Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cabinet complete...

I guess I disappeared for a while, but in reality I've been busy with a multitude of things. I did finally get around to completing the beech cabinet I began a few months ago. There wasn't really much left to do except to design and create the drawer and door pulls. I use a two-tone cocobolo for this and carefully selected each pull from a blank to maximize the heartwood and sapwood graphic. The drawers needed a little more fitting, but the rest was primarily the task of judiciously scraping the exterior and interior of the the cabinet and applying finish. I also installed a brass door catch in the upper portion of the right hand door. The doors can be individually opened and each door reveals a partitioned section of the cabinet. The left side is composed of one drawer while the right side is composed of two drawers. Above each of the drawers is a shelf which is ideal to place art objects. There is also a small space below the left drawer for a smaller art object. The middle partition is purposely only half-height both to provide a separation and to admit light to either side of the cabinet interior.

The inside of the cabinet is kind of sparse, but in my opinion this adds to the beauty, it is after all a display cabinet designed to showcase art objects. The graphics on the front doors immediately bring to mind plumes of fire or smoke to me. The orientation of this cabinet is a departure for me. I typically design cabinets with their height or vertical dimension longer than the width, but this cabinet has it the other way around. I like the proportions of this.
An alternate photo of the interior can be seen here:

The finish is primarily many coats of thinned shellac with a final application of wax. I finally liberated a small part of my shop by completing this. Why is it that the final 10% of a project takes the longest :)

On to my next project(s).


Paul Kierstead said...

Very very nice, Norm.

Bob said...

As in all things, especially woodworking, patience is a requirement when it comes to following your blog. Seems the wait is well worth it. Not the usual drivel one finds on many a webpage. Thanks for posting.
Nice looking piece.

David said...

How do you like working with Beech?
Realy nice piece!

Anonymous said...

Hi Norman,

Nice site. Your article in Fine Woodworking got me re-enthused about my craft and over the last months I've tuned up my bench, gotten new irons for my planes, sharpened everything up, made winding sticks, attended to lighting issues. So, thanks for the inspiration. I have a question: what is the plane you use on your shooting board? It looks like a Lee Valley BU model from the rounded front.
Tico Vogt
Saratoga Springs, NY

Norman Pirollo said...


The wood I use is European steamed beech. It is an interesting wood, fairly easy to work. The wood is slightly open-grained and very bland when unfinished. Once I begin to apply shellac and a few coats, the beech seems to come to life and all the small nuances in the wood are brought out.


Norman Pirollo said...

Hi Tico,

I'm glad to hear you're tuned in to hand tools. It takes a little getting used to, but a lot of hand tool work begins to become second nature after a while. Get ready for some good workouts :)

The plane used with the shooting board is indeed the Veritas BU Jack Plane. I like the plane a lot for this application as its angle of attack is fairly low, I view it as a large block plane, ideal for shooting edges. The large mass of the BUJ also helps considerably in the shooting movement.