Small Cabinet #14: Done!

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 03-27-2009 02:26 AM 1384 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Don't try this at home :-) Part 14 of Small Cabinet series no next part

127 days later——a small cabinet is born! I’ve finally finished this cabinet. First I have to show you my flub up. I was installing the hinges on the door and while I did pretty well with three hinges the fourth one beat me! My method of holding the hinges in place while drilling the pilot holes worked OK – but my left hand is not my dominate hand and it was not a pretty thing to watch. Anyway – I guess I slipped a little so my pilot holes were off a bit. But no worries – I fixed them with a piece of dowel and redrilled.


I did not measure and cut the dowel. Instead I poked a longer dowel through a playing card – put on a dab of glue – shoved it in the hole and used a hand saw to cut off the excess. The playing card kept the saw from marring my surface. I end up with just a tad of dowel above the door surface. I tapped the little bit down with a mallet and presto – just like that no holes


Miss Kitty has to help. She liked chasing the end of my dowel.


Next it was on to putting the door/drawer knobs on. A little blue painter’s tape over the spot protected my surface.


And drum roll please—here is my cabinet.



I need to get a neighbor to help me load it so I can deliver it this weekend. There are a number of things wrong with the cabinet. But I learned a lot along the way. One major thing I learned is I’m not very good at designing things. Now this cabinet fits all the specifications I had to deal with – but still I don’t like the proportions. This was the first time I used a gel finish. It came out OK – but not as nice as I would have liked. The end grain really darkened up even though I sealed it. I think I could have done a better job of picking out the wood also. I’m not as patient going through lumber to find the good stuff as I used to be.

My doors did come out better than I expected for my first raised panels. The drawer fits perfectly and slides well. So all in all the cabinet came out OK and I think my friend will like it.

I really appreciate all the help my fellow LJ’s gave me. The advice here is wonderful.

Thanks for looking.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

12 comments so far

View Chris's profile


339 posts in 3382 days

#1 posted 03-27-2009 02:33 AM

It looks like it came out better than ok, and i’m sure your friend will like it. Nice job!

-- Chris

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 03-27-2009 02:59 AM

Betsy, this cabinet looks really nice. You did a good job with the construction and finish. Thanks for taking us along with you on this.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 03-27-2009 03:08 AM

It looks like you did a lot of things right. I don’t think I’ve ever had a project where everything went perfect. Again nice job and thanks for sharing.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3615 days

#4 posted 03-27-2009 03:14 AM

Very nice job

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3780 days

#5 posted 03-27-2009 03:27 AM


You have every right to be proud of this cabinet!! Beautiful Work!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#6 posted 03-27-2009 03:46 AM

Thanks all. I had fun (most of the time) doing this project. I learned a number of things and hopefully, my blog helped someone else with their projects.

This site is incredible for its support.

Thanks again.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3737 days

#7 posted 03-27-2009 05:39 AM


That’s a great idea with the dowel and playing card. Now, if I can just remember it when I need it! ;-)

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4112 days

#8 posted 03-27-2009 06:04 AM

The little bit of trim under the top helped.
I really like the feet.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View rickf16's profile


392 posts in 3606 days

#9 posted 03-27-2009 06:26 AM

Betsy, We are our own worst critics! The cabinet looks great. Love the feet. Just my two cents on finishing. Try sanding the end grain only, to 400. That should keep it from darkening up. Thanks for posting.

-- Rick

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4124 days

#10 posted 03-27-2009 10:30 AM

This turned out great.

Are you for hire?

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3583 days

#11 posted 03-27-2009 12:34 PM

Good job Betsy. You did very good on this. The next will be even better. Don’t knock it, your friend will love it.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#12 posted 03-27-2009 03:03 PM

Thanks all.

Lee – I think the trim helped as well. In addition, it hid a little gap I had at the corner of my top and the face frame. I could have fixed the gap – but the trim was sooo much easier.

Rick – I’ll have to keep that in mind for the future. I’m hoping that the other cherry will catch up to the end grain!

Todd – not sure anyone would hire me – took 4 months to do a small cabinet—- probably couldn’t make a living. But the sentiment was nice. Thank you.

All the advice and I support I get on this site is just wonderful. I’ve learned a lot from all of you.

Thanks again.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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