|Project by cathyb||posted 10-19-2013 12:33 AM||1462 views||3 times favorited||19 comments|
I finally finished that sapele cabinet. Sorry the photos aren’t clean, but you get the idea.
The cabinet is six feet long, three feet high and 20 inches deep. It was designed to fit in the niche created by a bow window.
To start the project, I made a template of the area in front of the window. Unfortunately the angles were 137 1/2 degrees rather than 135, which made it a little more challenging to cut the angles, but that’s why we have jigs.
I struggled with this project because of the sheer weight and the need to stain the wood. I am a purest at heart and hate to alter the natural look of wood in any way. I don’t mind knots and gnarly grain, which give wood character. I do detest a product that detracts from the grain. After the cabinet was delivered, I tossed that can of stain and will NEVER use stain again.
The finish is General oil-based polyurethane. This was my second sapele project this fall. As I stated with the rocker, sapele seems to require more finish that many other woods. I don’t care for sapele. The dust is very fine and sticks to everything.
To me a project is always a chance to learn something. There were two mistakes that I made, which won’t happen again. I digress but this matters. When I was carving horses, I always added a clamping noggin on the neck, because the neck is impossible to clamp to the body without it. I wish I had made a clamping noggin on the back panel in advance. My God, it was really hard to get this cabinet glued together! A little planning ahead would have really saved me tons of time.
The other design flaw, in my opinion, is the size of the doors. The cabinet was designed to maximize the storage, but the doors should have been a bit smaller or at least the rail could have wider. The proportions don’t really work to my eye.
All that said, my client loved the cabinet and a happy client makes for a good day.
Your comments are always welcome. Thanks for looking at this project.
-- cathyb, Hawaii, www.cathyswoodworking.com