$1,000 Thread Cupboard

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Project by TheDane posted 08-26-2009 01:37 AM 4491 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Who would think a cupboard that is 18” wide, 24” high, and 3” deep would cost over a Grand?

This one did … sort of. The material for the cabinet itself only cost a few dollars (maple scraps from a millwork shop going-out-of-business sale, some plywood, a sheet of acrylic, about $3 for the hinges and knob, $8 for yardsticks, and some home-brew shellac). The rest of the cost was what you might call ‘collateral damage’ ($200 for material for a new workbench, $250 for workbench hardware and vises, $500 for a new jointer, etc. You need tools to build these things!).

Seriously, this was a fun little project that helped me learn a little about using hand tools. And it filled a real need for my wife’s sewing room. She has a growing collection of thread, and needed a way to organize it and make it convenient. Sewing is her hobby and she creates some really terrific handiwork (see picture of quilt with the creator).

Full disclosure: The design is not all mine. Some guy that advertises in sewing magazines sells a ‘pattern’ for about $10 … I put ‘pattern’ in quotes because there is no plan, drawings, etc. It is a just a narrative that directs you to basically nail some pine boards together. The one good thing in his ‘pattern’, and the only thing I used, is the mitered yardsticks used around the face frame.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

12 comments so far

View TheDane's profile


5703 posts in 4222 days

#1 posted 08-26-2009 01:51 AM

A couple of details … the case is 3/4” thick and 2 1/4” deep with a 1/4” rabbet to receive the plywood back. The door is 3/4” x 3/4” with a 3/32” rabbet to receive the acrylic. The 6 shelves are 1/4” thick, 17” long and fit into dadoes in the cabinet sides. Shelf spacing sis 3”, which should accomodate just abotu any common sizes of thread on spools.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3829 days

#2 posted 08-26-2009 02:10 AM

Very Nice.

I’m with you 3finger…my better half is into sewing – and she is also into collecting dolls….to me its about as exciting as watching the lawn grow…and I’m sure my tool/wood infatuation has the same effect on her. I have learned over the years to compliment and acknowledge her accomplishments (whether I know what the heck they are or not) – I am sure she does the same for me….One thing for sure though she sure enjoys when I make something that helps her out….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4777 days

#3 posted 08-26-2009 03:57 AM

Now I have to convince my wife she needs one of these…. I could really use a jointer. :-)

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

View a1Jim's profile


117781 posts in 4136 days

#4 posted 08-26-2009 04:03 AM

Time to move on to your $2000 vanity.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4719 days

#5 posted 08-26-2009 01:23 PM

haha good story :)

great idea for the yardsticks. End result: priceless!!
well done.

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

View TheDane's profile


5703 posts in 4222 days

#6 posted 08-26-2009 07:56 PM

a1Jim … Gee, I dunno … can you build a vanity for just $2K? How much does a new Delta Unisaw cost? (lol)

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View kcrandy's profile


285 posts in 3991 days

#7 posted 08-27-2009 03:57 AM

A new project is just a reason to buy a new tool.

Do tell us about homemade shellac! Love to have the formula.

-- Caulk and paint are a poor carpenter's best friends

View patron's profile


13668 posts in 3900 days

#8 posted 08-27-2009 04:09 AM

good way to go ,

really positive thinking !

after the bathroom ,
maybe some porch furniture ,
mortised of course !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 3972 days

#9 posted 08-27-2009 04:55 AM

Nice cupboard, and I agree you need tools to build stuff.

For this reason I love new projects.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View TheDane's profile


5703 posts in 4222 days

#10 posted 08-27-2009 02:07 PM

kcrandy—I grind de-waxed orange shellac flakes into powder in a coffee grinder. For details:

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3927 days

#11 posted 09-06-2009 09:28 PM

$1,000 cabinet, I think not! More like $1,200, LOYL has to fill it with thread now and that stuff aint cheap. LOL Nice job, and “no” I aint showing it to LOML.

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3991 days

#12 posted 10-29-2009 02:52 AM

I understand ,

you would not believe how many $800 trout dinners or 900 dollars meals of duck I have had. It is all cheaper than a shrink getting you to spill your guts about having weird feelings for you Mom or the fact that they treated your sister better than you.

About Shrinks
My favorite line is DeNiro telling Billy Crystal the shrink “if you turn me into a ….... I’m gonna kill you.”

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

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