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Japanese tansu

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Project by cathyb posted 06-22-2010 10:13 PM 3325 views 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my tansu, a Japanese cabinet, constructed from mahogany with koa accents and a lacquered ash base. I took on this job just for the chance to experiment with those slats on the front. The tansu is 8’ long, 3’ tall and 2’ deep. The drawers on the bottom are large and offset from the cabinets above. Inside the cabinets are an assortment of shelves to store large serving pieces. In my yippie skippie mindset, I was focused on my joinery for most of the journey. After I added the top and tried to move it, I realized my box had beefed up to about 200 pounds. Even with the gliders on the feet, it wasn’t going to budge. Oh my God! Thus came the need for casters, which didn’t diminish my angst about the upcoming delivery. Somehow we managed to get that huge thing through the front door, around the corner and into place. Thank God for those casters! After this photo was taken, I made little lacquered booties to hide my casters, which were a distraction (or lifesaver). Bottom line: trouble is always around the corner-run faster!

-- cathyb, Hawaii, www.cathyswoodworking.com





23 comments so far

View wseand's profile (online now)

wseand

2603 posts in 1789 days


#1 posted 06-22-2010 10:25 PM

Just a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View azwoodman's profile

azwoodman

132 posts in 2128 days


#2 posted 06-22-2010 10:26 PM

Thats a beautiful cabinet!

-- Spencer, Gilbert Az (http://www.azwoodshop.com)

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1670 days


#3 posted 06-22-2010 10:52 PM

Very nice piece. What did you use for the finish?

-- Life is good.

View cathyb's profile

cathyb

757 posts in 1991 days


#4 posted 06-22-2010 11:10 PM

My standard finish is Olympic Polyurethane- a great one as the first coat. After 12 hours, 2 coats of Urethane polyurethane- a little thinner. After a few days, I spray Minwax polyurethane-pathetic as a primary coat, but so thin you can easily spray it to eliminate brush strokes from previous coats.

Although my woodworking buddies have urged me to go back to a lacquer finish, I love working with polyurethane. I enjoy slowing brushing my work to look for flaws. I don’t mind waiting for a finish to build up. Furthermore, it is so much easier to clean up my gun when using the Minwax, rather than lacquer. It sets up a little slower than lacquer and I can use acetone instead of lacquer thinner to clean up without any problems.

One final point, I never liked the look or feel of a lacquered finish. Oil-based polyurethane gives koa and mahogany a richer and and especially deeper look as it brings out the grain rather than a flash coat laying on top.

-- cathyb, Hawaii, www.cathyswoodworking.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112882 posts in 2324 days


#5 posted 06-22-2010 11:13 PM

Beautiful Cathy

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

669 posts in 1838 days


#6 posted 06-23-2010 12:39 AM

Eye catching. Very nice work Cathy.

View patron's profile

patron

13170 posts in 2088 days


#7 posted 06-23-2010 12:43 AM

excellent work ,
nothing but the best from you ,cathy .

i bet they love it .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2081 days


#8 posted 06-23-2010 12:44 AM

That is one beautiful piece Cathy. I agree with you on the poly. If done right it’s hard to beat. My son wanted me to make a long low cabinet in similar proportions to yours, but I told him it would be too large for my shop and besides, it would be a hassle every time they needed to move it. It seems that isn’t a big problem with your solution.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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NormG

4510 posts in 1751 days


#9 posted 06-23-2010 02:07 AM

just amazing work and style

-- Norman

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

297 posts in 1826 days


#10 posted 06-23-2010 05:19 AM

A piece meant to be appreciated and enjoyed by future generations.

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Benji-Reyes/88321902103?ref=ts

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2521 days


#11 posted 06-23-2010 05:55 AM

Impressive looking piece. Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15304 posts in 1936 days


#12 posted 06-23-2010 10:39 AM

Cathy, this is just perfect! Love the accents and color. Thx for the info on finishing as well, very informative.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2994 days


#13 posted 06-23-2010 01:10 PM

Beautiful work.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View buffalo689's profile

buffalo689

170 posts in 1755 days


#14 posted 06-23-2010 03:38 PM

A real beauty.!!

-- bill

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2290 posts in 1763 days


#15 posted 06-23-2010 04:34 PM

Fantastic craftwomanship. The wood is outstanding. A very lovely piece. thanks for sharing.

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

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