Cherry Display Pedestal

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Project by David posted 03-04-2009 06:37 AM 7687 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A Cherry Display Pedestal

This was an interesting project to build despite its small size. This was a small commission piece to display a bronze of General Ulysses S. Grant for a Civil War aficionado. As a woodworker, the interesting aspect was to witness the evolution of the design from an initial sketch that arrived via FAX to the final full size construction drawings that made it out to the shop.

Original Sketch FAX

My initial design was worked out on SketchUp referencing the concepts from the FAX sketch. I solicited input from a number of sources and slowly refined the design. The exciting part of this was for me to step outside my straight linear “blanket chest” comfort zone . . . well I know I have a long way to go but it is a step in the right direction!

Initial SketchUp Drawing

Leg Options in SketchUp

Spending time in the drawing process was very fruitful. It gave me an opportunity to work out reveals and molding details, as well as, carcase construction details. Having the full size drawing hanging on the shop wall was extremely useful and kept me on track during the build. This was especially helpful during breaks where I wasn’t able to work on the project because of my regular job or family obligations.

Top Front Corner Detail from Full-Sized Drawing

Bottom Front Corner Detail from Full-Sized Drawing

The main wood is solid cherry with solid poplar as a secondary wood and MDF panels veneered with maple and flat sawn cherry.

Milled Cherry Stock Stickered and Adjusting to Shop Environment

I used maple as the interior veneer to add a sense of brightness. I carefully choose and positioned the cathedral pattern of the flat sawn cherry veneer for the exterior panels. To do this I made a small MDF frame that approximated the panel opening. I used this frame to position the grain pattern and to lay out cut lines on the veneer.

MDF Frame Used to Lay Out Door Panel Veneer

Veneered Door Panel with Centered Cathedral Pattern

I always try to include leg levelers if possible to accommodate any uneven floor surfaces. For this project, I used 1¼ square white oak with ¼-20 steel threaded inserts and felt covered leveling feet that were concealed behind the cabinet legs.

Shop Made Leg Leveler

The finish was ½# shellac wash coat to prevent blotching followed by 1# cut amber shellac for tone followed by 6 coats of WaterLox Original Formula thinned 50:50 with mineral spirits. Two coats of clear wax completed the finish schedule. The final touch was a makers-mark giving appropriate due credit! This makers-mark was a white water slide decal made on my computer.

The Folding Rule Blog


13 comments so far

View WoodSpanker's profile


560 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 03-04-2009 06:41 AM

That looks fantastic! Will only get better as it ages. :) Thanks for the incredible detail on your workmanship – you are a fantastic craftsman, but those of us in Portland just are naturally, aren’t we!

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4465 days

#2 posted 03-04-2009 06:49 AM

WoodSpanker -

LOL! Thanks for the kind comments.



View woodworm's profile


14471 posts in 3916 days

#3 posted 03-04-2009 11:13 AM

Nice work on both the pedestal and the detail from sketch to finish!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View jcame's profile


72 posts in 3903 days

#4 posted 03-04-2009 01:13 PM

David, I like the fact that you had a solid design plan throughout the process. I wish I were more sketchup savy, but I’m afraid to try it I guess. (Not so hot on the p.c.) I also follow The Folding Rule and its very informative. Keep up the GREAT work!!! By the way, beautiful piece!! Cherry is one of my all time favorite woods.

-- Jed,Ala,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4148 days

#5 posted 03-04-2009 02:43 PM

This is a really nice piece, David. I really appreciate the documentation that you added with it as well. Too often this is a part of the “history” of the project that is not included. I find it refreshing to get an idea of the process that was followed for a project from its initial design through plan finalization and then seeing the completed piece.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4308 days

#6 posted 03-04-2009 04:28 PM

Thanks for the detailed posting of this project. You know you learn someting with each project. I love the leg adjustment. Great work.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4487 days

#7 posted 03-04-2009 04:34 PM

and thanks for the progress pix.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3953 days

#8 posted 03-04-2009 06:07 PM

As always, great attention to detail. Leg levelers are a necessary evil in most homes. I like how these have been incorporated. Nice work.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Dusty56's profile


11838 posts in 4014 days

#9 posted 03-04-2009 06:54 PM

WOW , She’s a real beauty right down to the hardware choice ! The levelers’ picture was a great addition along with all of the other tips that you’ve provided here . The finish looks perfect right now . I’d love to see this again after a few years of the Cherry being exposed to sunlight .
This is a great posting of an even greater project : )
Wonderful job , David !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16282 posts in 4544 days

#10 posted 03-04-2009 07:16 PM

You are clearly a perfectionist, and it shows in every aspect of this piece… from the design right down to the tag hanging on it. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4465 days

#11 posted 03-04-2009 11:44 PM

Thank you for all the supportive comments. Cherry is one of my all time favorite wood species to work with in the shop.


View Dusty56's profile


11838 posts in 4014 days

#12 posted 02-08-2012 09:48 PM

Hi David ,
Here we are , nearly three years later .
Do you have any recent pictures of the project ?
I’m wondering how much patina has developed since this posting : )
Happy New Year to you and yours !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Dusty56's profile


11838 posts in 4014 days

#13 posted 06-22-2013 04:03 AM

Hi David , Are you still with us ?
I haven’t seen any comments or projects from you in quite a long time now. : (
Hoping all is well with you and yours , my friend.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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