Wine cabinet...I finally finish a Christmas present for my son & family...only a little bit late

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Project by SST posted 02-01-2010 10:29 PM 3151 views 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This took a while longer to finish than I anticipated. I learned that it’s one thing to know how to do a procedure, I.E. hand cutting a blind dovetail, and quite another to do it in practice and get a project done on time. This had it all…all the fun kinds of joinery, dados, mortise & tenons, blind dovetails, rabbets , dowels and wooden drawer slides.

I’ve made a lot of simple stuff in the past, but wanted to try something I hadn’t done before.

It all started with the old wood wine case that’s in the center of things. My daughter-in-law asked if they could have it since we didn’t use it. When I asked if they had a place for it, she said no. I told them I’d build them a cabinet around it to show it off. It’s finally done.

I designed it completely and wanted to showcase the old wine case, so that resulted in the open sides to show the winery stamp. I wouldn’t normally paint any woodworking project of mine, but this needed to fit in with another piece in their dining area that was wood w/ antique white panels, so I did it.

The doors were made with a Harbor economy doormaker’s shaper set (about $20.00 on sale, I think…I’ve had it a while) and I found that it worked quite well. Since cope & stick door construction is the weakest type, I used my horizintal borer on the shopsmith to drill for & then press in dowels for added strength at each corner.

The top of the lower cabinet is 5/4 oak and I wanted to have a glass like finish, so I used a grain filler before finishing. (more on that later)

The finish includes a semi gloss latex off white enamel on the flat panels with a gel stain applied with a piece of foam & wiped off with another to get the antique look, and then a clear coat to finish.
The oak was wiped with boiled linseed oil which gives the nice golden tone, allowed to cure & finished with a semi gloss polyurethane varnish. No stain was used.

The cabinet top got some extra attention as I wanted a “bar top” glass smooth finish here. Since oak has a porous grain, I wanted to use a grain filler & no one in our shopping area had anything specific or pumice powder and I didn’t think a sanding slurry of sawdust would be enough to fill the oak grain, so I used Durham’s water putty as a powder sprinkled on when I rubbed in the linseed oil. I had read that pumice used that way turns translucent in the oil & fills the grain, so I figured this was worth a try. (always try on a scrap piece first) I worked the water putty powder and linseed oil into the grain & wiped off the excess. I gave it several days to completely dry & finish sanded. I applied a couple of coats of Zinsser’s sanding sealer, light sanding between then several coats of polyurethane varnish. After the last brushed coat of poly, I sanded lightly with 320 on an electric orbital hand sander to get it dead flat, then made a cloth ball pad & wiped 3 coats of poly. The finish is like a mirror with no rubbing.

I really consider this to be a “benchmark” project for me in that I got to do pretty much everything needed to make any piece of furniture. It’s a great confidence builder. (Also, my wife said, “wow. if you can do this, there’s some other stuff I can think of for you to make”, so it looks like I’ll not lack for projects in the future.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

11 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4759 days

#1 posted 02-01-2010 11:08 PM

Nice wine cabinet.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4281 days

#2 posted 02-01-2010 11:16 PM

Looks great.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Skee's profile


85 posts in 5114 days

#3 posted 02-02-2010 12:06 AM

Stunning work, and the color contrast is excellent! Very nice project and a wonderful gift. A month here or there isn’t so bad when you think about decades the project will see use.

-- -- Skee from MN

View Neil's profile


18 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 02-02-2010 01:25 AM

This is fabulous. I really like the design and I’m impressed at the dovetails too. That s a difficult project – there is a ton going on here. Every time I look at the photos I see another well executed difficult technique. Of course now the boss knows what you can do, you’re in trouble.
First class!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5150 days

#5 posted 02-02-2010 03:12 AM

Came out lookin’ great! I really like the juxtaposition of the light and dark woods, and having grown up in a home loaded with bleached elm furniture I’m all for allowing the light woods to play their role without dyes or stain.
I also like that you pegged those cope and stick doors. Thoughtful and workman-like.
Like Neil said above, you’re in it up to your neck now that the boss knows you have the moxie!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4663 days

#6 posted 02-02-2010 03:27 AM

Hey Tom great job on this wine cabiinet


View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5163 days

#7 posted 02-02-2010 04:20 AM

tom this is great…i love how you made a project out of that beautiful box…it is really nice…

And clearly—-you MUST HAVE an awesome set of tools with all the different techniques you used to finish this job…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12825 posts in 4243 days

#8 posted 02-02-2010 05:16 AM

great work on this wine cabinet… I am sure they were so excited to get it that they didn’t even notice it being late…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4277 days

#9 posted 02-02-2010 09:30 AM

Nice cabinet, lota bang in a small package. I really like the contrast of the
lighter doors. The wine rack looks a little empty thou…

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20887 posts in 4762 days

#10 posted 02-02-2010 10:54 AM

VEry nice job on this wine cabinet!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View unkwood's profile


13 posts in 4388 days

#11 posted 08-30-2010 09:07 PM

Nice job on the cabinate I guess your wife would like you!, I might get there someday, but not on this planet. Carl

-- Carl

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