Krenov Style Jewelry Cabinet

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Blog entry by BigBob posted 11-11-2008 03:45 PM 9737 reads 4 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m secretly building a jewelry cabinet for my wife for her birthday.. She collects vintage costume jewelry and she works in an antiques shop that specializes in vintage jewerly. She has boxes and treasures of hers all over the house. So I’m building her a show cabinet in the Krenov style.
I’m a big fan of Krenov and I thought I’d see what I could do with the style he is so famous for. The cabinet will be made of Cherry, with Spalted Maple doors. The door pulls are made from Zirocote as will all the drawer pulls. I have to work on the cabinet when she is not around so progress is slow, but I’ve completed the doors.
I made the doors first because the spalted maple panels I resawed would dermine the door size. So I will build the cabinet in reverse.

Joinery in the doors is haunched mortise and tenon.

Really nice figure in the panels.

I made the pulls out of a hunk of Zirocote that I had stashed and shaped them for her fingers. The joinery to the door is wedged thru mortise and tenon, so they will never pull out. The tiny wedged are maple for contrast and were cut with a very fine dovetail saw and then prefit into the slots I cut in the pulls.

These are not great photos, they were taken with my cell phone. It would give her a heads up if she sees me out in the shop with her camera, so sorry for the quality.

Test fit of the wedges.

I cut the moritse in the door with a jig and and a plunge router, and then tested the fit of the pulls in the doors.

The doors are lipped so that will be no gap when the doors closed.
The finished pulls installed

The completed doors. Next will be the case and the stand . I’ll post the construction when I start them.

I took this under a light so that you can see the doors better. I made a small jewelry box as a decoy, to throw her off of her real present it’s in front of the doors. It will fit in the interior of the cabinet as a seperate box.
The box is hand dovetailed and has a sliding tray.

21 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3944 days

#1 posted 11-11-2008 04:40 PM

Bob, these are gorgeous doors. Cherry and maple are my personal favorite wood combination but the spalted maple panels give these doors a lot of visual interest and appeal. I am looking forward to seeing more entries in this series.

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

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4112 days

#2 posted 11-11-2008 04:41 PM

I love that wood umhum I sure do. If the rest turns out as the doors have, you’re going to be one lucky dude.


-- Jim

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4007 days

#3 posted 11-11-2008 04:49 PM

Looks great.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Topapilot's profile


172 posts in 3962 days

#4 posted 11-11-2008 05:39 PM

Nice job on the doors, your wife will love showing off this project for years and years; you get points every time!

In the last picture there is a widgit in the background with a dowel poking out – what’s that?

View BigBob's profile


64 posts in 3611 days

#5 posted 11-11-2008 05:43 PM

The widget is a dead man bench attachment that I made for my workbench. It is held into the tail vise and then you can change the dowel setting to hold a long board or panel to the bench.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18616 posts in 4282 days

#6 posted 11-11-2008 07:07 PM

i’m smiling from ear to ear – I’m so excited. The thought that has gone into this is so touching.. the decoy box (brilliant) the pieces made for her fingers.. sigh…
the sentiment is overwhelming

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View BigBob's profile


64 posts in 3611 days

#7 posted 11-11-2008 07:47 PM

That’s very nice of you to say MsDebbieP, I needed a female point of view. I wanted to do something special for her. All of my projects seem to be for me, for my personal satisfaction, so I’m building this for her, and her alone. I have also scaled the project to her height so that is a Golden Rectangle based on her 5’ 8” frame when the cabinet sits on it’s legs. It will be about 5ft tall.
I want the peice to be quiet in its repose ,unassuming and graceful, like her.,and for her to look deeper into the cabinet and find little things she didn’t notice at first, like a secret compartment I plan to make inside the case .
Any other ideas are welcome.
Thanks again.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3996 days

#8 posted 11-11-2008 08:05 PM

Very nice work! keep up the progress blog.

-- Happy woodworking!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4368 days

#9 posted 11-11-2008 08:12 PM

Nice looking Armoire, she should love it, beautiful wood match.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Karson's profile


35130 posts in 4522 days

#10 posted 11-11-2008 09:21 PM

Great job on the doors. She should be verry happy.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View MsDebbieP's profile


18616 posts in 4282 days

#11 posted 11-11-2008 11:17 PM

secret compartment .. hmm sounds like an Awards entry.

of course you could always hide a new “trinket” in one of the drawers for her to find :D

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View 's profile

593 posts in 4094 days

#12 posted 11-12-2008 02:35 AM

Looking really good, Bob,

Your choice of wood is excellent for a piece with clean lines and a quiet elegance and beauty. Please keep us posted on the evolution of the project, this really promises a lot.

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3844 days

#13 posted 11-12-2008 02:48 AM

So, when you present this to her, you’ll have to wrap the box separate and give that to her. Inside the box you can have a note instructing her to go to the wrapped cabinet (Find a used appliance box or something that would make her think you were really cheap and out of your mind!). After she unwraps the box the cabinet is in, and sees “toaster oven, Pampers 100’s, or something outragious, then actually opens the box to see your beautiful jewelry case, she’ll faint. Make sure you have pillows on the floor. It’s beautiful so far, I’m sure it will be breathtaking when you’re done.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Mule's profile


10 posts in 3629 days

#14 posted 11-12-2008 05:52 AM

Those doors are just beautiful.

I really like the look of the spalted maple with the cherry. Please keep us posted on the progress of this project.

-- so much to learn and so little time.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4084 days

#15 posted 11-12-2008 07:56 PM

That is some dandy spalted maple. She will love this. Oughta add up some brownie points.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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