Recycled Plywood Clamshell Armoire

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Project by KelSnake posted 04-18-2015 01:35 PM 756 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This armoire represents a little experiment I did where I put an ad online looking to trade my woodworking for a used motorcycle. So, one day I heard back from a fella expressing interest and that he had a bike to offer as trade.

I looked at his bike and thought it ok, not neccessarily a bike I would keep, but that wasn’t particular to my specific experiment so I went ahead with the deal anyway. To match to the value of the bike I expressed that I would have to make this piece from reclaimed materials and that he would have to pick from the stains I had on hand. He was ok with that. The experiment moved forward.

So, this 2 piece armoire was built nearly entirely from shipping crates that came from work. The plywood is 13/16” veneer core Sappo, ...I am told that it is a South American Pine of sorts. The plywood itself is easy to work with and is a bit rough, much like coming from the saw mill, so it sanded up great while giving it an aged look if I left some of the milling marks here and there. The simple doors and drawer face edges are wrapped with solid pine as to hide the plywood nature of this piece. I am pretty sure that all I had to purchase was the hinges and drawer slides. All the other materials I had on hand already.

I had never done a clamshell top before and thought it might be fun to try, so I made up a few jigs and off I went. The clamshell pieces themselves are of solid pine. When I was finished I put a Red Mahoghany stain and many coats of high gloss varathane on it.

In the end I sold the bike and sold it for about the same as I would have if I sold the cabinet to begin with, ..or pretty close anyway.

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~

3 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3664 posts in 3143 days

#1 posted 04-18-2015 03:52 PM

I REALLY love the knotted grain of the pallet wood you used. Can you show more detail? It’s hard to find a solid wood piece of furniture at the store these days as everything is made from veneered MDF or plywood. Some of those South American woods are really quite strong and the generic names are very misleading. NICE JOB and trade!

Let us know what you trade the bike for. Maybe a major piece of power equipment for the wood shop?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Buckethead's profile


3140 posts in 1289 days

#2 posted 04-18-2015 04:07 PM

Looks awesome! Great design/build and you had a bit of fun with it.

Also interested in the materials. The knots look like Birdseye, and are quite regularly distributed. I’m wondering about that effect and how you pulled it off so cleanly.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View KelSnake's profile


196 posts in 743 days

#3 posted 04-18-2015 04:28 PM

Hey thanks guys, ...sorry, those are the only pics I took if it.

The collaspable crates I used had sheets of 13/16” venner core plywood that ran about 38” wide x 46” long. The dimensions of this cabinet worked pretty good for the size of material I had (hence a 2 pc unit). The drawer faces would have came out of the same sheet of material. Hundreds of sheets would collect each week, often as I was sorting out a lift to take home, I would spot the odd piece that had outstanding grain pattern, and sometimes with great chattatoyance as well. This was the case here.

Even in the world of recycled/reclaimed materials thar’ be gold!

-- Kel Snake, ~ Mystery By Design ~

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