|Project by DocT||posted 01-19-2011 12:27 AM||2415 views||11 times favorited||10 comments|
Sometimes I just like to try new things. My wife’s side of the family draws names for Christmas. This year I got my Mother-in-Law’s name again, and she requested that I make her a new spice cabinet. She gave me some rough dimensions but pretty much left the rest up to me (except she did say that she wanted it to sit on the counter and not hang on the wall).
Boy, that leaves the options wide open. I decided to try out some new techniques. I have some spalted Maple with white rot and very prominent zone lines. Bookmatching pieces for the doors is where the whole design started. Is that Krenovian enough? I initially intended to build the remainder from White Oak and ebonize the wood to “bring out” the black zone lines in the Maple.
With that look in mind, I soon arrived at the idea of building it from Red Oak instead and giving it a char TEXTURE. This is a technique that I have used on several lathe-turned pieces but have never attempted on flatwork. (In reference to the switch of woods, there is no magic in red vs. white oak for this technique, BUT this technique is much more effective in wood with wider growth rings (faster growth) and all of my white oak is very dense old-growth wood.) To achieve the texture, the surface is deeply charred with a propane torch, and then the surface is raked with a brass brush. It’s messy, but what is left behind is a deeply weathered, almost sandblasted and ebonized surface. The surface can then be burnished or sealed. I chose to seal this cabinet with satin lacquer.
My next little experiment centered around devising a door latch. What I came up with is loosely based on an article in Fine Woodworking. It involves a revolving tongue attached to one of the knobs that rotates into a groove on the opposite door. It was a bit finicky to get adjusted, but I like that the doors remain closed and that the latch can be operated single-handedly.
Unfortunately, some of the WOW of the latch is diminished by a hinge miscalculation, which left an exaggerated gap between the doors. Oh well, sometimes our families get our best work, and sometimes it’s just for our Mother-in-Law! The cabinet is roughly 15” x 15” x 6” deep.