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Project by Damien posted 11-11-2011 06:19 PM 3586 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first project to post! I am new to sign up but I’ve been stalking the projects on here for about a year. What great inspiration!

I have recently started moving into some furniture type items.

This is an extremely natural top, and as a tribute to all of you woodworkers, my first butterfly dovetails I decided to go extreme! I’ll take all the criticism I can get, I’m hoping to sell some of these pieces eventually.

This is a Walnut top, Maple Cabinet with nice door pulls and European style hinges.

15 comments so far

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2956 days

#1 posted 11-11-2011 07:07 PM

If it’s one of your first projects then it certainly beats my first projects.
A very dared, almost weird combination of a very rustic slab top on a modern plywood cabinet with euro-hinges.
Nothing about this is normal lol, not even the door rail and stile assembly!

All funniness aside if you want some criticism, i think the whole may not be quite right, the simple cabinet doesn’t do the precious walnut top justice.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3683 days

#2 posted 11-11-2011 07:09 PM

Usually , Walnut and Maple look great together. However ,This isn’t one of those times .
This appears to be two separate projects , sitting in a corner , waiting to be finished.
The very rustic top does not go with the clean , sharp lines of the much more modern cabinet design and hardware.
The butterflies would have been nicer if smaller and a darker color such as Heartwood Walnut , seeing as most of the top is Sapwood.. The one BIG one isn’t eye appealing at all.
I believe this “style” was popular during the “Fugly” period.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 2399 days

#3 posted 11-11-2011 07:21 PM

As a first project, this definitely blows mine out of the water! Craftsmanship looks good. As far as the design goes, I also have mixed feelings about the two disparate languages you’ve used – most processed and least processed wood types combined.

To make this seem less like what Dusty56 mentioned; two projects thrown together, the one suggestion I have is to use “live edge” whittled handles on the doors instead of the stainless steel(?) hardware. That way the two wood types would be better integrated, and you’d be using one less material type. Also the walnut is really tactile, it’s a shame to make the person using this interact with steel instead of something with a more interesting texture.

Good job overall, when I can build something like this I’ll be proud.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View Damien's profile


21 posts in 2384 days

#4 posted 11-11-2011 08:19 PM

I should have added some more notes about this. It’s not my first project, just the most recent. I have been playing around in the shop for 2 years or so actively. I have just started working furniture though. I also don’t use plans for my woodworking, my plans are a flowing idea.

Greedo, I’m glad to see you noticed some of the interesting aspects of this. Especially the door configuration.

This piece was definitely designed to be sarcastic. The extremely rustic top is an ironic and sarcastic compliment to the extremely square base. I also feel that the rustic top gives a feel of interest and confusion to a VERY practical and VERY usable base. You would not be afraid to load the base with electronics and wires and video game systems. While the top is a bit more fragile in appearance and is perfect for setting a large flat screen TV and some candles (not too close to the screen!).

I appreciate the criticism, just hold in mind that this was designed to be very sarcastic, and the exaggerated butterflies are the ketchup on the burger. The top also looks very light in these photos. There really isn’t much sapwood.

I will post some more projects in the future. I have several finished that I need to get posted.

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 2546 days

#5 posted 11-11-2011 08:53 PM

What I am going to say is going to sound worse than I mean it I’m sure. This piece almost makes me sick to look at. It is overwhelming, from the top and bottom mix, the way the doors are made, the butterflies, it moves so much my brain seems to have a hard time understanding it. Like looking at one of those optical illusion where stuff looks like its moving in a spiral, those too make me sick to look at. So many things that are making my eyes jet back and forth that I get motion sickness. I feel like I’m reading in a car looking at.
This piece seems better suited a studio furniture to me, it seems to press the viewer to hard to be something comfortable with in the home. If your intent as a designer was to press that way (eg, Salvador dali, MC Escher) then great job, and I do mean great job, this is a terrific example of that. If its made to sit in someone home I think you will have a very niche market.

