|Project by revanson11||posted 08-29-2015 06:28 PM||2761 views||12 times favorited||15 comments|
My client (wife) let me know that she wanted a new cabinet for our family room to display and store items. She happened to see a picture of Michael Pekovich’s Arts and Crafts Display Case in an issue of FWW and pointed at it and said “that’s it”. I ordered a set of plans and shared the the dimensions with her and she decided that it was too short and wanted another 6” of height. With that I decided to increase the doors by 6” and the associated cabinet. This project took me over 2 1/2 months to complete (I am not a full time woodworker). I tried to follow Pekovich’s design as far as using QSWO, antique hardware and the finishing process. I soon realized that this was going to be a beast to work with as far as weight. This was my first attempt at thru tenons and in this case there are multiple per shelf so spacing needed to be exact. I thoroughly enjoyed the milling process in making all of the parts but not so much in the finishing.
I decided to try out the ammonia fuming process that Pekovich used. I built an enclosure from some scrap wood and covered it with poly. I ended up fuming the wood for about 10-12 hours, until is had slightly darkened. So far so good. I had never used shellac before but decided to go for broke and give it a try. Needless to say there were a lot of four letter words being said as I tried to get a smooth, even layer of shellac down. It seemed like no matter what I tried I couldn’t get a nice finish. Thank goodness that alcohol would easily wipe it off so I could try again. After a couple of tries of application and removal I could see that the oak was taking on a nice color from the garnet shellac after I removed most of the layer that I had just put on. So, I then gave it two coats of Waterlox like Pekovich but was still not real happy with the final color. So, once again I followed Pekovich’s model and melted together some brown shoe polish with some past wax for a final rub out. Now we’re talking. This wax mixture gave the case a wonderful rich brown color and I couldn’t be happier.
When I looked at doing the glass panels for the doors I weighed the pros and cons of doing it myself or having a local glass artisan do the work. Fortunately we have a glass artist in a near by town. His name is Greg Rosenberg and he owns the Shining Light Studio in Brainerd MN http://shininglightstudio.com. After meeting with Greg and seeing his quality of work I decided to let him use his artistry to design the panels for the cabinet doors. His design departs from what Pekovich did but it certainly adds a touch of flair. Greg was fun to work with and let me know that he was a fan of Gustav Stickley furniture. I did follow Pekovich’s selection of hardware from the hand made door and drawer pulls to the antique brass hinges. All in all this project tested my abilities.
-- Randy, Central MN