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Forum topic by degoose posted 06-28-2009 10:54 AM 1182 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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degoose

7051 posts in 2103 days


06-28-2009 10:54 AM

I need help with a difficult problem.
I wish to make an Apothecary Cabinet,, It will be used to house various herbs and spices in the little individual drawers,
this is the query,, do I line it with a different timber,, do I make it with a specific timber, do I seal it and what with??
All answers will be regarded and any suggestions appreciated,
Larry

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...


18 replies so far

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2432 days


#1 posted 06-28-2009 11:11 AM

I have very little experience to back it up, but this is what I would do:
use one timber – thats the traditional way they were made. as for the timber, if you can get white pine, i think it would be the best (although it is soft) as it has no smell and no taste. After looking it up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacrycarpus_dacrydioides) i seriously doubt it can be exported. there are probably other timbers like that.
as for seal, thats a really tough question. I would probably use tung oil, but you need to wait forever (6 months?) for it to stop giving out smell. however, once it cures, it will not stain, absorb etc at all and it is food safe. another option is just to wipe it with liquid paraffin like a cutting board. although this will never cure, it is food safe and odourless and will seal the timber.

again, never did this, just what I would do.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View patron's profile

patron

13171 posts in 2089 days


#2 posted 06-28-2009 11:23 AM

most of the types of older things of that nature i have seen ,
have all been one wood . usualy oak .
you have that hairy oak there , what about that ?
i woud do this way so that everything expands/contracts the same .
im not much on finishes , but i might look into some diamond hard waterbased ,wipe on finish .
something that dryes hard and is easy to apply , ( all those drawers and cubbies ,) dont want to sand and clean some thing like that to much.
you got enough work in the woodwork end allready !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2184 days


#3 posted 06-28-2009 12:11 PM

For the front you can use what ever wood you like, or even veneered panels… it really does not matter. But if you are worried about smells from different spices and such soaking into the wood then, use Beech. Its used often in things related with food storage here because somehow it has a natural resistance to taking on odors.

as well, but not related to the wood question:

These kind of cabinets are common here because of the small kitchen sizes and normally they are built, when not out of solid wood, of veneered press board and with wire or metal shelving pieces to hold everything… you could probably even order the insides and hardware from IKEA, if you wanted to get cheaper, this might even be easier because they probably have a display model on the floor somewhere. whereas by Häfele, you have to have the catalog, and a lot of people do not have one sitting at home.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15795 posts in 2966 days


#4 posted 06-28-2009 03:32 PM

“Apothecary cabinet” to “house various herbs” ? Back in the 70’s we used to call this a stash box. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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patron

13171 posts in 2089 days


#5 posted 06-28-2009 03:42 PM

right , so as charlie says ,
any old shoe box or paper bag
will do !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Keith Shipp's profile

Keith Shipp

93 posts in 2081 days


#6 posted 06-28-2009 03:52 PM

OK, Here’s my 2 cents…
I don’t believe you can keep the spices in drawers un sealed and not have the more odiferous, (yes I looked this word up) affect the less pungent ones. You will need to seal them separately. Also unsealed, most herbs and spices will loose their potentcy in short time, hence the reason store bought’s are in plastic jars.
That said I would use zip bags labeled in the drawers for bought and fresh dried.

Now since the blending of smells and the protection of the herbs from the wood isnt an issue, you can pick your wood choice for diffrent charistics. I agree with David and Moshel if you want to be traditional theese cabinest are usualy all the same wood. Your Harry Oak or She Oak would be a fine choice.

For assembly I have a thought that may save some time. Pre finnish as much as you can. If you use a traditional sliding dovetail you can prefinish most all the stock and then cut the joints. A nice Butchers wax finish would let you touch up after assembly and give you the finish inside the cubbies so the drawers slide nicely. There will be no finish on tails or slots after cutting them. You can then Glue the case and pin the drawers how ever you like.

-- Keith, Bolingbrook, Illinois. The way I figure it I only have the rest of my life to get good at this...

View Keith Shipp's profile

Keith Shipp

93 posts in 2081 days


#7 posted 06-28-2009 04:15 PM

Charlie,
Thats why I said to use Ziplock Bags. It will keep the more odiferous stash smells from the more fragrant sent of the real herbs.

-- Keith, Bolingbrook, Illinois. The way I figure it I only have the rest of my life to get good at this...

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112883 posts in 2325 days


#8 posted 06-28-2009 04:38 PM

Hey Larry
I think drawers that have a center dividers with holes in them that hold jars upright like a large spice rack would work best, this will eliminate concerns with type of wood and spices loosing there potency and you still can make the outside look like a traditional apothecary.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2812 days


#9 posted 06-28-2009 05:09 PM

I would favor shellac if indeed you intend to seal the drawer interiors. It will not provide the lingering odors that oil based finishes provide, and is most certainly food safe, as it is used commercially in cosmetics, pills etc.

Charlie, you crack me up.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View degoose's profile

degoose

7051 posts in 2103 days


#10 posted 06-28-2009 10:44 PM

Thank you i have now lots to ponder on!

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2396 days


#11 posted 06-29-2009 01:27 AM

Charlie – in the 70’s ?!? I think people are using the same techniques now-a-days as well… (I read it somewhere)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2366 days


#12 posted 06-29-2009 01:34 AM

Degoose,

I agree with Waldschrat that the “Money” wood for the fronts really doesn’t have to be used for the drwaer parts. I also agree with Douglas that shellac is a good old tried and true finish. Mineral oil makes a good finish for cutting boards and salad bowls, I wonder how it would work for the drawers?

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112883 posts in 2325 days


#13 posted 06-29-2009 01:46 AM

Not Sure If you have desegn in mine Larry but I ran across these on line

http://www.stanpikedesigns.com/apoth.htm

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2421 days


#14 posted 06-30-2009 12:25 AM

I think you can use any wood you like! But I would pefer Hard Maple or Cherry.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2366 days


#15 posted 06-30-2009 12:37 AM

Wow Jim….what a link. Apothecary chests are us!

-- Don, Pittsburgh

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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