Cherry Medicine Cabinet

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Project by Darryl Jones posted 12-29-2013 07:25 PM 1545 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This medicine cabinet is part of an ongoing commission (to be posted when completed). The frame and door are constructed of solid florida cherry color enhanced by the application of lye. This is the first time that I have worked with this much cherry before, awesome stuff by the way! The panel is also solid 1/4” cherry consisting of three pieces. This is the first time I have tried to glue-up thin material and it didn’t go well at first. After the first glue the panel fell apart immediately after being removed from the clamps. I had to adjust my approach and clamp the joints to the bars of the clamps. I used my card scrapers to level the panel afterwards before sanding and all was well.

After providing some finished samples the customer inquired about staining the pieces (which I did not want to do) so I looked into methods to age cherry and found that applying lye to raw cherry kick starts the aging process. So, I set about making some sample pieces and I was amazed at the almost immediate color change! I also noticed right away that the color change penetrated the substrate pretty significantly. The instructions that I found stated that you should pre-raise the grain before applying the lye, but since the color change was not simply on the surface I decided to sand the project to 220 then apply the lye and lightly hand sand the piece with 220 after it dried. At first I thought it ruined the color because it looked pretty muted as you can see in pic #3 (the frame had not been sanded and the panel had been sanded) but after applying the lacquer the results were amazing! The interior was made with left over cherry plywood from the commissioned piece and birch ply for the back. The glass shelves were recycled from a demolition site. As always I look forward to your comments and feedback!

-- Dread Knot Wood Shop

1 comment so far

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131 posts in 2257 days

#1 posted 12-31-2013 03:31 AM

Well, I’m impressed with the results. I have been doing woodwork for over thirty years and have never tried that process.

-- Xyloid Curt "Exposing the hidden beauty in wood"

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