Building a Credenza #8: The Guts

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Blog entry by Blake posted 06-25-2010 08:34 AM 6742 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Finished Assembling the Case Part 8 of Building a Credenza series Part 9: Getting to the good part »

I’ve gotten a lot done since the last blog but there wasn’t much to show for it so I waited until now to post. But the first thing I did was flip it over and plane and sand the dovetails to smooth them out. Here is the finished case joinery:


Detail of the leg joinery and dovetails:



So this isn’t particularly the exciting part to build (or watch being built) but here it is anyway. The inside of the cabinetry such as the shelves as well as the partition between the drawers and doors, is made of 3/4” mahogany plywood.

This piece will be the bottom floor of the case:


These holes are cut into the floor for wires to come through. They will get plugs later.


In this photo the plywood pieces are fitted but not attached.



Each exposed plywood edge will have a solid front. Here is the joinery for those pieces. This part was cut by hand with a chisel:



This is the joinery between the horizontal piece (front edge of the shelf) and the vertical partition. I cut it on the radial arm saw:


Here it is on the other side where it meets the leg… you can see why I chose this joint, because it matches the joint between the top and leg above.


Finished joint (not glued yet)



I can’t exactly drive screws through the top of the cabinet, so this is how the partition will be attached to the underside of the top:



I cut a curved piece out of the back of the top shelf to allow for air movement and wires to pass through for the electronics (DVD player, stereo, etc.)


Glue up:



The next phase will be a lot more exciting I promise! Next time I will be building and installing the door and drawer fronts.

As a teaser, here is the lumber for the front of the cabinet… beautiful figured Jatoba. I plan to allow the grain to run continuously all the way from left to right across the cabinet doors and drawers.


Total Building Time So Far: 63 hours

-- Happy woodworking!

15 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3080 days

#1 posted 06-25-2010 09:35 AM

not much to show
that´s one of the biggest understatement I ever have heard!!

great toturial as usual Blake
the credenza is realy coming together very niiice
thank´s for taking your time to sharing it


View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 06-25-2010 09:49 AM

Incredible joinery and craftsmanship. The legs look phenomenal. Thanks for sharing.

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3320 days

#3 posted 06-25-2010 12:27 PM

Phenomenal …I made something similar but not a exceptional as this…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3664 days

#4 posted 06-25-2010 12:28 PM

Looks great Blake. I have been wanting to do something like this for awhile.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3638 days

#5 posted 06-25-2010 01:37 PM

Looks great Blake.

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3847 days

#6 posted 06-25-2010 02:27 PM

You gal dang bar raiser. Man you do nice work.

Looks like fun too. I hope the build is still as enjoyable as it looks. Those old jewelry box building skills are coming in handy.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View EternalDesign's profile


237 posts in 3960 days

#7 posted 06-25-2010 03:32 PM


-- Brian, Eternal Furniture & Design

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3274 days

#8 posted 06-25-2010 05:44 PM

This is coming along very well. The joinery looks great and I can’t wait for the next installment. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen figured Jatoba, it’s gorgeous!

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3252 days

#9 posted 06-25-2010 06:25 PM

Great pictures

Thanks for taking the time to share.


View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3772 days

#10 posted 06-25-2010 10:50 PM

Coming along beautifully Blake. Cannot wait to see those figured jatoba fronts!!! Interesting grain orientation on your open shelf and vertical divider. Was this driven by design or material yield? I like your solution for the wire chase, simple yet elegant and the subtle curve plays off the curve of the leg. It also came in handy when you glued your solid to the front.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3299 days

#11 posted 06-26-2010 01:08 AM

Great design and interesting unusual construction method Blake. Very good blog and photos. I’m looking forward to to the next one.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3840 days

#12 posted 06-26-2010 06:27 AM

Damn, I KNEW you would notice that Brian. I admit, I was trying to avoid buying another piece of mahogany plywood. Busted.

-- Happy woodworking!

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3274 days

#13 posted 06-26-2010 03:49 PM

I assumed you were trying to keep the orientation of the vertical support the same as the back piece. I was a bit curious as to the horizontal shelf. I wouldn’t have wanted to buy another sheet of ply either.( :

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3772 days

#14 posted 06-26-2010 06:53 PM

At about $90-$100 a sheet for mahogany ply I would have most likely reached the same decision.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3291 days

#15 posted 06-27-2010 10:23 PM

Insane dovetails!!!! I am so jealous.

Thanks for blogging this. Amazing. And recording the building time is very helpful.

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