Children's Hutch

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Project by JayG46 posted 05-20-2014 10:24 AM 1396 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few days ago I asked for some help in designing a project from my sister’s friend who is about to have a baby in the next few days. You guys were kind enough to offer up some very good suggestions but in the end I came up with this idea.

In that post, I said that I didn’t want to spend 3 days and $150 in lumber on this project but in the end that’s pretty much exactly what I did. There’s a tough balance that you have to strike when you’re doing a project as a favor for someone at less than retail value. You don’t want it to eat up too much of your time, however, you also don’t want to be half-assed with it because it’s still a representation of your work. You never know who is going to see it and what that might lead to. In the end, the potential word of mouth and exposure probably justify the extra time and detail.

For the case work (all poplar), I used a technique that I tried on a butcher block recently. It’s kind of like oversized finger joints that end up being somewhat self squaring. As long as you cut the overlapping pieces to the same width, it’s pretty straight forward. You basically have two sizes (X) and (X + two thicknesses & breathing room). If you have multiple short pieces (X), it’s crucial that the shoulders are parallel but any overhang of the longer pieces can be trimmed prior to assembly and flushed up with a straight bearing guided router bit once assembled. I use two screws per piece to attach it to its mate and the joints seem quite strong and stable. The holes are mostly concealed by the molding but even when left exposed and plugged with a contrasting wood, I think they look attractive.

I made the simple step down molding on the table saw. It has a slight rabbet on the base to help it flush up to the case. I’d never wrapped a molding in three dimensions around a piece before (out around the crown and back down the sides) and I think it turned out really well. I didn’t know what to do on the bottom where the molding terminated abruptly just behind the drawer front. First I just mitered it but that didn’t do a whole lot. So I decided to “step back the step down” creating kind of a cool detail (picture number 4 above). It looks kind of art deco-ish or like the profile of a cruise ship.

I used box joints on the 1/2” plywood for the drawers. Since the orange paint covered them up, I went back with yellow and went over the fingers to bring them back to life. The color scheme came from a picture that I was given of the nursery.

My sister suggested something “whimsical” for the drawer pulls and these squiggly ones were what I came up with. They are made out of 8/4 cypress about 4” wide. I removed about 1 1/4” square from the under side all the way around, leaving it looking almost like a small bench. Next, I drew the wavy patterns (careful to stay on the thinner outside parts) and cut it on the bandsaw.

Overall, despite the budgetary overruns, I’m happy with the way this came out. I’m probably going to deliver it next weekend and hope that it is well received.

Thanks for checking it out!

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

3 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17877 posts in 3962 days

#1 posted 05-20-2014 12:45 PM

Nice work, looks great…

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3640 days

#2 posted 05-20-2014 02:18 PM

That’s a great design and it’s well carried out. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ivan's profile


15967 posts in 3641 days

#3 posted 05-21-2014 03:29 PM

Beautiful piece. I like pulls and other details on it.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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