William and Mary Cabinet

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Project by SPHinTampa posted 07-13-2015 03:54 PM 1263 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wife’s birthday present was a couple of months late. Built a W&M Cabinet using magazine article in Popular Woodworking. Interesting project as I was forced to buy a lathe and learn how to turn. Fortunately, Woodcraft had a Nova 16-44 on sale for $500 off so I spent about $2000 to save the $500 ($1000 for lathe, $300 for Wolverine sharpening station, $400 on tools and $100 on turning DVDs). Made the $160 for the reproduction hardware from Londonderry Brasses seem cheap.

Construction Details:
- Walnut primary, poplar secondary wood
- Dovetailed carcass cut using MCLS thru dovetail jig
- Dovetail (half blind in front, thru in the back) drawers cut using Incra system
- Dowels used to connect legs into base and into stretcher
- Walnut Burl veneer over walnut drawer front using vacuum press system to adhere
- Finish is shellac on body
- Used spray can lacquer for drawer fronts
- Entire piece was waxed and buffed

Lessons learned:
- Turning is hard on your lungs if you don’t set up dust collection in both front and back
- Turning spheres/bun feet consistently is way harder than making pretty looking legs
- Walnut dust is hard on your lungs period. Reverted to all hand tool finishing (hand scrapers, goose neck scrapers and smoothing planes) to avoid dust after turning experience
- You can not use shellac in hot weather? I could get good results on the carcass but not the drawer fronts. Not sure if shellac was not working with glue seep thru on veneer or scraped finish was too fine for it to adhere. I could not get a non streaky finish on the drawer fronts using using either brush on or spray shellac in either very thick (3 lb) or thin coats (1 lb). I tried brand new shellac from the can. Ended up stripping and using spray lacquer.

Wife is happy so I guess project came out ok.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

11 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


3499 posts in 1689 days

#1 posted 07-13-2015 04:38 PM

Shawn, that is absolutely stunning.

View Sasha's profile


575 posts in 636 days

#2 posted 07-13-2015 07:22 PM

Why it costs in antique shop?

-- Ganchik Sasha

View Grumpymike's profile


1899 posts in 1739 days

#3 posted 07-13-2015 09:12 PM

Shawn, I’m So Sorry that you were forced to buy a lathe for your shop … Don’t ya just hate it when you have to add another tool to the collection??
But look at the stunning results … Wow that’s an eye popper.
In every piece I build, there is some learning and head scratching on how to fix a mistake (read screw-up).
But I do see why it was a bit tough on you, there is a gremlin peeking out from under that bottom drawer.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View sras's profile


4364 posts in 2553 days

#4 posted 07-14-2015 01:04 AM

Excellent result on a challenging project!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View gsimon's profile


1153 posts in 1537 days

#5 posted 07-14-2015 01:16 AM

amazing job! Congratulations on a wonderful build
yeah – sorry to hear you had to spring for new tools! :)

-- Greg Simon

View WhattheChuck's profile


221 posts in 2984 days

#6 posted 07-14-2015 02:52 AM

Looks great—is it a spice cabinet? Or are the pix just deceptive and make it look small?

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View SPHinTampa's profile


566 posts in 3109 days

#7 posted 07-14-2015 03:11 AM

It is a spice box. The cabinet is 24” tall by 15” wide.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1720 posts in 1393 days

#8 posted 07-14-2015 11:31 AM

Wow! You knocked it out of the park with this one. Great work

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2228 days

#9 posted 07-14-2015 02:15 PM


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

View Mark's profile


814 posts in 1399 days

#10 posted 07-14-2015 02:32 PM

Outstanding Shawn. Well done.

-- Mark

View John Little's profile

John Little

31 posts in 1668 days

#11 posted 07-15-2015 01:25 AM

Beautifully done. Your wife has to be happy with it.

-- John Little, ToyMakers of East Lake

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