Mesh armoire – AllWoodJoinery

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Project by JohnnyStrawberry posted 06-25-2014 12:55 PM 3688 views 10 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been tossing around this mesh idea since my bed build
It was an accident. Really. I just oversized the rough width of the bed slats too much and I ended up sawing off 1/16” of them. I liked these thin strips so much that I played with’em. Mostly bending and weaving. And I even brought it home – ‘Look Honey, isn’t that cool?’ Like a child. :-D
Months passed and I kept making projects for our home until an armoire was due. Well, this is the kind of job that really could use mesh panels. Besides, my stock of wood wouldn’t have been enough for a fully solid wood panelled wardrobe.
The end product has exclusively mesh panels – drawer bottoms, shelves as well. This project has 307 thin strips woven into panels. Since I pretty much like the look of alternating wood types in frame and panels, the front has cherry frame and ash mesh while the sides have ash frame with cherry mesh. Back’s cherry mesh as well.

The joinery is the usual (details here ). 84 M&Ts.

Thin strip meshing wherever I could was a complete novelty. I eventually chose the simplest and safest way I could think of. I’m aware of the abundance of thin stripping jigs on LJs but all of’em use the uncut edge of the board as the straight edge. Well, that’s just ain’t true. Literally. Especially with any wood having less than perfect grain orientation. Furthermore, ash (in my experience) won’t even care about the grain orientation. It can bend severely when cut (causing serious kickback) even when it has perfectly parallel grain… the little rascal… [Reaction wood what it’s called.] [Just for the record, I’ve always rip cut ash on the sled – kinda sliding table saw.]
So I use the edge being cut for guiding. This way each cut trues the edge up for the next cut. This setup is very similar to a jointer in concept.

Surfacing the thin strips made me scratching my head way more. I was just starting to make a sanding jig for this task when I realised I could make a jig for planing the thin strips. As far as I know planers all have a minimum workable thickness or I should say thinness to be planed. About (at least) 1/8”. Both of mine have 4mm anyways. I needed the half of that… So I made my mini planer. :-) That Bosch planer gives a pretty darn good surface quality and the bearings make sure that 1. I can adjust the cutting depth [ash needed only 0.1mm, cherry needed 0.2mm because it cut more ‘furry’.] 2. the strips can be surfaced however thin they are (even within one strip) in one pass. Having more than three hundred strips, that’s an important aspect.

But how to break down the edges of 300+ strips time effectively? Hmm, another accident helped me. ;-) I was preparing to hand sand’em each when the strips neatly organized on their edges laid down a little. Forehead slapped, sander on, it was done in an hour. No razor sharp edges anymore. Good. :-) [Can’t help but 90% of the cuts on my hands are made by sharp wooden edges…]

Weaving. Takes some time, too.

No finish on it. Clothes certainly don’t need such thing. The cherry on the front could benefit from some wax though. One day. We’ll see.
This time no sliding doors. I made the simplest, most robust wooden hinge I can think of. Remember, Thomas? ;-)
The doors have single pass plunge routed holes. The carcass has drilled holes for the dowels. That means dowels sit firmly (hammered) in the carcass while the dowels fit snugly in the doors’ routed holes. So the beech dowels’ end grain rub against cherry end grain in the doors’ holes. With a touch of this grease these hinges make me want to open the doors again and again. :-D

We just love this one. It looks really cool with clothes in it. Besides, the proportions and sizing turned out just perfect. It is directly in front of our bed. My wife specially loves it. Even though (or because of? LOL) it holds my stuff. I promised her that I’ll build another two for her to replace that less appealing Ikea one next to it.
Thanks for reading along.
Now it’s time to make the crib. ;-)

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

16 comments so far

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4589 days

#1 posted 06-25-2014 01:44 PM

Nice project! Thanks for sharing the extra info on your jigs and set-ups. Very interesting.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4326 days

#2 posted 06-25-2014 01:50 PM

Nice work, Johnny, that’s a great idea. Well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View HerbC's profile


1822 posts in 4319 days

#3 posted 06-25-2014 02:03 PM


Great project and jigs.

I’d like to see more info/details on your thin strip rip jig…

Not sure I could really use this armoire, where would you HIDE everything???

Seriously, nice innovation.

Keep up the great work.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3945 days

#4 posted 06-25-2014 02:45 PM

Very unique work. Well done!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30678 posts in 3798 days

#5 posted 06-25-2014 05:15 PM

Really cool. Love the look.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View bucho's profile


13 posts in 3999 days

#6 posted 06-25-2014 05:55 PM

Awesome! Find myself admiring the process over and over.


View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1392 posts in 3173 days

#7 posted 06-25-2014 08:55 PM

Great looking cabinet. And thorough description of process as well. Makes me want to build something out of strips right away. Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4794 days

#8 posted 06-25-2014 09:37 PM

Very nice!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 3331 days

#9 posted 06-25-2014 11:13 PM

Very nice, tight joinery.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 3077 days

#10 posted 06-26-2014 12:03 AM

What a great post, you really provided something out of my ordinary expectations and I will be copying the mesh in some manner. What a great way to extend the amount of useful space provided by a finite quantity of materials.
And you even shared your building secrets. IMO A+

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3329 days

#11 posted 06-26-2014 12:09 AM

Excellent armoire. It’s always nice to see a new and original design, and you executed this flawlessly.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Ivan's profile


17283 posts in 4327 days

#12 posted 06-26-2014 03:49 AM

I see you have been bussy lately!Some excellent technics and jigs!This one with narrow planner realy catched my eyes.Cabinet looks extraordinary.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile


246 posts in 3779 days

#13 posted 06-28-2014 07:10 PM

I won’t wait for that crib! ;-)

Born 26/6/2014 11:13pm. The world is even better now. Undescribable feeling. :-)
As for the armoire, thank you guys for the positive feedback. I appreciate it.
Herb, I have only that photo because it pretty much sums it up.
NOW I’m gonna be really busy. :-)))

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1392 posts in 3173 days

#14 posted 06-29-2014 09:42 AM

Congratulations many times on the child. looks cosy

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View HektorLex's profile


15 posts in 2942 days

#15 posted 06-29-2014 10:40 AM

Congratulations Johnny!! Wow I didn’t know it was this close! I wish you three all the best! Now get that crib made. Don’t forget to put BL, at least one small piece :)

-- Alex Serbia

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