Bow fronted cabinet in maple

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Project by jmp posted 01-04-2014 11:18 AM 8478 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There were a number of reasons for choosing this project. I had just started my second year of woodwork classes at Leeds College of Art and I wanted to challenge myself and learn some new skills. A cabinet with drawers fitted the bill although I didn’t want to make another box so I decided to make it bow fronted with coopered doors. Having worked predominantly in oak I wanted to try another wood and I loved the grain and lighter colour of maple. Finally, having made pieces for everyone else, this was to be a piece of furniture that we needed. My wife, Judith, approved of my design and also asked for a glass display cabinet to sit on top of it (which I thought would work well my third year project).
For the design I used the golden ratio as much as possible for the size of the frame, doors and drawers. I experimented with various curves until i found one I liked. The carcass construction proved straightforward and the doors were coopered over an MDF frame. The drawers were harder than I anticipated because of the different side lengths and angle needed for the curved front. What took the longest, though, was the construction of the rosewood veneered inlay and ebony handles, but well worth it in the long run. I splashed out and used Brusso knife hinges which I found hard to fit but got there in the end. To finish , I used 5 coats of General Finishes, water based, Enduovar varnish, I find their products first rate and importantly easy to use and apply.
I made, as expected, several mistakes, but these are what you learn from and, at the end of the day, I have a unique piece of furniture which both my wife and I are absolutely delighted with. My thanks must go to my tutors, Derrick and Niall at Leeds who were as always sources of invaluable advice and inspiration.
Look out for the display cabinet, one of the many projects I am contemplating for 2014.

4 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 3006 days

#1 posted 01-04-2014 01:54 PM

very nice looking piece!

View CL810's profile


3868 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 01-04-2014 04:31 PM

Great design jmp. Very clean lines and the rosewood veneer and ebony are great accent pieces.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View theoldfart's profile


10161 posts in 2648 days

#3 posted 01-04-2014 05:18 PM

The Brusso hinges are worth the installation effort, I’ve used them a couple of times. They will outlast any other hinge of that configuration. The project looks outstanding and looking forward to the display unit.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2372 days

#4 posted 01-08-2014 02:49 PM

Very classy looking cabinet! Great design especially the bow front and the fantastic handles. Excellent job!

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