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Project by vipond33 posted 773 days ago 2331 views 8 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve noticed that many projects here start out with a spectacular piece of saved or found material and then only finds its expression in due time, as the design somehow suggests itself. Sometimes it takes a while for it to come to fruition and this one certainly did.

These bedroom pieces started off not with wood but from a few pieces of a sea foam green laminate left over years ago from a job at work, i.e. somebody’s bathroom vanity. I hoarded it for its colour, celadon by name, and for its interesting texture.

Celadon “has been described by ancient Chinese artisans as having a quiet elegance whose colour is “beyond description,” in that it must be experienced to be understood”. The build was done in a Deco style to be very restful, perfect for my bedroom.

The mate to this material is walnut for the most part, done in my favourite technique of veneer over solid. Building this way allows for a flowing grain match and a uniformity of colour not possible with solids alone. I also appreciate how your design then has fewer limitations. Don’t want flashy grain? Done. Want a bold symmetrical pattern to build on? Done.

For the laundry cabinet it was laid up over red oak for many of the verticals, interspersed with solid walnut at different levels and with solid walnut corners. The profiled edges of both units are walnut veneer over walnut.

One piece routed and dadoed frames made in Baltic birch form the structure. The glue up was a pig to do as clamps were pretty much useless for the most part. Each strip was held with hand pressure for a minute or two, followed by an arduous removal of the squeeze out.

I inlaid a feature strip of padouk all round to suddenly offset the green, and fitted it slightly proud to help protect the walnut from cross grain scratches

and ground a custom knife for the shaper to profile the edges.

This is reversed on the base of the laundry cabinet. I’m not super happy with the strap hinges but honestly, nothing else would work given the voids everywhere.

The bookshelf is a through dowel construction and the design is based on a very old idea from IKEA. The cantilevered shelves are strong enough that one could sit on them.

The mystery material at the top of the hamper opening is that most humble of sheet goods, Masonite. To me it looks far better than it has any right to.

Spray shellac finish by clayton on the hamper, Tried and True on the bookshelf. Watco liquid satin wax with 0000 steel wool. Machine threaded knock down bolts on both pieces act as levelers.

Laundry hamper 25” x 17” x 36”
Bookshelf 42 1/2” x 33” x 11 1/4”
About 62 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

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

24 comments so far

View nomercadies's profile


498 posts in 943 days

#1 posted 773 days ago

A freakin laundry hamper elevated to fine art? I would only put folded, clean clothes in it that never graced the shelves of a discount store.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 948 days

#2 posted 773 days ago

Very nice look you created sir, I like it a lot. Cheers.

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View ShaneA's profile


5258 posts in 1202 days

#3 posted 773 days ago

You are a craftsman sir. Very nice, but I have come to expect this level of fit and finish from you.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1396 posts in 965 days

#4 posted 773 days ago

Both pieces are outstanding in design and execution, but the bookcase excells on all fronts. Inspiring!

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View jaykaypur's profile


3262 posts in 1012 days

#5 posted 773 days ago

Excellent elegance. Just stunning work and craftsmanship.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Karson's profile


34862 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 773 days ago

Great salvage job. Beautiful build. Creative design.

All flows into some fantastic pieces.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Bearpie's profile


2584 posts in 1622 days

#7 posted 773 days ago

Wow, those are absolutely beautiful! Simple lines but elegantly and tastefully displayed and made. Love the color combinations.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View JamWhi's profile


22 posts in 814 days

#8 posted 773 days ago

Very nice, I don’t think that I can use my plastic hampers in good consciousness anymore… off to the shop. :)

View BritBoxmaker's profile (online now)


4340 posts in 1640 days

#9 posted 773 days ago

Excellent use of saved material, Gene. That is a really beautiful colour contrast. I prefer the almost Japanese subtlety of the laundry hamper although the bookshelf is growing on me. The latter has a retro, 50’s feel.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Spoontaneous's profile


1286 posts in 1934 days

#10 posted 773 days ago

I really, really love the details…. and the Art Deco look of both pieces. Very elegant, even. When I grow up, one day I hope to say something like, “ground a custom knife for the shaper to profile the edges.” (I’m pretty sure I haven’t said anything like that before).

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Boxguy's profile


1410 posts in 871 days

#11 posted 773 days ago

Beautiful project. I too like the color. This is a wonderful vision skillfully brought to fruition. Some things like this just look like they were destined to be made. An interesting phenomenon…a short time later we look back in wonder and vague disbelief at the project as if to ask…did I really make that?

Some day we will need to have a forum about what happens in the creative process. It seems that materials and ideas often seem to lie dormant, but not forgotten, around the shop and then they want to be used or combined with something new for some pressing purpose…curious how that works.

-- Big Al in IN

View tyskkvinna's profile


1308 posts in 1590 days

#12 posted 773 days ago

Most impressive laundry hamper!!! I love the minimalist feel that comes out of such a busy set of lines.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View rdjack21's profile


265 posts in 1531 days

#13 posted 773 days ago

Wow I just love it. If my wife saw this I know what I would be making next.

-- --- Richard Jackson

View peteg's profile


2822 posts in 1427 days

#14 posted 773 days ago

As we expect, just the best :: )))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View JoeinDE's profile


366 posts in 1927 days

#15 posted 773 days ago

You have elevated the laundry hamper to a place that I am not sure it has ever been before.

-- A bad craftsmen blames his cheap #$%ing tools

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