A Little Cabinetree (finally)

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Project by shipwright posted 12-14-2010 04:05 AM 4002 views 37 times favorited 62 comments Add to Favorites Watch

At last “Little Cabinetree” is finished.

This is a mitered 1/2” MDF box, veneered inside and out with no framing and almost no hardware. The hinges are “box joint” style pinned with removable 1/8” brass rods.

The two main features are the tree base and the “watercolor style” aniline dyed marquetry top. You don’t ever see both well at the same time.

As you approach from a distance the interest is the discord between the flowing organic lines of the tree and the rigid hard lines of the box, then as you get closer the tree slips out of view and the focus shifts to the marquetry on top. For those who insist on inspecting all sides there is a little surprise even on the back where one of the leaves wraps over the edge.

As you circle the piece close in you will notice the “waterfall” grain matches from the top to all four sides.

The piece is almost entirely Western Big Leaf Maple except for a few small bits of Walnut used in the marquetry to indicate curling edges. The shapes and colors of the leaves are representative of the Western Maple.

There are seventy pieces in the top and each hinge is made up of about forty pieces.

The coloring was done with an experimental “watercolor” style using artists’ brushes and aniline dyes.

The construction was covered in my blog here

Thanks for looking.

All comments and especially critiques are welcome and appreciated.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

62 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2510 posts in 1875 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 04:19 AM

wow Shipwright that turned out amazing! I wish I could get a gloss on my projects like you did on that “tree” – great job!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View GaryL's profile


1081 posts in 1614 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 04:20 AM are the man..This is fantastic, from the construction to the artistry. Once again you amaze me.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View JasonWagner's profile


523 posts in 1963 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 04:25 AM

Wow Paul, that is beautiful. I really like the small branch on top that continues into the marquetry.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2455 posts in 2375 days

#4 posted 12-14-2010 04:26 AM

Beautiful Art! Excellent Craftsmanship!!!

-- Dennis Zongker

View Brandon's profile


4145 posts in 1735 days

#5 posted 12-14-2010 04:27 AM

Extraordinary. Well done Paul!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2796 posts in 2496 days

#6 posted 12-14-2010 04:33 AM


Definitely one-of-a-kind! Do you have a close-up of the door handles? Incredible craftsmanship and unique design. Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Schwieb's profile


1603 posts in 2245 days

#7 posted 12-14-2010 04:41 AM

Simply amazing Paul. I can only marvel at your creativity and ability to execute your ideas. You’re thinking is way outside the box and you exude tremendous talent. Thanks for keeping the rest of us inspired and may I say humble?

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View learnin2do's profile


871 posts in 1635 days

#8 posted 12-14-2010 05:03 AM

That is seriously one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen that is not found naturally in nature. For that matter, you even enhanced nature…

-- christine

View Ed's profile


19 posts in 1789 days

#9 posted 12-14-2010 05:03 AM

That is one of the neatest pieces of woodworking/art I have seen in a while!

-- Ed

View degoose's profile


7059 posts in 2138 days

#10 posted 12-14-2010 05:06 AM


-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2557 days

#11 posted 12-14-2010 05:14 AM

Unique design. Beautifully done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SPalm's profile


4972 posts in 2665 days

#12 posted 12-14-2010 05:16 AM

Wow Paul,
That is truly fantastic.

I just love all the little points of interest. And the grain matching is just superb. I love it.

Thanks for letting us watch you build it.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Tubmanslim's profile


12 posts in 1651 days

#13 posted 12-14-2010 05:17 AM

WOW! That is a stunning piece. The execution of the idea is exceptional. The contrast you were shooting for is definitely there, yet you did a great job balancing the weight of the base with the proportions of the cabinet. It feels well grounded but neither section is unbalanced. I love the finger joints. And the book match on the front. The only critique I can offer is that my eye wants to see a bit more continuation of the expansion of the base through the cabinet. Maybe more “peekaboos” thru the top to continue the tree crown. Just a thought, but exceptional work. You must have a lot of sawdust boogers!:-).

View Bearpie's profile


2592 posts in 1801 days

#14 posted 12-14-2010 05:20 AM

Man, this is beautiful and very creative! Not many people can come up with a unique project like that! That’s why I am following you, to see what comes up next!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 2808 days

#15 posted 12-14-2010 05:29 AM

A wonderful piece. Truly artistic!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

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