Evening Summer Rain

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Project by vipond33 posted 07-22-2012 09:48 PM 3696 views 29 times favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my last project at the end of one full year here, a simple one but one of my best.

Sometimes the last 5 percent of a project takes half your time to finish, sometimes you can’t remember where it began. This is a little of both.

After all the smaller things I’ve made recently, this is something more substantive though again quite belated. It being a cabinet to house my photography equipment. Open the doors, decide what you want for the day and go.

It is full frame and panel throughout, with quarter sawn bubinga trim taken from a single 8/4 board, wrapped around eastern white pine solid raised panels. Brusso hinges and threaded brass shelf pins. 28 dowels hold the sides and solid bubinga caps it with pine trim. Doors are shallow tongue and groove, shelves are a banded lay-up of old and new.

It’s a little hard to see but all solids are pattern matched too, side to side and top to bottom. Quite useless to the causal view. I guess we do it for ourselves.
The proportions are exact, 2 to 1 and 1 to 1.618. Thought I’d try using and combining some of the so called perfect proportions and see how it looked.

The pine is very heavily mineral streaked and was laid up from a small bundle about 22 years ago. I had only one spectacular board so I sawed very heavy slices from it and bonded them on to the lesser ones. (This is very evident from the interior shots.) I forgot about it and dreamed and forgot again and again for a couple more decades. Then I attacked it in a fury.

And then, then, the box languished on the bench for 6 weeks while I fooled around with handles. I’ve got a pretty good idea where a cabinet’s going in the build but when it comes time to figure out how to open doors or drawers I’m often paralyzed. What handles or pulls, where are they placed and what are they made of? I’m sure this is a common ailment and please write if you’ve found a good way to manoeuvre here.

After making shaped pieces in both pine and bubinga and photographing them placed dry in every imaginable position, I knew they were simply wrong.

I could have gone on trying different shapes in wood but finally, I got it. Wanting above all to leave the door faces undisturbed I cut small blanks from brass bar stock, machined a 2mm very sharp groove top and bottom for your fingers to grip and let them into the bottom edges.

The interior loose box was made with off cuts of the pine and stores the myriad batteries, cables, filters and small fittings that seem to collect. Drawers are mitred Baltic ply with extended masonite bottoms, covered in split leather, riding in saw kerfs. Really low mileage and weight when you think about it so no concerns about wear. Polished masonite is a fine little runner for small things.

I made a really stupid mistake adding fresh clear pine for the cabinet back and shelves without colouring it first (I ran out of wood). I know in time it will age and be fine and the gear will hide it for the most part but it’s glaringly wrong. That paneled back is simply tight fitted and screwed on, with it also being recessed to allow for a thin french cleat hanging rail.

Because of the raised panel side construction with rebated narrow stiles, shelf pin holes had to be pretty much at the extremes of the cabinet depth. Routing capturing eyebrows in the shelves will give piece of mind if you ever run into this.

Woodworking equipment is a lot like photography equipment as anyone in the know will tell you, You start off making mistakes, some big, then you get better and want and need better gear. You’re hooked. You buy good stuff, bad stuff, and stuff that might be good but mostly sits on the shelf. You get much better at what you’re doing and buy the ‘final’ stuff that will last you for many contented years. Then, in photography just like in woodcraft, the most comfortable and accurate of tools help smooth your daily endeavors.

Strangely enough though, I had to do several sessions of photography with different lighting before I could get the colours to come out even close to right. Even in Photoshop it eluded me. Wood is weird.

The title comes from a phenomena I have only seen twice in my life. It is late evening, the last half hour of the day. It is raining very, very, very hard with thick black clouds overhead and all is midnight dark around you. Then you turn and lift your eyes and off in the far west you see a small ellipse of bright blue sky appear on the horizon, sunny clouds and a light that simply pierces through the rain right up to your feet. Lift your eyes again and you see brightness and darkness together, all with no break. That is what I saw figured in the pine.

An alternate title for this work was the Convent at Dusk, because there in the streaked pine is one single drop of red grain, like a tear.

