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A Little Cabinetree

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Blog series by shipwright updated 11-26-2010 04:06 AM 6 parts 10815 reads 82 comments total

Part 1: The Concept, the Goals and the Challenges.

11-21-2010 02:48 AM by shipwright | 8 comments »

When it comes to building boats, I guess after 30 years of it I am a professional, but as a hobby woodworker I’m pretty new. Boatbuilding has given me lots of skills and abilities with tools but the scale of projects and the individual manual skills required to make small cabinets and art furniture are totally different. I am a real beginner at this stuff and am having a ball trying to learn everything at once. I retired five and a half years ago, following which my wife and I rebuilt o...

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Part 2: The Box and the Branches

11-22-2010 04:26 AM by shipwright | 15 comments »

OK so we’re going to make a tree and set a box in it. Sounds pretty simple, just a different support system for just another box. How hard can it be? The challenge here is to reach the threshold of belief where the viewer’s eyes, which already want to see a tree, do see it and say “yup that’s a tree”. Anyone who has freehand turned legs for a piece of furniture will understand this. They don’t have to be identical. They just have to be close enough to allow...

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Part 3: Scroll Saw Marquetry.

11-23-2010 01:29 AM by shipwright | 15 comments »

Supporting a box in a tree was one of the original design ideas but a look at the “plans ” shows that another design intent was to celebrate the season (It was Fall when I was doing this, Winter hit here last week) with inlays some way involving colored leaves. The first idea involved a branch ,with a three dimensional twig leading into it, covered with brightly colored maple leaves. It would have looked something like this, except that the branch and leaves would have been...

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Part 4: Leaves to Dye For (From)

11-24-2010 01:42 AM by shipwright | 13 comments »

About the same time as I started this project I found a source for aniline dyes that came in concentrated liquid form and were available in a starter kit of 12×2oz. bottles, a substantial pallet of colors to work with. When it came to coloring the leaves it was a small step to think of them and there began the process that lead to my biggest challenge on this piece. Let me say here that I’ve never done this before or heard of it being done. I’m flying completely blind here, 1...

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Part 5: Assembly (and a little setback)

11-25-2010 03:43 AM by shipwright | 17 comments »

Don’t you just hate it when this happens !! Today was supposed to be the day I finished this project. Tomorrow I was hoping to get it to the photographer’s. The next day I was going to post the completed cabinet. Oh well, maybe next week. As I was finishing up sanding for what I hoped would be the last coat of wb poly on the box, I noticed a little flaw and thought I should probably sand it out. Well, apparently, I probably shouldn’t have. As I sanded the finish thi...

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Part 6: Some Pitfalls in the Process

11-26-2010 04:06 AM by shipwright | 14 comments »

I do hope that some of you will take up the challenge and improve this technique as I think it has some real potential to develop into an interesting tool for enhancing many different works. With that in mind I will try to illustrate a couple of the pitfalls inherent in the process. I discovered them in the usual way. The front (doors) of the cabinet was my “guinea pig” for testing the marquetry / dye technique prior to trying the more difficult top so both of the problems that...

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