Map cabinet

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Project by ravensrock posted 05-13-2017 02:36 AM 1850 views 18 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend asked if I could build him a map cabinet. I had no idea what a map cabinet was at the time. After some research we agreed on a design and I got started. Here is the finished result. It is made from quartersawn white oak and white oak plywood (expensive stuff!). It’s big and heavy measuring about 40” wide and 29” deep. The eight drawers are made from poplar, are 3” high and slide smoothly on wood runners. He plans to use it to store his art and poster collection. I’m pleased with how this project turned out!

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

26 comments so far

View BobWemm's profile


2370 posts in 1801 days

#1 posted 05-13-2017 02:43 AM

Simply Beautiful.
Great job.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


3759 posts in 2283 days

#2 posted 05-13-2017 02:44 AM

Nice piece of work, looks great!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View builtinbkyn's profile


1956 posts in 815 days

#3 posted 05-13-2017 03:16 AM

That turned out beautifully. I remember your question on the drawer slides. I see you went with runners, which is traditional and in line with the nice dovetails you cut. Excellent from top to bottom!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View ravensrock's profile


470 posts in 1517 days

#4 posted 05-13-2017 03:20 AM

Good memory Bill! I was worried with as big as the drawers were that they would bind on runners. But I’m glad to say they ended up working well. And a little wax helps too!

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View John's profile


1039 posts in 1145 days

#5 posted 05-13-2017 03:41 AM

Very good looking cabinet Dave.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View jimsbench2's profile


2 posts in 254 days

#6 posted 05-13-2017 03:53 AM

Saw ‘map cabinet’ and had to take a look. I worked for the Corps of Engineers for 40+ and filed many a map and drawing. Would have loved to have had storage as sweet as this. Very nice job. On my latest workbench built for my daughter I used similar handles. I prefer this style for workbench and for cabinets, no rough edges. I can believe that cabinet weighed a tad. ha. The cabinet portion of my workbench ( 3/4” oak plywood ), due to tight fit and weight, I borrowed a neighbors floor jack to help us slide it into place. I really like the drawer slide design, very compact and gives user full use of 3” drawers. Nice finish too. Curious of the brand of stain you chose. Nice show piece for maps and art.

-- Jim, Millersville Maryland

View ravensrock's profile


470 posts in 1517 days

#7 posted 05-13-2017 04:07 AM

Hi Jim- I used a several step process for the finish to try to bring out the ray flecks in the oak. Started with amber transtint, followed by Sealcoat, then General Finishes Georgian Cherry gel stain and finally 3 coats of satin Arm-R-Seal. Thanks for the kind words!

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View jimsbench2's profile


2 posts in 254 days

#8 posted 05-13-2017 04:27 AM

I’ve come to love all the General Finishes products. I used their Georgian Cherry gel stain on at least one. Curious if you used any of Charles Neil’s Pre-Color Conditioner on the Oak Plywood ends. Looking at the cabinet, you may not of had any ends of plywood showing. The Gel Stain was not water based correct. I had mixed feelings the one time I used CN’s Conditioner prior to a water based stain. You have to be real careful not to remove everything. Not blaming the CN product at all, it’s the user and possibly the water based stain combination. I’m far from real experienced. Prior to an oil base stain, I’ve seen how well it can work.

-- Jim, Millersville Maryland

View ravensrock's profile


470 posts in 1517 days

#9 posted 05-13-2017 04:34 AM

Jim- I tried the CN conditioner on a sample piece and didn’t see much of a difference like I have on past projects. I was more concerned about a difference between the hardwood and the plywood than about blotching. Since I didn’t have enough to do the whole cabinet I did not use it this time. The gel stain is oil-based. And I agree with you about the GF products. I’ve been using them almost exclusively lately.

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View ronstar's profile


439 posts in 3585 days

#10 posted 05-13-2017 10:16 AM

Awesome map cabinet! As a map collector and former land surveyor, I definitely see the need for one of these.

-- Ron, Northern Illinois

View jim65's profile


977 posts in 1808 days

#11 posted 05-13-2017 10:36 AM


-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7564 posts in 2203 days

#12 posted 05-13-2017 11:26 AM

Very nice piece. I like the Cherry stain on the White Oak.

Is the plywood on the ends panels only?

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View helluvawreck's profile


29764 posts in 2741 days

#13 posted 05-13-2017 11:33 AM

This is a wonderful piece and you have done a beautiful job on it. This could also be a spool chest or a fine tool chest for carving tools or what have you. It’s very nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

109 posts in 2379 days

#14 posted 05-13-2017 12:03 PM

That’s a beautiful cabinet.

-- Ron Stewart

View BurlyBob's profile


5150 posts in 2140 days

#15 posted 05-13-2017 01:13 PM

Fantastic! Absolutely stunning. It’s sure to become a treasured heirloom piece.

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