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Ark Cabinet

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Project by Matthew T. Smith posted 05-23-2014 02:44 PM 1276 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently my wife and I were invited to attend a dedication Shabbat for a local Jewish Synagogue’s new building where the Ark cabinet that I designed and Woodleaf built was the centerpiece of the ceremony. The Ark cabinet for those of you that are not familiar with Judaism houses the Torahs for the Temple.

I educated myself about the significance of the Torahs and the Ark to the religion in order to develop a design appropriate for the congregation. I met many times with the Temple’s design committee and the Rabbi. I also attended a bar mitzvah in order to better understand the role of the Ark in the services. After countless hours spent on the design I presented it to the committee and they were quite pleased. The Ark took two and a half months for Woodleaf to build.

The Ark is very large at 82 1/2 inches wide, 41 inches deep and 10 feet high. It has a three dimensional door front with 12 Star of David’s depicted that represent the 12 Tribes of Israel which is of religious significance. The mechanism for opening the large door consists of 75 pounds of lead weights for counterbalance, a solid brass pulley, and a sash rope in order to keep the system quiet as it moves. The door is lockable but the lock is not visible from the front of the cabinet.

The interior of the cabinet features a back panel of 960 pieces of beveled ash for added dimension and detail. There is a closet switch that automatically illuminates the inside of the cabinet when it is opened with a concealed LED light strip.

The cabinet was made from cherry plywood, cherry solids, walnut and ash. It was finished with a light aniline stain and clear lacquer.

-- Matthew, North Carolina, www.woodleafstudios.com





12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3040 days


#1 posted 05-23-2014 02:58 PM

Matthew this is an amazing piece not to mention enormous.What a outstanding design and a true work of art plus a well engineered mechanism. You are a outstanding craftsman. This piece will be the center of their synagogue for generations to come.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View AnonymousRequest's profile

AnonymousRequest

861 posts in 1012 days


#2 posted 05-23-2014 03:33 PM

WOW, excellent work!

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2526 posts in 1740 days


#3 posted 05-23-2014 03:41 PM

Incredible design and quite beautiful ! Well done and thank you for sharing

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Matthew T. Smith's profile

Matthew T. Smith

53 posts in 2671 days


#4 posted 05-23-2014 04:48 PM

Thanks Jim, Jeff & kdc,
I forgot to show the cabinet with the door raised. I’ve since switched out a photo to include door raised (piercing the top of the cabinet). There are 2 @ 38 pound custom lead weights in concealed chambers that allow the door to remain in any position while opening. The door is also lockable via a cam lever that is accessible from the backside of the cabinet ( concealed behind a lockable door panel ).

-- Matthew, North Carolina, www.woodleafstudios.com

View deon's profile

deon

2508 posts in 2489 days


#5 posted 05-23-2014 09:06 PM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2797 days


#6 posted 05-23-2014 09:56 PM

Beautifully done and lots of great details too. Very inspiring.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#7 posted 05-23-2014 10:36 PM

Impressive work and detail Matthew, congratulations

on a fine masterpiece!

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1755 days


#8 posted 05-24-2014 12:44 AM

Beautiful work.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9435 posts in 3515 days


#9 posted 05-24-2014 12:56 AM

Very COOL design, project, & Job…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3138 posts in 3176 days


#10 posted 05-24-2014 04:46 AM

Matthew,

What a masterpiece! The design is wonderful.

The size is really incredible. It really helps having people in the photo to show just how large it is! Thanks for sharing.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View squaretree's profile

squaretree

160 posts in 1035 days


#11 posted 05-24-2014 11:57 AM

Very impressive!

-- if you can't find me, just follow the extension cord

View Matthew T. Smith's profile

Matthew T. Smith

53 posts in 2671 days


#12 posted 06-18-2014 07:38 PM

If you would like to see a short video of the cabinet opening go to http://www.woodleafstudios.com/the-ark-cabinet

-- Matthew, North Carolina, www.woodleafstudios.com

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