Small Display Cabinets

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Project by aussiedave posted 06-11-2013 05:30 AM 3329 views 8 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These display cabinets were made for my wife Kelley’s pottery teacher; I was stunned to be commissioned to make something for someone. I did go into a mild panic for I was no longer just doing something for myself in my own time – I was making something for someone else and being paid for it. I don’t know about the rest of you but I really felt pressured to supply something that I was not sure I had the skill to do. As you can see by the photos I was set to a budget so solid wood was out and I had to use veneered chipboard and European soft close hinges. The veneer is White Oak and the edge banding is Red Oak; once they are varnished, they are very close in colour. I made the edge banding strips 1mm over size in the width then shaved it back with a block plane flush with the veneered chipboard. I masked out all the tenons and dados with masking tape to keep the joinery wood varnish-free for gluing. The doors are joined with floating tenons, and I used a slot cutting router bit to make the slot for the glass to slip into when I did the glue up on the doors. I varnished before glue up so I could keep the varnish strokes going with the grain of the veneer. Anyway, the lady was very happy with the end result and now she has some where to put her two granddaughters’ crystal figurines.

I cut the french cleats into the side panels, glued and screwed it to the backing board, which in turn is glued on all four side into dado’s of the carcase. I didn’t want to just place it under the top, making top section take the all the weight of the cabinet. I felt this way the weight would be shared by the whole cabinet. Not sure I explained that, all that well…lol

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

20 comments so far

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

1610 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 06-11-2013 08:51 AM

Nice pair of cabinets Dave, can see why your client was happy.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12592 posts in 1952 days

#2 posted 06-11-2013 10:38 AM

Dave, that is a beautiful pair of displace cabinets!. Great construction method , too….......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tim's profile


270 posts in 705 days

#3 posted 06-11-2013 11:49 AM

Wow very nice pair of cabinets they are so awesome. I would want to make one but I dont have a router so that would be very hard for me a beginner woodworker. Great job

-- No tree was harmed in the making of this project...... wait a minute, yes there was, uh oh

View doubleDD's profile


3182 posts in 890 days

#4 posted 06-11-2013 12:17 PM

These are a very nice set of cabinets Dave. I for some reason get intrigued building display cabinets. I’ll have to build a couple large ones some day to display all my fun projects if I can find room to put them. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2327 days

#5 posted 06-11-2013 12:43 PM

Great cabinets Dave. I like the design. Nice job.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5491 posts in 2155 days

#6 posted 06-11-2013 02:07 PM

You did a real good job Dave. No doubt the lady should like them.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View NiteWalker's profile


2710 posts in 1424 days

#7 posted 06-11-2013 06:17 PM

Great job.
They don’t look like they’re made out of cheap pb at all.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Jonathan's profile


37 posts in 784 days

#8 posted 06-11-2013 09:15 PM

yes indeed these are nice. I always wanted to try making them. Ill get more experience before i make any attempts that that though.

-- Jhopewell, New Hampshire,

View bob62's profile


160 posts in 1464 days

#9 posted 06-11-2013 09:25 PM

Great Job! These cabinets are just the right size for displays! Thanks

-- Robert, Mississippi,

View Sodabowski's profile


2124 posts in 1680 days

#10 posted 06-11-2013 11:01 PM

Wow from the first picture I thought these were solid wood. Great job mate!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View dnick's profile


962 posts in 1229 days

#11 posted 06-13-2013 03:44 AM

I really like the cabinets. Well done.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Carbide's profile


161 posts in 1293 days

#12 posted 07-08-2013 04:03 PM

It’s a shame that you couldn’t use hardwood for all of it. I know how you feel when it comes to making something new for the first time for a customer. It does make ypou sweat a little. But it looks like you didn’t have any trouble at all. The cabinets look great!!

-- When it feels like a job, it isn't a hobby anymore.

View joseph000's profile


346 posts in 874 days

#13 posted 07-10-2013 11:00 AM

Very nice job.Excellent pair of cabinets.Display cabinets make it easy to store or display collections.Display cabinets nowadays come in every shape and size.Regardless of what type of furniture and furnishings you have, be sure your home display cabinet compliments it.

View steliart's profile


1816 posts in 1535 days

#14 posted 07-22-2013 10:40 PM

Excellent display cabinets, you did a wonderful job on them

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 1760 days

#15 posted 08-01-2013 12:53 AM

These are very nice Dave, my other hobby is building scale models(Plastic) and I do mostly auto’s but I do from time to time change that up a bit and do airplanes too…
These would be awesome for showing off a few cars!

Great job on them, I am glad she was happy( She should be!)

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

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