Dovetailed Cherry Cabinet

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Project by Ed Pirnik posted 12-21-2010 04:45 PM 2649 views 15 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This small wall cabinet was built of cherry and features a turned walnut knob, frame-and-panel door pinned with walnut dowels, and a dovetailed drawer and case.

For a finish, two sealer coats of clear shellac were applied, then lightly sanded. Next, four coats of Minwax antique oil were applied and rubbed out using #0000 steel wool. After one week of curing, clear paste wax was then applied.

The cabinet hangs on a simple French cleat.

-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

18 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3224 days

#1 posted 12-21-2010 04:48 PM

Just beautiful.

One thing about a “relatively simple” design: it highlights every flaw.

And I don’t see any.

Really well done.

Did you hand cut the DTs ?

-- -- Neil

View Ed Pirnik's profile

Ed Pirnik

83 posts in 2881 days

#2 posted 12-21-2010 04:51 PM

Thanks Neil.

Yes, they were hand cut. A combination of hand tools and power however.I used a trim router to hog out waste after cutting the lines with a traditional saw, then just cleaned up with my chisels. That has become my preferred method – as opposed to doing everything with a saw and chisels alone.



-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2827 days

#3 posted 12-21-2010 04:53 PM

Very very nice.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View CJay's profile


133 posts in 3281 days

#4 posted 12-21-2010 05:32 PM

Very handsome. Simple and beautifully made.

-- Chris Boreham, Oxfordshire, UK - -

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4143 days

#5 posted 12-21-2010 05:38 PM

Ed this is perfect in so many ways. Clean, classic design. Great proportions. Amazing craftsmanship. What an outstanding piece of woodworking. Love it and a favorite.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4074 days

#6 posted 12-21-2010 05:50 PM

Ah! Quiet beauty! You let the form and the wood speak for themselves. The contrasting pegs and knob are just enough. Excellent bookmatching too. It truly doesn’t get any better than that.

I like the trim router idea as well – I’m going to have to try that. Do you stop short of the baseline?

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3932 days

#7 posted 12-21-2010 07:58 PM

Oh my, I really really like this piece.
There are a dozen points I could make in praise.

Thanks for the inspiration,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Ed Pirnik's profile

Ed Pirnik

83 posts in 2881 days

#8 posted 12-21-2010 08:20 PM

FYI – to be honest, I cannot take credit for designing the cabinet. It was from an article by Matthew Teague – in case anyone wants to build it. I had some scraps in the shop and decided to build it as a gift for my wife’s aunt and uncle, who just built a new home.

Original article lives here.

-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2751 posts in 3642 days

#9 posted 12-21-2010 08:27 PM

Very Nice! Clean & Crisp. Great looking Dovetails.

-- Dennis Zongker

View CL810's profile


3801 posts in 3038 days

#10 posted 12-21-2010 09:49 PM

Beautiful work Ed!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View GabrielX's profile


231 posts in 2882 days

#11 posted 12-21-2010 10:12 PM

Nice work; Hope you have a spot for it inside somewhere safe!

-- GX

View Zach117's profile


19 posts in 3110 days

#12 posted 12-21-2010 10:19 PM

Very nice. Im guessing the door panel is solid wood. How did you “float” it in the frame? Tongue and groove all the way around?

View Ed Pirnik's profile

Ed Pirnik

83 posts in 2881 days

#13 posted 12-21-2010 10:22 PM

Zach: Yes, you are correct. The door’s rails and stiles all have a groove cut around the interior perimeter. The panel has a rabbet cut around it’s perimeter and the two then fit together. The rails and stiles are joined with pinned bridle joints – a very easy joint to cut using a tenoning jig you can build yourself.



-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 2868 days

#14 posted 12-21-2010 11:13 PM

Exceptional – clean and crisp with an even finish that reflects the light just right.

Well done!

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3723 days

#15 posted 12-21-2010 11:18 PM

Beautiful work, Ed.

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