A Little Cabinetree (finally)

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Project by shipwright posted 12-14-2010 04:05 AM 5527 views 37 times favorited 63 comments Add to Favorites Watch

At last “Little Cabinetree” is finished.

This is a mitered 1/2” MDF box, veneered inside and out with no framing and almost no hardware. The hinges are “box joint” style pinned with removable 1/8” brass rods.

The two main features are the tree base and the “watercolor style” aniline dyed marquetry top. You don’t ever see both well at the same time.

As you approach from a distance the interest is the discord between the flowing organic lines of the tree and the rigid hard lines of the box, then as you get closer the tree slips out of view and the focus shifts to the marquetry on top. For those who insist on inspecting all sides there is a little surprise even on the back where one of the leaves wraps over the edge.

As you circle the piece close in you will notice the “waterfall” grain matches from the top to all four sides.

The piece is almost entirely Western Big Leaf Maple except for a few small bits of Walnut used in the marquetry to indicate curling edges. The shapes and colors of the leaves are representative of the Western Maple.

There are seventy pieces in the top and each hinge is made up of about forty pieces.

The coloring was done with an experimental “watercolor” style using artists’ brushes and aniline dyes.

The construction was covered in my blog here

Thanks for looking.

All comments and especially critiques are welcome and appreciated.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

63 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2746 posts in 3703 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 04:19 AM

wow Shipwright that turned out amazing! I wish I could get a gloss on my projects like you did on that “tree” – great job!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 3442 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 04:20 AM are the man..This is fantastic, from the construction to the artistry. Once again you amaze me.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3791 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 04:25 AM

Wow Paul, that is beautiful. I really like the small branch on top that continues into the marquetry.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2801 posts in 4203 days

#4 posted 12-14-2010 04:26 AM

Beautiful Art! Excellent Craftsmanship!!!

-- Dennis Zongker

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3563 days

#5 posted 12-14-2010 04:27 AM

Extraordinary. Well done Paul!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3471 posts in 4324 days

#6 posted 12-14-2010 04:33 AM


Definitely one-of-a-kind! Do you have a close-up of the door handles? Incredible craftsmanship and unique design. Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Schwieb's profile


1897 posts in 4073 days

#7 posted 12-14-2010 04:41 AM

Simply amazing Paul. I can only marvel at your creativity and ability to execute your ideas. You’re thinking is way outside the box and you exude tremendous talent. Thanks for keeping the rest of us inspired and may I say humble?

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3463 days

#8 posted 12-14-2010 05:03 AM

That is seriously one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen that is not found naturally in nature. For that matter, you even enhanced nature…

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Ed's profile


19 posts in 3617 days

#9 posted 12-14-2010 05:03 AM

That is one of the neatest pieces of woodworking/art I have seen in a while!

-- Ed

View degoose's profile


7265 posts in 3966 days

#10 posted 12-14-2010 05:06 AM


-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4385 days

#11 posted 12-14-2010 05:14 AM

Unique design. Beautifully done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4493 days

#12 posted 12-14-2010 05:16 AM

Wow Paul,
That is truly fantastic.

I just love all the little points of interest. And the grain matching is just superb. I love it.

Thanks for letting us watch you build it.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Tubmanslim's profile


13 posts in 3478 days

#13 posted 12-14-2010 05:17 AM

WOW! That is a stunning piece. The execution of the idea is exceptional. The contrast you were shooting for is definitely there, yet you did a great job balancing the weight of the base with the proportions of the cabinet. It feels well grounded but neither section is unbalanced. I love the finger joints. And the book match on the front. The only critique I can offer is that my eye wants to see a bit more continuation of the expansion of the base through the cabinet. Maybe more “peekaboos” thru the top to continue the tree crown. Just a thought, but exceptional work. You must have a lot of sawdust boogers!:-).

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3629 days

#14 posted 12-14-2010 05:20 AM

Man, this is beautiful and very creative! Not many people can come up with a unique project like that! That’s why I am following you, to see what comes up next!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4636 days

#15 posted 12-14-2010 05:29 AM

A wonderful piece. Truly artistic!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

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