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Mid-Century Modern Walnut Credenza with Buffard Freres Banding

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Project by WhattheChuck posted 06-25-2016 11:10 PM 1259 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just finished this large walnut credenza. The original plan was that this was going to be a shared project with a younger friend—we were going to make duplicates—but he picked a design that I didn’t particularly want in my own house. I’ll post that when he gets it finished.

I made the doors to be reversible so that if I got tired of staring at the banding, I could flip them around and it would be purely Danish/Mid-Century Modern. The dovetails are all with my Leigh Dovetail Jig. I never saw the big carcase ones by hand. Too much work!

Shaping the legs was actually fun and easier than you might think. Fitting the whole thing together involved some level of misery, but the little tabs on the tops of the legs are actually a good feature. If you make something like this, you are being as naive as I was if you think that the legs will flex and the whole thing will just drop in. It doesn’t work like that. However, the little tabs are easily plane-able, and you make the whole thing so it is snug.

I originally designed the cabinet to drop into the base, and be able to be removed for moving. I’m now thinking that this wasn’t such a great idea, and will probably buy a couple of angle brackets and screw the base to the cabinet.

The finish is Minwax Tung Oil Finish, three coats, rubbed out. It’s glossy enough, I think. The hardware was stainless steel bar pulls from Home Depot. Nothing fancy.

The base is designed after a Finn Juhl attributed cabinet I saw on 1stdibs. Highly recommended as a source for furniture inspiration. That’s the last picture in the chain.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA





7 comments so far

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1685 posts in 1044 days


#1 posted 06-26-2016 02:31 AM

Really beautiful Chuck! Amazing work. 5 stars. I know somebody who would love to have that!!!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

216 posts in 2957 days


#2 posted 06-26-2016 04:23 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Jerry. This one came out really well—the pictures aren’t that great, but the dimensions are actually really balanced. It’s not a small piece of furniture, though. That’s the one underestimation on my part. It’s 28” tall, by 19” deep, by 56” wide.

In my hobby as a furniture maker, I’ve found that designing furniture is really hard. Or rather, designing furniture that looks good is really hard. :-) By varying dimensions off a known piece, I have a much greater likelihood of success than just going native. I did this with this piece—and I’m pretty happy with it. I think it would have looked better had the main case been about 3” less tall—it’s 18”, and likely would have looked more sleek had it been only 15”. But that would have reduced the utility. That’s the trade-off thing.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View david38's profile

david38

2318 posts in 1740 days


#3 posted 06-26-2016 02:06 PM

beautiful piece

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

216 posts in 2957 days


#4 posted 06-26-2016 08:17 PM

Thanks, David!

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

188 posts in 693 days


#5 posted 06-29-2016 02:14 PM

Very nice work. I agree with your observation that shaping wood like that is easier than expected and also quite enjoyable. That leg design is great.

Did you by chance put laminate on the other side of the doors? I’m still considering making a second set of sliding doors finished with formica for the credenza I made. Has to be a second set though, the hardware I used requires holes just like cabinet hinges.

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

188 posts in 693 days


#6 posted 06-29-2016 02:27 PM



Thanks for the kind words, Jerry. This one came out really well—the pictures aren t that great, but the dimensions are actually really balanced. It s not a small piece of furniture, though. That s the one underestimation on my part. It s 28” tall, by 19” deep, by 56” wide.

In my hobby as a furniture maker, I ve found that designing furniture is really hard. Or rather, designing furniture that looks good is really hard. :-) By varying dimensions off a known piece, I have a much greater likelihood of success than just going native. I did this with this piece—and I m pretty happy with it. I think it would have looked better had the main case been about 3” less tall—it s 18”, and likely would have looked more sleek had it been only 15”. But that would have reduced the utility. That s the trade-off thing.

- WhattheChuck

When it comes to design for aesthetics, you can’t go wrong with the rule of thirds, the 2:3 ratio, and the golden ratio.

View WhattheChuck's profile

WhattheChuck

216 posts in 2957 days


#7 posted 06-30-2016 04:44 AM

Hi Waldo,

I left the other side natural. You can kinda see that in the pictures. I may end up hauling it outside and taking pictures with a long lens. I used to be a semi-pro photographer, so it’s not self-deprecation with regards to the pix. I could do better.

But I am really happy with it. That’s not true with everything I make—but it is true with this piece. It is actually very close to the dimensions of the 1stdibs piece, scaled down 3/4. I did make it taller, because making it slimmer would have detracted from its utility. It’s still a big, honking thing.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

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