Molesworth Reproduction Cabinet

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Blog entry by robbyd44 posted 01-18-2010 11:28 PM 2072 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Been working on this a couple months, now. Its a reproduction of an old Thomas Molesworth design. Made of poplar with a birch plywood carcase. Routed out the “worm tracks” , and also the designs on the drawers and door panels. I got a full elk horn from a guy on ebay, and made drawer and door pulls out of it. These will go on last, of course. Finished with several coats of Vermont Maple waterbased stain, a couple coats of clear sanding sealer, then several coats of clear lacquer. Rubbed with pumace and rottenstone. Drawer faces shown in pic have only stain – haven’t gotten the lacquer on yet. This was my first attempt at this type of lacquer finish, and I must say, its been an adventure. The finish is not perfect, has more “bumps” and uneven spots than I’d like, but definately servicable. My wife says I’m too much a perfectionist and the finish looks great, but I know I’ll do better next time. I still plan on using a black tinted laquer on the drawer and door panel borders, as well as on the drawer and door panel carvings. Then I’ll cover the top with some red leather, and put six short pine log legs underneath. Plan to use it for a flat screen TV stand and DVD storage.
I got the plans for this cabinet from The New Yankee Workshop website. Very good plans and include the DVD of the original show.

Molesworth Cabinet

Molesworth Drawers

Molesworth Panels

-- RobbyD, Michigan

3 comments so far

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3419 days

#1 posted 01-18-2010 11:59 PM

Nice looking project. Looks like it is coming along very well indeed!!!

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3455 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 03:38 AM

You should mention and give credit that you built the piece from a Norm Abrams plan set you bought from his web site. You have followed the plans exactly, so far. Only thing left are the antler pulls, leather top, cedar log legs, and some black trim paint. I have the same plan set and will start mine in a couple of months. I figure routering the worm tracks and panals are the real challange to the project.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View robbyd44's profile


5 posts in 3162 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 06:43 AM

Yes, thank you david, for pointing that out on the plans. I did add that credit into the blog.

There is also a great book on Molesworth furniture by Terry Winchell. Doesn’t have plans, but tons of great color photos. Now that I’ve got the hang of it from the Abrams version, I should be able to reproduce some of the other pieces in the book. There is a very nice color photo of this particular cabinet in the book. You might want to check into that book since you are into this type of design.

Routering the worm tracks did take some concentration. After my first couple of boards I got the hang of it and it went pretty smoothly, although time consuming. For the drawer faces and door panels, I found that it payed dividends to do the carving before planing to final thickness. I believe I started out with 5/4 poplar. If I messed up (and I did, several times) I could then just erase the whole thing by running the piece through my planer and starting over again. This allowed several chances to get each carving right without having to cut new panels. Once I nailed the carving on a particular door face or door panel, I then planed the backside to get to proper thickness.

Good luck on yours! Hopefully you’ll post some pics. A very fun and absorbing project to build!

-- RobbyD, Michigan

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