Hand Tool Cabinet #1: Deciding on wood selection

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Blog entry by BarbS posted 10-08-2013 03:58 AM 3144 reads 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hand Tool Cabinet series Part 2: Milling the first pieces »

I had mentioned deciding to build a floor-standing hand tool cabinet based on a Shaker Step-Back Cupboard from Popular Woodworking, in a previous blog post. Cherry was my wood of choice, but at seven feet tall and forty-two inches wide by sixteen inches deep, when I priced American Cherry locally for my cabinet, it quickly became prohibitive for my budget.

Fortune smiled on me when I contacted a fellow 150 miles away who had a stash of Elm he was willing to part with for a reasonable fee, and last weekend we drove a pick up over to load it all up. I’m excited about this wood, as he’d done a desk with it and put on an oil finish that gave it a rich, honey-gold appearance. This was the Biggest wood purchase I’ve ever made! I have all winter to play with it and dress all the pieces. Pretty exciting!


24 comments so far

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 3919 days

#1 posted 10-08-2013 04:30 AM

Wow, that is some wonderful looking wood. and THICK too. Not sure if that is one piece or two on the right but that almost looks book matched and would be awesome for your cabinet doors.
Congratulations on the purchase. Looking forward to the finished product.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View doubleDD's profile


9197 posts in 2719 days

#2 posted 10-08-2013 04:39 AM

Looks like a beautiful find. Sounds like a good deal.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4761 days

#3 posted 10-08-2013 04:55 AM

That’s two book matched cuts on the right. The center slab, third fromthe left, is actually an ‘extra’ he offered me of Silver Maple. I may do the cabinet door faces from this maple, framed by the Elm. The finishing contrast should prove interesting! I’ll do a test sample first, of the combination. The tall Elm slabs on the left are also 8/4, so they would do for the door faces, too, resawn and bookmatched.


View quicksilver's profile


195 posts in 3264 days

#4 posted 10-08-2013 05:23 AM

I’m soooo jealous
Have fun

-- Quicksilver

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4101 days

#5 posted 10-08-2013 12:19 PM

Wow! You got a load there. Your going to be busy!

-- Janice

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4010 days

#6 posted 10-08-2013 12:19 PM

I looks like you got some really nice wood there Barb.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View chrisstef's profile


18065 posts in 3682 days

#7 posted 10-08-2013 12:31 PM

How many hand tools ya got there Barb? That’s a whole pile a lumber! Looking forward to seeing what comes next. Best of luck.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4761 days

#8 posted 10-08-2013 01:23 PM

Thanks guys. and, Chrisstef, I have enough hand tools to fill up a cabinet!
Here’s a photo of this Elm finished with oil (I think BLO) and a light poly top coat. Made by mike1950, a new LJ member. it’s from the same tree he sold me the wood from, and this photo is what made me want this Elm!


View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4396 days

#9 posted 10-08-2013 01:48 PM

Now this is going to be a great project, I am excited for you and looking forward to following your build.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3717 days

#10 posted 10-08-2013 01:54 PM

Nice Haul, Beautiful Wood !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Don W's profile

Don W

19547 posts in 3244 days

#11 posted 10-08-2013 02:00 PM

that’s a good haul. I made my bench top out of elm. You will be pleased with it I’m sure.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4761 days

#12 posted 10-08-2013 02:43 PM

That’s a beautiful bench, Don. Thanks for showing that.


View mike1950's profile


364 posts in 2475 days

#13 posted 10-08-2013 03:03 PM

It is great that you are happy with the wood Barb- hope to see it in the future-slightly altered.
Nice bench Don!!!!!!!

-- "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."– Albert Einstein

View justoneofme's profile


825 posts in 3156 days

#14 posted 10-08-2013 03:16 PM

Wow Barb! ... I can’t wait to see this lovely wood ‘all dressed up’ and put to good use!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View TerryDowning's profile


1129 posts in 2793 days

#15 posted 10-08-2013 03:27 PM

Nice haul Barb, looking forward to seeing the progress.

Since this is a cabinet for hand tools, does this mean your using mostly hand tools for the construction??

Just curious.

-- - Terry

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