Monday, January 12, 2015

Small hanging cabinet with drawers part 9

As some might remember, I started this project about a year ago while on the ship. I actually completed the project in the beginning of December 2014, but I never posted any pictures of it because it was going to be a surprise for my wife,

Together with the children we made it a calender gift, so each day the children would put in some small gift in one of the drawers, so she got 24 small gifts before Christmas.

Some of the gifts were a package of chewing gum, some were a vanilla fudge, and others were hand made gift certificates on things like a vacuum cleaning of the lower floor of the house, or raking the riding court etc. The children really took the project seriously and it was fun to see how much effort they put into making nice looking gift certificates.

At first my plan was to dovetail the drawers, but I decided that it would probably be overkill and that a rabbeted construction was OK for a small cabinet like this one. After all it will probably only hold small lightweight items.

The front, sides and back of the drawers are made out of larch. The bottoms are 6 mm birch plywood.
The drawer pulls are some that my dad once gave me They are perfect for small project like this one.

I applied a mixture of camelia oil and orange oil to the drawers. Then they were finished with some paste wax made out of beeswax and orange oil.

The door had swelled a bit after leaving the relatively dry and hot air of the engine room on the ship. I planed a bit of so it could just fit in the frame.
After entering the house it shrunk a bit again, so now the gap is a bit larger than I would like it to be, but nobody except me seems to notice it.

I made some small pieces of moulding that I attached to the top and bottom of the cabinet. Furthermore I planed a small chamfer on the two front corners to add some more visual interest.

I made an escutcheon out of a piece of bone. Attaching it was actually harder than I imagined. The stiles are pretty thin, so there there is not a lot of material between the lock case itself and the surface. Therefore the nails couldn't be longer than about 1/4". The escutcheon is around 3/16" thick, so there isn't a lot of holding power left in the small nails.
I have used a bit of liquid hide on the back of the escutcheon, and it seems to work so far.

My original plan was to paint the cabinet green and red, but since it was for my wife, I figured I'd better ask her what colour of furniture she preferred. She said that it was a bit of an odd question, when she didn't know what furniture we were talking about, but I told her it was a secret so far. She reached the conclusion that she likes blue furniture. This was based on an old enamel advertising sign that we have in the kitchen. She likes those bright blue and red colours.

I found some old blue enamel and some Volvo BM red tractor enamel that looked pretty similar to the colours of the old sign, so they were applied.

All that is left is to find out where the cabinet should be placed.

The finished cabinet. (16" x 12" x 6")

Drawers with continuous grain lines.

Wittler enamel advertising sign.
(Inspiration for the paint scheme)

Drawer construction.

Escutcheon and details of paint job.


  1. did you create any postings in which you describe your working with bone to make the escutcheon?

    1. Hi, sorry for the late reply, but I have just signed on the ship again.
      I didn't make any postings about making the escutcheon. I normally use a hack saw for sawing the bone, and some ordinary drills for drilling. A metal file is a very useful tool for shaping bone.
      Finally I sand it with fine sand paper and emery paper.
      I use a piece of a thigh bone from a calf. Normally I get them whenever we eat the dish: Osso Buco. It is made out of slices of the upper thigh bone from a calf. I used one of those for this escutcheon. You can also get a piece of bone from an ox that is intended to be used for a soup bone. If you want it to be very white, it can later be immersed in Hydrogen Peroxide. I don't do that though, since I like it in the natural "cream colour".

  2. The cabinet turned out really nicely. I like the subtle two-tone paint, and how it contrasts with the natural finish of the interior. I hope your wife enjoys it.

    1. Hi Bill. It came out better than I had hoped.
      The red stripes managed to flow a little under the masking tape, but not so much as to destroy the looks of the piece.
      We are still trying to find out where it should be hung in the house. But it is better to find the right spot the first time in my opinion, so we just take our time on that decision.