Monday, February 14, 2011

First Cabinet: Walnut Shoe Cabinet

For the new house, we needed a shoe cabinet so I decided to try my hands at building a simple one. It is made of walnut plywood (3/4" for the carcass and shelves, 1/2" for the door panels, 1/4" for the back) with 3/4" thick and 2" wide solid walnut trim. The carcass uses standard dado and rabbet joints, but for the doors I used loose tenons. The top of the cabinet is so that we can put our phones, key, etc. once I put in a small hole for the charger cables to go through.


It was a good learning experience and overall turned out better then I expected. There are definitely things I want to do better on my next cabinet, but fortunately most of the mistakes on this one isn't visible. Building this cabinet wasn't cheap since the raw materials (solid walnut, walnut ply) are quite expensive (3/4" ply is easily over $100), but for the next cabinet I will have plenty of stock remaining so that will be the savings. If you just needed a single cabinet it's definitely cheaper to just buy one. I also bought the wood that already been smoothed which is very expensive compared to buying rough lumber and planning it yourself. However, I didn't have access to a planner and wasn't ready to buy one.

To cover the plywood edge of the shelves, I went with unfinished edge banding that already have the adhesive on it so I didn't have to iron it on. The solid wood hides the rest of the plywood sides. Finally, I used a poly gel for the finish as I'm not ready yet to use "real" finishes such as shellac.

For the hinges, I went with an European style hinge so that it doesn't show.

(still some sawdust that I need to clean out... ^_^;)

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