Shaker Sideboard

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Project by Bertha posted 03-05-2017 12:11 AM 2441 views 3 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted a sideboard to go against a bare wall near my kitchen. I was looking for something unadorned that I could put some handtools on. I consolidated a few designs from all my Shaker books and fit the dimensions while keeping the proportions.

I started out with some local cherry that had been air drying for 2 years, around 9%. I spent days milling down 200 bf, as there wasn’t much clear wood in the pile. I brought it to 3/4”, 1/2”, and 3/8” with varying widths, some quite wide (12”). I wanted to dovetail the carcass and although I generally dislike moldings, I’d use a simple cove in this case.

I then moved on to the dividers. I wanted a top horizontal divider to pin the molding into and give the drawers clearance. I decided to use one vertical divider and run the horizontal dividers in sliding dovetails. I figured the full length vertical divider would give the 60” case more central support. I routed the males using a laminate trimmer with a 7 degree bit. Cleaned them up with handplanes just to say I did.

I routed the females with a standard router with same.

It got a little tight for comfort on the upper horizontal divider mortise.

moved on to the drawers and used 1/2 blind in front and full in back. 3/8 inch bottoms. All hand cut with a WESTERN saw. This was my 1st large project using a non-Japanese saw and although it took some getting used to, I really like the rigidity.

Ooooo that smell…hide glue on everything except the pulls (epoxy).

Then on to the cabinets. I used a rail and stile with a raised panel. I was tempted to mount the panel flat-first but I ended up mounting it raised-out in an effort to match the molding (which I know nothing about).

I used a labeling scheme and stamped the parts. I only screwed up once.

For once, I remembered to drill the pull mortises BEFORE I glued everything up.

Turned some bubinga knobs for the desired contrast.

I rebated for the drawer back with a router and shiplapped the back with a plough until I got tired of it and finished on the router table. It was friction fit into the case and secured with a few brass screws. I put the beads on the inside and used spaceballs.

I then cleaned up the carcass dovetails and ran the molding. Just a simple cove bit on the router table, then cleaned up with a curved scraper. I mitered on a shoot board and pin nailed it on.

Guess what I DID forget to do before glue up…mortise for the hinges. I got the hinges from Brusso and the catches from somewhere I can’t recall. I was going to use bullet catches but I was worried that the door would be shoved in my accident and damage the hinge.

It too, me forever to hang the doors and mount the catches. 1 went on without a hitch, the 2nd needed some planing, and the 3rd and 4th required drilling out the holes, plugging them, and redrilling. It really sucked and they’re not perfect but the reveal is pretty even.

The finish is hot BLO only. Every surface was handplaned and scraped. I wanted to leave a reasonable amount of tooling and no abrasives touched it.

I left the inside of the lower case mostly raw from the mill, scrub planed to be even enough for the door reveal.

Moved it inside for inspection.

First the left case bottom.

Then the right.

It passed inspection and moved in. Thanks for looking!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

29 comments so far

View Kelster58's profile


670 posts in 745 days

#1 posted 03-05-2017 12:24 AM

You did a very nice job on your sideboard cabinet. Looks like heirloom quality design and workmanship.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Mean_Dean's profile


6903 posts in 3352 days

#2 posted 03-05-2017 12:51 AM

There’s definitely more going on behind the scenes than it’s simple elegance belies! Beautiful sideboard—I’m sure you’ll get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View lysdexic's profile


5256 posts in 2828 days

#3 posted 03-05-2017 12:53 AM


-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View theoldfart's profile


10173 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 03-05-2017 01:04 AM

Scotty’s right AL, strong. Nice to see your work again.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30071 posts in 2543 days

#5 posted 03-05-2017 01:05 AM

Very nice piece

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3782 days

#6 posted 03-05-2017 01:19 AM

Nice work Berta

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bushmaster's profile


3353 posts in 2488 days

#7 posted 03-05-2017 02:38 AM

I have always liked the shaker designed cabinetry, but what I don’t understand is you wanted something to put tools on. The quality of the workmanship and work you put into it in joinery makes this a very sacred piece of furniture. More fitting to have vases with fresh flowers, picture of your wife and display a bible if you chose. Thanks for all the pictures, I learned allot and can admire your workmanship much more.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View pottz's profile


3593 posts in 1189 days

#8 posted 03-05-2017 03:22 AM

you are a true craftsman,excellent quality and worksmanship.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View woodcox's profile


2161 posts in 2217 days

#9 posted 03-05-2017 04:06 AM

That fit the wall nicely:) Awsome work Sir! Thanks for all the great build pics.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

278 posts in 2752 days

#10 posted 03-05-2017 10:52 AM

Really impressive build using hand tools…thanks for posting.

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3294 days

#11 posted 03-05-2017 01:14 PM

Wonderful work and cabinet.
Really enjoyed to see you work and look at the tools in the shop, thanks.
I am sure I could smell wood once in a while.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3072 days

#12 posted 03-05-2017 01:44 PM

Bertha, this Shaker Sideboard is an extraordinary piece. I’m so glad to see that you are still very productive in your shop. I love this piece. May you always be happy in your work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Porchfish's profile


847 posts in 2738 days

#13 posted 03-05-2017 02:32 PM

Very NICE ! Thanks for the complete construction coverage. This piece will be enjoyed for generations yet to come …Goodon’ya and thanks for sharing !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View terryR's profile


7441 posts in 2514 days

#14 posted 03-05-2017 02:51 PM

Very impressive work.
Thanks for all the photos!

You have some beautiful planes.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2549 days

#15 posted 03-05-2017 03:09 PM

looks good

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