Bent curio cabinet

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Project by noahhl posted 11-01-2014 05:37 PM 2250 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This curio display cabinet was vaguely inspired by the form of arched railroad bridges (imagine a train cruising along the top of it). The top is made from walnut, both solid and veneered bent laminations; bottom is made from solid hard maple. Glass shelves and accent lights inside hold your display items.

Joinery is mortise and loose tenon throughout; finished with shellac and wax.

This was my first time working with veneer. A few construction and detail pictures below:

Rough sketch, complete with train on top:

Sides made from layers of 1/4” plywood, vacuum pressed to a form:

Prototype cabinet from scrap wood before committing the expensive veneers (now serving as a plane cabinet in my shop):

Actual cabinet bent and veneered:

Face frame glued on:

Back is made with bookmatched veneers:

Custom sized 1/4” glass shelves:

Stand from solid maple continues the curve of the top all the way down:

Combination door knob and latch from Lee Valley:

I couldn’t find a commercial hinges that would work with the door shape, so I just used some 3/16” brass rod and carefully drilled holes in the frame and door:

LED strip lights in the top provide plenty of light. There’s a dimmer knob hiding behind the apron of the legs:

11 comments so far

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2407 days

#1 posted 11-01-2014 06:12 PM

Very Fine Job….. Great Pics…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Goldwoman's profile


21 posts in 1889 days

#2 posted 11-01-2014 07:40 PM

What a beautiful, graceful piece! I love the walnut with the maple- nice contrast. And the book-matched veneers are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!


-- "The right path always feels too good to be true. It always feels like so much fun you can't believe it." -Dr. Christine Northrup

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3307 days

#3 posted 11-01-2014 07:49 PM

Not just the same old cabinet I see.
I especially like the sketchup. Old school. I now get the railroad analogy.
I can appreciate the prototype. Something I usually do when I’ve never done it before.
And the how you did it, veneer, vacuum, glass, hinges and lights.
Nice photos on the progress…......................

-- mike...............

View majuvla's profile


13399 posts in 3073 days

#4 posted 11-01-2014 07:56 PM

Outstanding design. Verry nice of you for sharing those ’’how to’’ photos.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2076 days

#5 posted 11-01-2014 08:04 PM

This looks great. Love the curves, do you have a reference to bent laminations process?

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1252 posts in 1919 days

#6 posted 11-01-2014 08:34 PM

Great looking cabinet. Like that you have worked the design through and did a prototype.
Appreciate the bild imagesa lot. Very informative and inspiring!
Thanks for sharing

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Ryan's profile


238 posts in 3135 days

#7 posted 11-01-2014 11:53 PM

Nice work !!
Lot more complicate to make than it looks.

View Woodbridge's profile


3596 posts in 2623 days

#8 posted 11-02-2014 02:26 AM

lovely looking cabinet

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Patrick Garrett's profile

Patrick Garrett

38 posts in 1949 days

#9 posted 11-02-2014 01:51 PM

Beautiful work! I’ve been thinking about trying out vacuum bag forming and veneering – was it difficult getting going and making the results look so clean?

-- Makes airplanes by day, planes wood at night <|>

View ohwoodeye's profile


2107 posts in 3359 days

#10 posted 11-04-2014 07:13 PM

Stunning. Very crisp and clean. Beautiful design. Just a pleasure to be able to admire this.
Well done!

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's "opinion" on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2896 days

#11 posted 11-04-2014 07:18 PM

Krenov would like it! So do I!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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