Japanese Style Storage Cabinet

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Project by JayG46 posted 10-12-2014 09:15 AM 2472 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This piece was built for a couple that lived in Japan for a while and said that they had several pieces of Japanese furniture at their home up north. They gave me some basic dimensions (48” wide, 44” tall, 18” deep), picked cypress as for the wood and specified that they would be using this to store dry goods and other overflow from their small kitchen. Other than that, the design was left open.

A couple pieces of the cypress had small metal balls embedded in it, which I assume are bird shot pellets. They left brownish stains in the wood and can be seen in a few places if one looks closely enough. Hues of blue, pink and purple are also present in the wood.

Almost everything on the cabinet is bookmatched from 8/4 cypress, with the exception of the doors (which are single panels from 4/4 material). The doors are double tongue and grooved, which hides the joint and gives them a clean look. Stainless steel piano hinges guide the bi-fold doors and create a smaller footprint than two ~24” doors swinging outward. Rare earth magnets hold the doors closed and once opened, attract to the outside piano hinge. I made the the door pulls from walnut with the table saw, band saw an belt sander, with a combination of curves and bevels.

The base, made of rift-sawn material, has a compound angle splay and occupies 16” of the 44” height.

Inside, I used bird’s mouth shelf supports out of red oak for the 4 shelves. Spanish cedar lines the cabinet, absorbing moisture and providing a pleasant aroma when opened.

Thanks for checking it out.

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

6 comments so far

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3264 days

#1 posted 10-12-2014 02:07 PM

nice job

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1349 posts in 2634 days

#2 posted 10-12-2014 05:05 PM

Great project!
Like the desgn and the fact that you have suceeded making someting japanese style that does not really exist in japan..

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

View kiefer's profile


5812 posts in 3587 days

#3 posted 10-13-2014 02:43 AM

Nice cabinet and I like the joinery .
I am kind of curious about the door top and bottom rail and how they are joined ?


-- Kiefer

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2779 days

#4 posted 10-13-2014 10:47 AM

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Klaus -

I actually made a video on the door construction. The are frame and raised panel with a bit of a twist. I called it a double tongue and groove but I don’t know if there is a common name for it. I just kind of stumbled on the technique and decided to go with it. Let me know what you think.

By the way, I really enjoy the stuff you post on this site. Your boxes are always inspiring and your shop projects are ingenious. Keep up the great work!

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

View JoeRPhilly's profile


176 posts in 3072 days

#5 posted 10-13-2014 01:59 PM

This is great, awesome job!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12263 posts in 4349 days

#6 posted 10-13-2014 02:36 PM

Love the design and the cypress is an awesome choice for this piece.
Thanks for the door construction video. Quite unique and produces a very nice looking set of doors. I especially like the panel overlap at the bottom and top.
Beautiful job and your clients are undoubtedly very happy.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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