinets followed until all the upper cabinetry had been changed out. Rather than staples, chipboard, cardboard, etc., the new cabinets are all quarter-sawn white oak faces with plywood carcasses and shelves. The casework is dadoed into the oak fronts then fastened with glue and screws. Hardware includes European hinges and solid cast brass knobs and handles in an Arts and Crafts style.

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Base Cabinets with new Counter and Sink

The bottom cabinets had to be done all at once, since there would need to be a new counter and sink installed at the same time. Additionally, there was a corner cabinet which was very difficult to access — does everybody have one of these? You practically had to open the door and crawl back in there to find anything. More on that below.

Working out of a garage workshop, there is not all that much room to build large items– especially multiple large items like base cabinets. So, the project took more time as pieces got stacked in corners, moved around to make room, re-stacked, etc. And, coming up with a solution which allowed easier access to the corner cabinet took quite a bit of design time and numerous prototypes.

 

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Before

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After

 

 

 

 

And, after getting the basic base cabinets built and installed, I decided to remove a small closet and replace it with even more cabinets and a bit of added counter space. This has a slide-out trash can that is very convenient, and space to store dog food, etc.

Next, there was the idea for an Arts and Crafts inspired oak and stained glass light fixture. Which would look great mounted to a tin ceiling, which had to be painted multiple coats of multiple colors of paint to get just the right look . . . .

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Light Fixture and Tin Ceiling

There is still painting to be done. And a couple of pantry doors to be replaced with Shoji-style sliding screens. And the bay windows to be replaced. And a new floor.

 

All in good time.

 

 

Back to the corner cabinet. I used several heavy duty drawer slides, a couple of casters, Baltic birch plywood, and some Elfa baskets from The Container Store to build a corner cabinet slide out solution. Here is a quick video of how it works.

In addition to picking up some usable space in the corner, I was also able to gain additional storage around some of the areas where the kitchen walls run at 45 degrees. The original design had large wedges of inaccessible space there, which we can now utilize.

Now its time to take a little break from the kitchen and build a few other little things.

 

 

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Jewelry Box

It has been a long time between posts here. There have been several woodworking projects undertaken during the past few months, including completing kitchen cabinets and designing and building an oak and stained glass light fixture for the kitchen.

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Oak Jewelry Box

One of the projects I completed back in February was a jewelry box – a late Christmas present for my wife. It is made of quarter sawn oak with brass hardware, including a really nice piece of “quilted” oak that is most visible on the inside of the box lid. The piece is 13″ x 9″ x 6″ high.

There is a tray inside that raises with the lid. I made the hardware for its operation from some brass stock. I had to make several models to get the geometry right, so that the tray stays level as it opens and closes.

Jewelry Box 02

Jewelry Box, with quilted oak inside top.

 

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Showing my Work, Part II

Yesterday was the opening of my first woodworking show at Liquidambar Gallery in Pittsboro, NC. The gallery was busy all afternoon, with a constant stream of visitors. I am happy to say that my pieces were very popular! Sales actually began on Saturday, the day before the official opening. In just two days, they have already sold 9 items. The show continues for 2 months, so it would have been nice to have some additional inventory . . .  but who knew?

One of the pieces which sold quickly was a little box for storing tea bags. I just finished it recently and hadn’t yet posted a photo.

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Tea Box

This box is about 9″ x 9″ x 3″ tall. the sides are walnut, and the top is quilted quartersawn white oak. The handle has a cutout of the Chinese symbol for tea, and is made of padouk and maple. The inside of the box has maple dividers to organize tea bags. This piece was designed to feature the oak top, which is one of the prettiest pieces of wood I have encountered. I made a few earlier attempts to make use of this piece, but this tea box is probably the best fit.

Since this piece went so quickly, I may try to find another distinctive piece of wood to make something similar. But the new owner of this box got something which is truly one of a kind.

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A New Steamer Trunk

Steamer Trunk

Steamer Trunk

I really like the look of a steamer trunk — or sometimes I have heard it called a camel back trunk because of the rounded top. I built one for a friend’s beach house, and have just completed this second one. The dimensions of this new trunk are slightly smaller than the first one I built, and I think I like this size better. Overall, the piece is 30 in. x 17 in. x 16 in. tall. It is built of quartersawn white oak, with bright brass plated hardware. The dark wood accents are walnut.

Open View

Open View

The trunk is finished inside with shellac. On the outside, I started with a coat of Danish Oil, followed with several coats of an oil and urethane mixture.

Recently, I purchased some reclaimed wormy chestnut taken from an old barn. I am thinking of duplicating this piece from some of that chestnut, perhaps with antique brass hardware.

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Completed Roll Top Cabinet

The Completed Roll Top Cabinet

The Completed Roll Top Cabinet

 

The roll top cabinet is finally finished!

