Shaker Style Case Topper (at least that's what I'm calling it!)

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Project by Dorje posted 06-17-2007 08:25 AM 2849 views 6 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I finally finished this thing and here it is!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

39 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 06-17-2007 01:14 PM

You did a fine job of matching the wood grain on all the drawers and the rest of it. Super joinery! I turned out very nice…you should be proud!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1179 posts in 3039 days

#2 posted 06-17-2007 01:41 PM

This project is right up my alley. Sqaure , functional, the dovetails, color have all come together great. Nice job.


-- Bob A in NJ

View RonR's profile


71 posts in 3048 days

#3 posted 06-17-2007 02:24 PM

Very nice job. Are those hand cut dovetails? Well done.

-- RonR, Massachusetts

View Karson's profile


34987 posts in 3441 days

#4 posted 06-17-2007 02:28 PM

Great Topper. Nice job with all of the construction details.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 3046 days

#5 posted 06-17-2007 02:58 PM

handsome cabinet. Is that quarter sawn Fir?

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3287 days

#6 posted 06-17-2007 03:23 PM

Very nice A+. Better than anything i’ve done. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3076 days

#7 posted 06-17-2007 03:26 PM

Very nice topper. The dovetails have a handcut appearance. Can you talk a bit about the construction and joinery?

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile


12635 posts in 3137 days

#8 posted 06-17-2007 04:11 PM

Great topper. I’m also wondering about the dove tails.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View gizmodyne's profile


1765 posts in 3130 days

#9 posted 06-17-2007 05:25 PM

Very nice. I like the vertical grain and the score lines on the dovetails.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Napaman's profile


5435 posts in 3117 days

#10 posted 06-17-2007 08:15 PM

this could win a summer award for joinery…beautiful piece…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Sawdust2's profile


1467 posts in 3128 days

#11 posted 06-17-2007 09:20 PM

Making fine dovetails in a soft wood is very very difficult.

The finish is uniformly reflective.

That is a top-notch topper.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View David's profile


1970 posts in 3179 days

#12 posted 06-18-2007 01:07 AM

Dorje -

WOW! Excellent job. Very nice detail and finish work. This is a project to be very proud of! Very nice case work.


View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3037 days

#13 posted 06-18-2007 05:43 AM

Thanks for all the positive comments! To answer some of the questions:

It is vertical grain (quartersawn) fir that I picked up for next to nothing from a window shop that was shutting down in my neighborhood. I tried to use the prettiest, tightest grained material for all the showing surfaces.

The joinery is as follows: I handcut dovetails for the main carcase corners and all the drawers (front and back); sliiding doves for the vertical dividers (made with the router); stopped dadoes for all the horizontal dividers (again, routed). Sawdust2 said, “Making fine dovetails in a soft wood is very very difficult.” Isn’t that the truth! The combination of the hard, brittle slow growth rings and the soft quick growth rings in fir sure gives handsaws and chisels (and their user) a run for their money. I also made a frame and (flush) panel back (all solid stock) and mortised and tenoned all the back frame members (overkill – but wanted the practice!) then rabbetted it into the back of the case. Oh yeah, I resawed alder (right off the firewood pile) and jointed up stock for the drawer bottoms out of that.

My intention with this piece was to learn a lot of different joinery techniques on one little project that I will later be able to apply to other, hopefully bigger pieces that I construct! Also, I wanted to use all solid stock on this one. So from my point of view, I accomplished what I set out to do.

Thanks again!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3037 days

#14 posted 06-18-2007 06:47 AM

Oh yeah, one more thing…

The knobs: I handturned those out of birch.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3201 days

#15 posted 06-18-2007 12:26 PM

oh so very nice!!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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