Finish is two coats of Minwax Tung oil (wiping varnish) for depth and clarity, followed by four applications of Tried and True oil with varnish. Goddard’s wax

10”x20”x32 3/8”
About 58 hrs. of foolin around.
Build on LJ’s.

lock and load

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

47 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4387 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 07-22-2012 10:10 PM

You’re design & attention to detail in the build is always of the higest class gene. This is another example of multiple skills gained thru years of enjoying your work.
Love the colour blend & the end result speaks for itself, :)

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

View Sodabowski's profile


2375 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 07-22-2012 10:12 PM

I spy some strobist gear in there, and also the cheap eBay little tripods I also use and abuse (I hacked one to get my 400D to fit on an optical bench at the university for interferometry photography and it works great). Love your cabinet and wood choices dude!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 07-22-2012 10:15 PM

Cool, I have not seen mitered drawer faces like that. The brass pulls on the door came out really nice.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View DocSavage45's profile


8699 posts in 2988 days

#4 posted 07-22-2012 10:21 PM

Sigh! I’m NEVER going to catch up! :-) Nice piece of refined detail and craftsmanship. What no veneer? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3475 days

#5 posted 07-22-2012 10:24 PM

Gene ~ I honestly am not sure that I have ever seen a ‘cabinet’ that I liked more. That wood combination and the way you used the streaked pine is really just mesmerizing to my eye. The handles were the perfect solution… and anything more would have been less. When they do a ‘500 Cabinets’ book, this one should be on the cover. Hot diggity dog…. that is some FINE work!

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

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

203 posts in 2812 days

#6 posted 07-22-2012 10:25 PM

Gorgeous project. Everything about it works: the choice of woods and their combination, the design, the thought and craftsmanship. All the details are so well conceived and produced. I like the way you approach items like the door pulls – trial and more trial and then a solution that is different and yet so fitting to the project.
The loose box of drawers – another good idea. I have never seen wood like the amazing streaked pine and in combination with the rich bubinga – terrific. The subtle raised panels are very handsome and I even like looking down at the end grain. Simple and elegant, exciting and refined, very well done.

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3833 days

#7 posted 07-22-2012 10:25 PM

Great project and the story to go along with it, Gene.
I like the light color of the interior…it would help me find stuff more easily : )
The door handles are a stroke of genius !

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

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2553 days

#8 posted 07-22-2012 10:40 PM

Beautiful !

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

View CoolToolShed's profile


71 posts in 2310 days

#9 posted 07-22-2012 10:55 PM

Very, very nice!!

-- Chris in Maine -

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2369 days

#10 posted 07-22-2012 11:07 PM

The inside just makes me smile – such attention to the appearance INSIDE a cabinet when no one but you will see it. This is a fabulous cabinet – and I could really use a place for my photo stash. Too bad it was built for Canon gear – I am a Nikon girl myself. Really though, that color scheme goes MUCH better with Nikon gear – perhaps you should send this to me so you do not have to face that conflict each morning :)

I truly enjoyed the story too – it fascinates me to learn what inspires people!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2506 days

#11 posted 07-22-2012 11:20 PM

I’m again awed by the detail in your design that’s flawlessly executed.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View shipwright's profile


8086 posts in 2943 days

#12 posted 07-22-2012 11:20 PM

“Very clean but not so simple”... or “the illusion of sublime simplicity”
Gene, what can I say? I know I sound like a broken record but your work is so perfect.
You inspire me and I’m sure everyone who sees this lovely work that you create with such apparent ease.
The colors, especially when you open the dorrs could not be more attractive. I’ll stop now but I could go on ….. and on… and on. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View gbear's profile


517 posts in 4244 days

#13 posted 07-22-2012 11:32 PM

Very nice….great attention to detail. Beautiful job on the hinges and I really like the shelves.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Steve Esterby's profile

Steve Esterby

285 posts in 2905 days

#14 posted 07-22-2012 11:39 PM

You really are good!!

--,the best teacher is repetition.

View SPalm's profile


5322 posts in 4027 days

#15 posted 07-22-2012 11:39 PM

Wow Gene, just wow.

Happy Birthday.
That is truly a joy to admire. What attention you are able to give, in both selection and craftsmanship. I am just dumbfounded.

Love the extended masonite bottoms. Nice touch.

Thanks for the inspiration,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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