La Cave

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Project by shipwright posted 04-18-2014 09:09 PM 4181 views 1 time favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The arrival of my new stock of sawn veneer from France last fall augmented by the 1/16” sliced pieces that I bought from Certainly Wood while I was in Az. this past winter has made my veneer storage capacity woefully inadequate. This became immediately obvious when I returned to my home shop this week and started to try to get it organized for the summer.

This veneer is very precious and valuable and should be stored as carefully as possible so in order to do the best by it I set out to convert part of the area under my shop floor into a cool dark “cave”. The word is the same in French as it is in English and in France often refers to a cool dark cellar (as in wine). It is also the term used by Frederic George to describe the “vault” at Les Fils de J. George where the fine sawn veneer is kept.

Mine consists of six 4’ X 4’ shelves of 1/4” MDF framed with 1 X 3 and mounted on 1 X 3 “ladders” fastened to the floor joists in my crawl space. They are under very little strain and bear little weight so the whole thing was built very quickly with just a staple gun and 1 1/2” staples.

Each shelf has a couple of little ears mounted inside the frame at the back to keep that end in line with the ladder rails and allow it to be pulled out like a drawer. When slid back the entire opening is clear. The joist pieces in the above photo of the open doors lift out as in the photo below, taken before I started.

This job only took half a day but I’m very happy with the result. What surprised me the most was seeing exactly how much of this thick veneer I actually had. This amounts to 96 square feet of surface and some species had to be piled on top of others as there isn’t enough space for all to have their own space.

Next up I’m going to have to get the shop cleaned up and organized and start using this wonderful stuff. I think I’ve finally decided I have enough practice and if I’m not good enough to start using the “good stuff”, I likely never will be.

Wish me luck.

Thanks for looking

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

30 comments so far

View gbear's profile


544 posts in 5318 days

#1 posted 04-18-2014 09:16 PM

Hey that looks great…it’s nice to have that room below your shop. I wish I had an area like that but
then I probably would use it to store wine then anything I veneered would look good…at least for a
little while. Cleaning the shop and rearranging it to make it more productive seems to be a never ending
Good luck with all that veneer, I know you will make something beautiful.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4553 days

#2 posted 04-18-2014 09:18 PM

A creative and good solution Paul. Having seen your work for a few years now I don’t think you need any luck with this fine veneer, but you certainly have my good wishes for your future projects with it, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4234 days

#3 posted 04-18-2014 09:31 PM

i THINK YOU CAN USE THE “GOOD STUFF” !!! you do lovely work..go for it!

View tinnman65's profile


1416 posts in 4633 days

#4 posted 04-18-2014 09:32 PM

Great idea Paul,but what happens when 96sq.ft. turns into 960 sq ft. You know these things can happen LOL I wish I had that crawl space under my shop, I was just thinking I have to find a good space to start storing my veneer. That is some sweet looking veneer and I look forward to see what it becomes.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 5142 days

#5 posted 04-18-2014 09:40 PM

Good solution Paul. I was lucky. We have a space that’s part of our basement we call “The bowling alley” and was used as a wine cellar by the previous owner.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4794 days

#6 posted 04-18-2014 09:48 PM

Wasted space is a sin.
You have redeemed that secret spot for a special service.
Good job Paul.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4522 days

#7 posted 04-18-2014 10:07 PM

well from me to you, your good enough to use this stuff, of coarse we all have more to learn in our own worlds of woodworking, but yea, i love this idea, i take it these areas are sealed off from any vermin and insects…its a great idea…i remember seeing the video of how they mill this veneer , is there not a way to do it over here in the states…i take it that because of its thickness its to expensive to use on the level that veneer is used today, it all adds up, 1/32, a 1/ looking forward to seeing what you have planned…are you selling or going to sell.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26664 posts in 4324 days

#8 posted 04-18-2014 10:24 PM

Good storage solution, Paul. That stuff is like gold!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View rance's profile


4279 posts in 4379 days

#9 posted 04-18-2014 10:30 PM

“Le Vault” is perfect use of Le Space. You could even store other less used tools/materials. Maybe even a cot.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8748 posts in 4016 days

#10 posted 04-18-2014 10:34 PM

I just realized that I didn’t mention the other three are at the other end of the opening. Both are pictured but the only way to notice is that there is different veneer in each.

Bob, no vermin can get in down there and we don’t have (bad) bugs on Vancouver Island. They aren’t allowed.

Paul, the shop is 30’ X 40’ . I’m only using up two areas of 4’ X 4’ each. The rest of the racks may have to be on casters though. ...... :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5271 days

#11 posted 04-18-2014 10:41 PM

Good Luck!

You really didn’t me (us) to say that though…

You were ready for the Good Stuff a long time ago!

NOT to worry… Just let it all hang out… Like you always do! :) LOL

You ARE ready… So, just do it!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View bch's profile


304 posts in 3908 days

#12 posted 04-18-2014 10:43 PM

To the bat cave, Robin! BANG! POW! SHAZAM!

-- --bch

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4014 days

#13 posted 04-18-2014 10:56 PM

Interesting solution. Will there also be a spot reserved for the wine collection?
How will the temp/humidity compare to your workshop?

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30638 posts in 3557 days

#14 posted 04-19-2014 01:16 AM

Sir, if you’re not good enough to use the good stuff, I probably should quit altogether. I am sure you will amaze us all.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 5048 days

#15 posted 04-19-2014 03:01 AM

Nice use of space and a neat creative solution…you have enough room down there for a lot more veneer!

You have been ready to use the “good stuff” for a long time already Paul! Don’t let anything stand in your way!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

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