Walnut and Ash Apothecary Cabinet

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Project by KnotCurser posted 03-30-2015 07:53 PM 1632 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After making one of these cabinets way back in 2012, I swore I would never do another one…....well, I guess I was wrong! A customer saw my posting late last year and talked me into creating one for him – it did take me a while to agree, but when we started talking about what woods he wanted and the overall design I just couldn’t say “no”.

It was completed slowly, over the course of about four months. The most tedious thing about making one of these is doing the box joints on the 18 drawers – over 3500 of them! I also bookmatched and made continuously running faces to all three rows of shelves – that meant having to get EVERY box joint perfect on all the faces or I would have to start all over again on the entire row! Luckily I was able to slowly and meticulously accomplish the effort.

This thing is also fairly HUGE for an apothecary – five feet long and a foot deep! The customer was specific on the measurements as he wanted it to fit in a specific spot in his house. He was also specific on the way the carcass was joined – NO overhanging edges! This meant I had to miter the sides to the top perfectly since it’s very visible.

The entire inside of the carcass was painted with “China Red” epoxy paint prior to attaching the back.

The outside carcass is solid walnut and runs continuously up one side, across the top and down the other side – sort of a waterfall effect. The drawers faces are matched Ash with the boxes being long leaf pine.

Finish was Maloof’s wipe-on oil finish and then a few coats of paste wax on the top surface.

It took a LONG while, but I think I was successful.

The first picture is the cabinet in its new home – the customer LOVED it!

After making two of these I can say for certain this time – NO. MORE. APOTHECARY. CABINETS. ;-)

BTW, here's a link to my first one – it’s sitting in my office and the cherry has deepened to a fantastic dark red.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

10 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 03-30-2015 07:59 PM

Very impressive piece.
I can imagine the gazongo amount of time that you put into it.

Well done,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jimboe's profile


251 posts in 3171 days

#2 posted 03-30-2015 10:12 PM

wow love the continuous faces on the boxes !!! well done !! love it !!!

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2963 days

#3 posted 03-30-2015 11:28 PM

Great piece, beautiful craftsmanship.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View tyvekboy's profile


1309 posts in 2434 days

#4 posted 03-31-2015 02:43 AM

Nice project!

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View David W's profile

David W

19 posts in 713 days

#5 posted 03-31-2015 04:00 AM

4 months well spent! Looks stunning. I really like how it looks with no overhanging edges. very elegant.

View majuvla's profile


8714 posts in 2289 days

#6 posted 03-31-2015 06:25 PM

Outstanding drawer. Especialy with those finger joint which are visible. No wondwer you have orders.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2225 days

#7 posted 04-02-2015 12:10 PM

Very beautifully done. Wow! I really like everything about it. The contrasting woods, and wood grain on those doors are fantastic.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View scrollingmom's profile


1086 posts in 1885 days

#8 posted 04-02-2015 02:42 PM

Bob, What a great piece. The woods really go very well together and I love how you book matched it all. It just looks fantastic, to quote Roger. I can see why you would say no more.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View helluvawreck's profile


22684 posts in 2288 days

#9 posted 04-02-2015 07:44 PM

That is so nice looking. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View PPK's profile


185 posts in 230 days

#10 posted 09-26-2016 08:22 PM

It looks super heavy. Is it? Great build, however. These are pretty popular now, and you made the ones available at Target look like a mere joke. I like Ash a lot. Was it local ash?

-- Pete

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