Stiletto Cabinet

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Project by Blake posted 08-20-2010 09:39 AM 6890 views 54 times favorited 66 comments Add to Favorites Watch

———————————————————————————————————————————————————- FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE:

Solid figured Maple and Claro Walnut.

The cabinet is 27” wide, 17” tall and 12” deep, and it stands 58” tall overall.


I’ve always wanted to build a freestanding cabinet. Its something I’ve been dreaming about and designing in my head for years. I’ve always been so inspired by James Krenov and many other woodworkers past and present. It was the most fun and most rewarding piece I’ve built so far.

I have to apologize to my fellow Lumberjocks, I usually follow my projects with a photo blog. But I selfishly kept this one to myself. I had to. I didn’t want any distraction, any input, anything to break my stride. I took a few photos at a couple of points along the way but mostly just concentrated on the work. I didn’t even track my hours on this project. I joyfully lost track of time with this one every time I went to the shop. So I have no idea how long this took but my guess is around 50-60 hours.

UPDATE: I have spent the last few weeks sanding and finishing. I sanded the cabinet to 500 grit inside and out, and up to 1500 grit on the top, sides and door panels. Then I layered on 6 coats of hand-rubbed Formby’s low-gloss tung oil & varnish (each a day at at time), and then I polished it with 3 coats of wax. Then I was finally able to take the cabinet to a friend’s professional photo studio to take better photos of it. I took the photos myself but they are much better with the borrowed backdrop and strobe lighting. All in all I would estimate I am easily close to 100 hours of designing, building and finishing time.

Here are a few more detail shots:











Here are the few photos I did stop to take… just so you believe that I actually made this:

The slab (I almost made a bench seat out of it.)







Hmmm, what should I do with this nice Maple… it might make a nice cabinet…


Shaping the legs took for-ev-er.



The oval wedged mortise and tenons were cut and shaped mostly by hand. I don’t have one of those fancy router jigs. I just cut the mortises with a forstner bit on the drill press and rounded the corners of the tenons with a file.


The micro wedges are actually maple veneer.


-- Happy woodworking!

66 comments so far

View Tony's profile


997 posts in 5485 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 09:42 AM

Beautiful wood and joinery – first class project

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 4376 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 11:50 AM

That is an amazing looking piece. The wood is gorgeous also.

-- curious woodworker

View Dusty56's profile


11868 posts in 5143 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 12:26 PM

Spectacular project !!! The wood is as beautiful as your craftsmanship : )

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

View 's profile

593 posts in 5427 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 01:08 PM

Now I understand your envy Blake. This beautiful piece of art clearly denotes your influences.

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 5153 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 01:51 PM

Beautiful. Professional work. Love the style and the contrast.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5337 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 01:59 PM

Wow. Absolutely beautiful. There are so many design details, that I don’t know where to start.

And I do like the resaw on the table saw before the bandsaw. I have never tried that, but it looks like it worked really well for you.

Frickin Fantastic,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5254 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 02:01 PM

I do believe you nailed Mr. Krenov’s aesthetic. Spot on, bro. Sublime in every respect
An instant favorite.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1306 posts in 5228 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 02:01 PM

Awesome grain matching, fantastic design, craftsmanship is awesome as well. Very, very nice Blake!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5855 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 02:25 PM

Blake some fantastic work and a great creation.

Just beautiful.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4531 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 02:39 PM

Blake…. Simply WOW…

I have always been a huge fan of your work, and after seeing this….. Well, I think I just found my new favorite…

Truly an incredibly beautiful inspiring piece of work. Thanks for sharing…

P.S. I’m going to favorite this. This gives me an awesome idea for a jewelery box that I would love to build for my daughters birthday coming up in November.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View aurora's profile


238 posts in 4707 days

#11 posted 08-20-2010 02:41 PM

beautiful, ... i love the grain and your joinery. this piece has connected with its inner zen,.... its in balance with the universe. thanks for sharing.

View croquetman's profile


137 posts in 4776 days

#12 posted 08-20-2010 02:52 PM

Matching the resawn pieces is a tour de force. Wonderful.

-- Whatever

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4941 days

#13 posted 08-20-2010 03:23 PM

2 thumbs up!!!

-- Doug...

View Kirk's profile


116 posts in 5509 days

#14 posted 08-20-2010 03:54 PM

The grain of the wood is unreal. The design is great to look at. It is a fine piece of work.


-- W. Kirk Crawford - Tularosa, New Mexico

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5128 days

#15 posted 08-20-2010 04:02 PM

Thats a beautiful cabinet.

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