Antique Dentist's Desk

Antique Dentist’s Desk

As I described in an earlier post, this piece was inspired by a “Dentist’s Desk” I had seen at a friend’s house. I liked the unusual look of the roll top, with its quick vertical drop after a tight-radius curve. Most roll tops seem to drop at a much more gentle angle. I also liked the beveled fronts on the shallow drawers, and while not copied, I incorporated a similar style to this piece.

I built this cabinet from quarter-sawn white oak, which remains my favorite wood to use for furniture. It is very stable with little movement, provides a tough surface, takes a finish well, and looks great, too.

This was my first attempt at making a roll top. The concept always seemed pretty straight-forward, but I wasn’t sure how to go about making something that would actually slide up and down freely. So many roll top desks seem to be very difficult to operate. When it was nearing completion, I waxed the track the tambor rides in, and waxed the tambor itself. I was very pleased with the way it moves — it works better than I had hoped.

The piece is finished to match the kitchen table and chairs I made a few years back. (with two more chairs currently in the works.) Once sanded and assembled, I covered the cabinet with a large piece of plastic, and set a bowl of ammonia in the enclosure. The fumes from the ammonia darken the wood. The longer the exposure, the darker the piece will get. I fumed this piece for about 4 hours. When removed from the ammonia tent, (and when the smell goes away) the white oak takes on a bit of a gray tint. To bring a bit of warmer tones to the finish, I then apply a coat of garnet shellac. I used a 1.5 lb. cut of shellac, and applied it as a hand-rubbed finish. I then applied 5 coats of General Finishes Oil and Urethane, also hand-rubbed, with very light sanding between coats. The final coat was not sanded, but was followed by a coat of Renaissance Wax.

The piece appears to have doors at the bottom. This is actually a drawer front, designed to hold a recycling container. I am not sure what inspired this little design detail, but it works well.

Door Front Drawer for Recycling.

Door Front Drawer for Recycling.

Completed Cabinet with Roll Top Open

Completed Cabinet with Roll Top Open

Roll Top Cabinet with Top Closed

Roll Top Cabinet with Top Closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am pleased with the way the cabinet turned out. One other little feature which I have not photographed yet is a “charging station” which goes inside the roll top to the left of the dividers. This  has USB and 110v plug-ins for charging phones, tablets, cameras etc. I will try to get a picture of that soon.

This was a fun project to take on, from design through completion. I got my first experience making tambor for the roll top, I got to use my 18″ band saw to resaw the wood for the side panels, I made a jig to cut the bevels on the drawer fronts, got a lot of use from my recently-acquired smoothing plane, and managed to match the finish on other pieces. With a little modification, this design could easily become a desk (like the piece that inspired it) or even a stand up desk. The basic dimensions for this piece are: 53″ tall (38″ to the inside top surface) x 34″ wide x 18″ deep.

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A New Vanity

The new bathroom vanity

The new bathroom vanity

My wife asked about having a pull out tray installed in the master bath vanity. I began by trying to repair the drawer in the existing vanity, but it was too out of square to allow a drawer to function properly. I had seen the “vessel sinks” in the hardware stores, and thought that by having the bowl on top of the vanity, there is room for more drawers below. So, that was my initial design for a new vanity. There is one door with the pull out tray she originally requested, but there are far more drawers now to allow for better organization.

The front is quartersawn white oak from Scott at quartersawnoak.com, and the arts and crafts style hardware comes from Lee Valley.

Tile splash guard

Tile splash guard

 

I tried my hand at a bit of tile work to trim out the counter top. The tile is affixed to the wall with an adhesive sheet – a new system I had not seen before. It holds very well, and once the grout is added, you have a sturdy tile wall surface.

Vessel Sink and Faucet

Vessel Sink and Faucet

 

Before and After

Before and After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vessel sink is very functional and the accompanying faucet delivers a flowing stream of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are before and after photos of the vanity.

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Adding the Hardware

Trunk Progress

There is still a bit more finishing to be done, but I have to let the piece sit for 72 hours before re-coating. So, I took the opportunity to mount the hardware. It will all come back off to continue the finishing process, but everything is measured and the holes are drilled now. Here are a couple of photos of the nearly completed trunk. The piece measures 36″ x 20″ x 18″ tall.

Trunk with Brass Hardware Mounted

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Both Fumed, One Shellacked

The process of fuming white oak darkens the wood, and it really pops out when the finish is applied. The chair on the right has one coat of shellac, the one on the left has been fumed and will get a coat of shellac next.

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Dining Chair Progress

Dining Chair Progress

Getting everything fit together, and a first time through sanding. I have ordered an oxblood red leather hide to cover the seat, and will fume the chairs with ammonia just as I did the table. So far, so good. There will be two chairs to begin with: the second is just a step or two behind this one in the construction process.

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