I’ve been thinking about this design for several months. But I decided to get serious about it a few weeks back when I found the perfect piece of wood to built it with.
This is the HUGE slab of Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) that I found at the local lumber yard. It is 8 feet long, 18” wide and seven quarters thick (almost 2 inches).
The slab is fairly straight grained and uniform in color but I’ve seen Jatoba finished before and its beautiful. The slab will make the top and sides. I also picked up some 3/4” stock for the drawer fronts that is actually figured. I forgot to take a photo of it but its gorgeous. You will just have to take my word for now.
I have worked out a really great working relationship with a fellow woodworker in town. His name is Don and he’s a really nice guy. He welcomes me into his professional furniture-building woodshop whenever I need bigger tools or more space to work. In exchange I help him when he needs an extra set of hands. So to mill and re-saw my slab I went to his shop.
Here is the 3×3 mahogany stock I am using for the legs, about to go through the planer:
The Jatoba slab going through the jointer:
Don took a bird’s eye photo from the stairs as I was working:
Here it goes through the 19” Grizzly bandsaw:
I re-sawed and book-matched the top and sides.
Back at my shop
Here is the book-matched top being glued up:
The top, glued:
And the sides:
In this photo you can start to see the beautiful figure of the Jatoba:
Here are the milled mahogany legs. Sitting on top is the leftover mahogany that I decided to laminate to the leg pieces near the base in order to flare the bottoms out wider…
The leg blanks glued up:
Once I had all the parts made (but not finished) I clamped the legs and sides together and rested the top on them to get a sense of the overall size and proportions of the cabinet.
I have not cut the legs down to there final height and I still have the opportunity to trim any of the parts to change the dimensions if it doesn’t feel right. I decided to stop here and come back another day with a fresh eye before making any final decisions.
This is typical of my design process in any project large or small. Only about half of the design work is done before I start building. The rest of the final decisions (including most of the joinery and aesthetic details) are made during the building process.
Man that Jatoba is nice! You can see another project in the background… that will be posted soon.
Total building time so far: 10 hours
-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com