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View DocSavage45's profile


8549 posts in 2838 days

#6 posted 11-12-2011 01:36 AM

From a pragmatic point of vie, a lot of effort went into this project. a lot of over the top design…The
Irony? incongruence seems to say it best?

Nice craftsmanship.

Where will the piece reside?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3763 days

#7 posted 11-12-2011 03:05 AM

A one of a kind, that’s for sure!

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2493 days

#8 posted 11-12-2011 05:28 AM

As a sarcasm, you may make the bottom utilitarian, quite plain, but make it exquisitely plain, something to be noticed and perhaps only smiled at, by those with an eye and a calmer mind. Make it comfortable at home for someone and not to perpetually show off. Kick it up a few notches, vakman handles as mentioned, joinery and careful proportions, subtle wood choices and others that escape instant notice; but do lose the gaps in the top, especially on the left, even if by using a bright coloured underlay or shining sheet steel. (with lights!). Have another go at it.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3135 days

#9 posted 11-12-2011 10:17 AM

Gee Dusty, a little harsh with the criticism? He might not share anything with us anymore.
I agree with what you said, though, just wouldn’t have phrased it so bluntly.

Damien, I think we all share the view of wanting to give you constructive honest feedback so don’t take this the wrong way. Aesthetically, its like what everyone said, two separate unrelated projects. The cabinets are just too plain. I think if you can manage to give the rails and stiles a dark walnut stain while keeping the panels maple, it should provide enough interest to balance with the top.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3683 days

#10 posted 11-12-2011 08:49 PM

@Sarit ”I’ll take all the criticism I can get” as typed by the OP.

Sorry I don’t believe in candy coating my comments to encourage someone to keep making something that is obviously wrong , as some others here do.
And as I had typed , it was and still is JustMyHonestOpinion….

So ,Sarit , which is worse in your judgement , someone being honest , or someone that tells this guy to go ahead and make more to get the OP’s hopes up that he finds a client for them ?
Your “tip” to the OP regarding the staining would only add to the sadness of this project….Once again , JMHO.
Now if you had proposed he make a new Maple top for the cabinet , or at least one in keeping with the cabinet style , and a different bottom for the rustic Walnut boards , I could respect your thought process. There’s no saving this thing in its present construction form.
With over 345 views so far , I don’t see anybody asking the OP for his plans or to make them one to proudly display in their home…The Newage Neanderthals comment was even harsher in my opinion , but he threw a little bit of candy to the OP in his opening sentence. Why sugar coat the truth ? In the end , it is what it is.
I also tried to offer a suggestion to the OP regarding the butterflies , which he claims to be a ”tribute to all woodworkers” , but that kind of fell on deaf ears .
So , I guess I could have said to the OP… Keep up the good work , just don’t make any more of these !
Have a great weekend , Sarit : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Damien's profile


21 posts in 2384 days

#11 posted 11-12-2011 09:38 PM

Haha. I’m a Chef full time, I deal with egos, opinions, criticism and bickering all day every day. My feelings aren’t hurt by a man at a desk.

I thank you all for your comments. Woodworking is just like cooking. You take components and combine them into a greater piece.

Sometimes, it doesn’t taste like I intended.

View DocSavage45's profile


8549 posts in 2838 days

#12 posted 11-13-2011 01:10 AM


I remember when I started out and tried to save a dish that I had overspiced, incorrect combinations to the tounge. I actually ate it. Didn’t save it though. :)

Given the hard and soft feedback what would you do differently?

Sarcasim or irony, may be lost on me. LOL

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Damien's profile


21 posts in 2384 days

#13 posted 11-13-2011 01:15 AM

I love this cabinet and wouldn’t change anything. If I wanted it different, I would have simply made it so :)

I am enjoying the thought of live handles though!

View DocSavage45's profile


8549 posts in 2838 days

#14 posted 11-13-2011 01:18 AM

Look forward to your next twist. LOL

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Damien's profile


21 posts in 2384 days

#15 posted 11-13-2011 01:20 AM

I do know that if I were making this for more general sale I would ditch the contrasts like you folks are saying.

Don’t forget to check the beech night stands I just posted!

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