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Building a Credenza

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Blog series by Blake updated 1261 days ago 13 parts 73399 reads 168 comments total

Part 1: Design Process

1525 days ago by Blake | 13 comments »

For several months now I have been dreaming about building a credenza as the ultimate next project to tackle. I don’t have a clue where I am going to put it when its done. I don’t have any space for a 6 foot long cabinet, but I really want to build one. So I started drawing and looking at pictures of credenzas online. A credenza is basically a low, wide cabinet that is mostly used these days as living room furniture, often below the TV. My first design looked like this: ...

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Part 2: Milling the Main Parts

1524 days ago by Blake | 12 comments »

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. The design: 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 sl...

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Part 3: Hand Cutting Dovetails

1520 days ago by Blake | 7 comments »

I am hand-cutting the dovetails for the case joinery. Its the first time I’ve ever really done this. I’ve been playing around with dovetails a little lately for practice but haven’t used them for a project. Layout First I had to figure out how I wanted to lay them out. This took quite a bit of time actually. I started by looking at the two pieces to be joined. I have a little dovetail sample that I use for a reference so I don’t get confused as to how the ...

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Part 4: Completed Dovetail Joinery

1515 days ago by Blake | 20 comments »

This is where I left off last time: Chopping the tails I cut most of the waste out with a coping saw and then clamped down the tail board to my bench to chop out the rest: First it is necessary to test the sharpness of your chisels… yep they are sharp. (I accidentally grazed my chisel when I reached across my bench for a pencil) After chopping the tails: The two sides of my case: Transferring the tails to the pins I had a little bit of a dilemma ...

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Part 5: Curvaceous Legs

1511 days ago by Blake | 13 comments »

The last time I left off I still needed to cut the dovetails on the other side of the case. I didn’t photograph that because the process is the same as before. But it took another four or five hours. I did think this was interesting enough to take a photo of though… “stretching” my clamp collection: Leg Joinery The legs are going to protrude up through the top of the case in the corners and attach with a sort-of “L” shaped mortise and tenon. This ...

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Part 6: The Tedious Part... (Lots of Photos)

1501 days ago by Blake | 14 comments »

The following photos represent several days of building. This definitely feels like the SLOW part in the middle of the project. But by the end of today I felt like I was over the hump. The “Stretchers” There is something indescribably beautiful about a heavy chunk of lumber before it gets milled. Here is the piece I will use for what I call the “stretchers” that run from side to side along the bottom edges of the cabinet. Crosscut Rip Joint ...

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Part 7: Finished Assembling the Case

1500 days ago by Blake | 14 comments »

Preparing for Assembly These are the short “stretchers” that go along the sides. The rabbet on the inside is for the plywood bottom to rest on. Now, up to this point grain orientation on every piece of the case construction is “correct” in relationship to its self. These stretchers on the bottom of the side pieces are the first members that could potentially CONSTRICT seasonal movement of the side pieces. If I permanently attach these pieces at both...

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Part 8: The Guts

1477 days ago by Blake | 15 comments »

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: THE GUTS 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 partiti...

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Part 9: Getting to the good part

1475 days ago by Blake | 16 comments »

Today was Christmas. The hardware arrived. Including Blum “Blumotion” drawer slides and Blum Euro hinges. Also vents for the electronics and shelf pins. The Middle Shelf I made a quick jig for drilling the shelf pin holes. The middle shelf in place: The 5th leg I decided to add a fifth leg in the back to support the weight of a large TV added to the already massive 6-foot long cabinet. It will not be attached to the floating back panel. Th...

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Part 10: Custom Hardware

1465 days ago by Blake | 12 comments »

The Doors Last time I glued up the door fronts: I spent some time fitting the doors with a plane: And then I passed them through the drum sander to flatten them: This little marking jig came with the hinge drill bit I bought: Drilling the holes for the hinges: Aligning the hinges: The Skinny Door I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to cover the space where the DVD player shelf is. I finally decided it needed a cover of some ki...

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Part 11: Installing the Drawers

1464 days ago by Blake | 10 comments »

I worked a 12-hour day in the shop today! I just had to finish getting those drawers in. Building the Drawer Boxes This is the 1/2” Beech for the drawer sides: I chopped it up and then machined the dovetails on my router table: Dovetails done: Assembling the drawer boxes: Glue up Installing the drawer boxes It took me a while to figure out how to install the Blum hardware. But it looked good when It was in: And then the drawers w...

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Part 12: Final touches and off to the FINISHING BOOTH !!!

1282 days ago by Blake | 14 comments »

Its been a while since I have updated this blog, but I have been working on the Credenza off and on. The problem is that there is not much to show for the work I have been doing on it lately. It hasn’t changed in appearance much since the last post. This is mostly because of all the sanding I’ve had to do. Hours and hours and HOURS of sanding. I’ve also spent days on all the final fitting, adjusting, aligning, and fussing with all of the parts and hardware to make sure it is...

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Part 13: Assembly and done!

1261 days ago by Blake | 8 comments »

Here is the final photo to wrap up this blog: My finishing guy let me do the final assembly in his shop so I wouldn’t have to move it twice. Then I took it directly to my friends photo studio where I did the photography. From there my dad helped me move it up to his house where it will stay for a few months until I have a big enough living room to keep it in. Total building time so far: Just over 150 hours And here it is!

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