American Hanging Cupboard #1: In the beginning...

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Blog entry by Mark D. posted 10-29-2009 05:46 AM 2590 reads 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of American Hanging Cupboard series Part 2: Stock Preparation - Rough Dimensioning »

Many moons ago(ok, only about a year ago) I picked up my first issue of Woodworing Magazine at the local bookseller, entranced by the beautiful wall cabinet that graced it’s front cover(below.) I purchased it before I had most of my tooling and knew someday I would build it.

Woodworking Magazine Autumn 2008 - Cover

I began studying the article, every photo, every drawing, memorizing dimensions and going through the build in my mind. I built a true to life sketchup model (see image below) based on the dimensions in the magazine so I could better understand how the whole project would come together.

Textured Sketchup Model

Here I am, a year later, and finally beginning the build. I finally committed to building it when thinking of what to get my father for Christmas.(He’s one of those, already has one of everything types) My father collects antique furniture and case pieces primarily in Walnut from both early American and European makers. Unfortunately, I can’t afford walnut as used in the magazine, or in the furniture he collects, but from what I’ve seen available locally at a reasonable price, birch seems to have a fairly similar grain pattern. Now while I know it’s not nearly as nice as walnut, given my resources, it’s the best I can do.

In the next part, we’ll start milling our stock and prepping for the face frame joinery… Stay tuned.

-- Looking for free wood working plans? Visit us at

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2996 days

#1 posted 10-29-2009 05:51 AM

Hey Mark
That’s the way it works sometimes. look forward to progress

-- Custom furniture

View CaptainSkully's profile


1407 posts in 2977 days

#2 posted 10-29-2009 07:41 AM

That’s a great project. Can’t wait to see it come to fruition from your Sketchup drawing.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3518 days

#3 posted 10-29-2009 03:59 PM

Birch can work out quite well.

You might try downsizing the embedded picture one size. It looks like it runs off the screen.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Mark D.'s profile

Mark D.

155 posts in 3187 days

#4 posted 10-29-2009 04:22 PM

Todd, thank you for pointing that out, I’ve cropped the dead space off on the sides and it appears to fit within the bounds of the page now. :-)

-- Looking for free wood working plans? Visit us at

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 2784 days

#5 posted 10-29-2009 07:35 PM

Good model, Mark. I’m looking forward to watching the progress while you build the cupboard. Just for the heck of it, I took your model and reoriented the wood grain of some of the components. I hope you don’t mind.

I like the dynamic components!

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

View Mark D.'s profile

Mark D.

155 posts in 3187 days

#6 posted 10-29-2009 08:29 PM

Jack, I like your texturing job much better ;-) I have a habit of just throwing texture on a model to break up the sterile look of the shaded model without regard to things like grain orientation or scaling. The dynamic components aspect of the model is pretty cool, it was just a fun addition at the end… I planned on adding the rat tail hinges(in two pieces so they would animate with the door,) knobs on the drawer, and the keyhole in the left door stile, but never found the time. I can’t wait until I have the completed project in front of me. I have a feeling I’ll be building a second for myself when time/money permits.

P.S. I just took a look at your site, outstanding! What do you use for rendering such photo-realistic images of models?

-- Looking for free wood working plans? Visit us at

View hasbeen99's profile


183 posts in 2958 days

#7 posted 10-29-2009 09:22 PM

Looks beautiful! Hope the project comes out even better!

-- "The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself in love." --Galatians 5:6

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3091 days

#8 posted 10-29-2009 11:51 PM

This is going to be a beautiful cupboard!

View MOJOE's profile


548 posts in 2687 days

#9 posted 10-30-2009 04:28 AM

Mark, nice “soon to be completed” project. The birch should work out nicely. Here is a bit of advice based on some recent crib building experience. I attempted to route a profile on some birch, taking light passes (2 passes was the plan). I ended up scraping a really nice piece of stock because I had some nasty tearout where some grain made a U- shape that continued to the edge of the material. So my advise, take lighter passes than you think is necessary to be safe…....good luck.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 2784 days

#10 posted 10-30-2009 06:27 PM

Mark, Thanks for the feedback about my site. The rendering program that I have been using is Kerkythea 2008 Echo. It is a free program with features that rival many commercial applications. It has a SketchUp (SU) plugin that exports the SU model to the Kerkythea format.

I’ve learned enough about it to create some reasonably photo-realistic (PR) renderings of my SU models but, I think I’ve only scratched the surface of it’s capabilities. Here’s the link to their home page.

Check out their Gallery to get a better idea of its capabilities.

I know many people would think that a PR rendering of an SU model is overkill but I wanted to do it because the LOML has trouble visualizing projects before that are completed. I’m still working on that. Too many other things going on right now.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow --

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