Walnut cabinet with hand cut dovetail drawers

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Project by Matt Vredenburg posted 11-30-2010 08:14 AM 2911 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a unique cabinet made out of solid walnut. The drawer sides have dovetails that I cut by hand. I also added a unique handle which are wedges of walnut.

-- Matt, Arizona

15 comments so far

View jmichaeldesign's profile


66 posts in 3384 days

#1 posted 11-30-2010 08:27 AM

It looks great. If I could offer a little advice. Run the grain of door panels vertically in the future. It’s typically done this way because doors are taller than they are wide, but even on a square door it seems a bit off to me. Also the board will expand and contract more across the grain which could push or pull the hinges towards/apart from each other. If the door panel cups at all the hinges may bind. If the grain were vertical the movement of the wood should have no effect on the hinges as wood moves very little along the grain.

View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

193 posts in 4016 days

#2 posted 11-30-2010 08:36 AM

i appreciate the advice. I agree as well. I also didn’t consider the expansion causing the hinges to bind. I have not run into that problem, and will consider that when i build the next unit.

-- Matt, Arizona

View jmichaeldesign's profile


66 posts in 3384 days

#3 posted 11-30-2010 08:39 AM

I doubt the expansion will cause any issues, but it could.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3643 days

#4 posted 11-30-2010 08:50 AM

That is a unique piece. I like the design, very sleek and elegant. Great piece.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3678 days

#5 posted 11-30-2010 01:40 PM

Good stuff Matt….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4275 days

#6 posted 11-30-2010 03:31 PM

Nice work, Matt.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3468 days

#7 posted 11-30-2010 03:45 PM

That’s a very unusual design. Congratulations.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3669 days

#8 posted 11-30-2010 03:52 PM

Beautiful!! Nice design and build.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4375 days

#9 posted 11-30-2010 05:05 PM

Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

577 posts in 3976 days

#10 posted 11-30-2010 05:37 PM

that’s great looking, I may copy it (kinda) and make a jewelry box/cabnet for my wife. I have tons of pecan lying about.

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 4133 days

#11 posted 11-30-2010 08:23 PM

I think that James Krenov would give this a nod.

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3639 days

#12 posted 12-01-2010 07:18 PM

I was going to say it looks Krenov inspired, but it looks like Bibb beat me to the punch.

Regarding the horizontal vs. vertical grain of the door, jmichaeldesign is right that the movement may lead to regular hinges binding, but to get around this you can use flag hinges (sometimes called ””lift off hinges) that will won’t be affected by wood movement. If the wood shrinks, the bottom hinge will lift up a little, and if the wood expands, the top hinge will be pushed up a little. The door won’t be heavy enough for these small changes to impact the hinge’s function.

That being said, I rather like the horizontal grain of the door panel as a continuation of the horizontal drawer grain (it would have been really neat if that was all one wide piece that you were able to use to continue the grain through the whole front of the cabinet, but that would have to be a very special board!). The thing that seemed a little off to me was strain between the the vertical door handle and the horizontal drawer handle. I’m not sure whether I would have opted for a symmetrical horizontal pull that was tapered down in the middle, or if I would have mirrored the direction of the horizontal drawer pull with the door pull, but something is a little off about that to my eye. that may well have been intentional, so ignore me if I am just missing the intent! :)

Regardless, the piece looks wonderful! I am sure you will enjoy it for a long time.

-- David from Indiana --

View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

193 posts in 4016 days

#13 posted 12-02-2010 05:28 AM

Thanks everyone for your kind words and great suggestions for next time. I love learning from others and appreciate your feedback.

I made the piece about 9 years ago for my mother where it sits in her dinning room over 2,000 miles away. Over the holiday weekend, I finally got around to taking some pictures of the piece. It still looks great, like the day I finished it. I like the idea of long reverse taper legs for this piece…and I am in the process of making another larger cabinet that will have even more pronounced legs like this one- I hope to finish this project for a up coming woodworking show.

-- Matt, Arizona

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3639 days

#14 posted 12-02-2010 07:41 AM


You must love your mother very much! I am not sure I would have let that out of my house. :)

-- David from Indiana --

View Jacob's profile


85 posts in 3243 days

#15 posted 03-17-2011 03:43 AM

I really like the horizontal movement of the doors, it really contrasts the verticality of the entire piece. And the wedge accents really keep the eye moving throughout the whole piece. looks fantastic!

-- -Jacob Turetsky, Industrial Designer

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