Mission style record cabinet

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Project by KevinH posted 01-02-2021 12:44 AM 1331 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our grandson needed a cabinet to store his 12” vinyl LP records and to set up his new record player, so my wife suggested a mission style cabinet built like an end table. I looked at a lot of mission pieces before coming up with this design.
The slats, rails and legs are joined with mortises and tenons, which I’d never done before. I cut the mortises with a 1/4” straight router bit. I cut the tenons on the table saw and pared them with a utility knife to fit the mortises.
The top and two shelves are salvaged leaves from an old table. The leaves were badly cupped. I cut them to length, ripped them in two, flattened a side and squared an edge on the jointer, planed them down to about 5/8” thickness, and then glued up panels for the needed pieces.
The top is generously proportioned to accommodate the record player since the records hang out past the sides of the player. The bottom shelf has plenty of room for dozens of records. The top shelf provides a nice place to put an album cover while he’s listening to a record.
The shelves are let into the horizontal rails with dados.
I only had three weeks from idea to Christmas Eve. By that deadline, I still had staining and finishing yet to accomplish, but at least I could show it to him. He was happy and didn’t mind waiting until New Years Eve to take it home.

-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

6 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9407 posts in 3552 days

#1 posted 01-02-2021 12:55 AM

That’s very nice. I’ve always admired the Mission style of furniture. It’s a true classic.

View Rodrick's profile


47 posts in 462 days

#2 posted 01-02-2021 01:51 AM

Beautiful piece of work. Mission style is timeless. Nice work KevinH

View Eeyore's profile


125 posts in 503 days

#3 posted 01-02-2021 02:08 PM

Nice work! I especially like how you used the project as an opportunity to teach yourself some new techniques. Everything worked out great!

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

View Tom's profile


306 posts in 1178 days

#4 posted 01-02-2021 03:18 PM

Looks great. This would make a nice bedside table. Did you have a plan that you can share?

-- Tom

View KevinH's profile


130 posts in 5094 days

#5 posted 01-02-2021 05:35 PM

I’ll share a few notes/drawings that I used to work out the design.

The main interior cavity for storing 12X12 LP records needed to be about 14” high and 14” deep to for easy access. The width of the cavity mattered, but since the top was going to be 18” wide, I knew the setback from the top and legs would allow about 12” or so width in the cavity which is enough for several dozen LPs. The cavity for the top schelf was less critical, so as long as a 12X12 LP could be set inside and laid horizontally, with a few inches “head room” it would be fine. Here’s a working drawing I used to work out how it would go together generally.

For an end table, you can play with these overall dimensions for the capacity you need. The top shelf could be replaced with a drawer if you’re so inclined.

I also drew up a working plan for mortise and tenon joinery and include that here. The arch of the bottom rail or stretcher was accomplished in reality on scrap wood template by using a thin strip of oak deflected 1/2” in the middle. I cut the template on the bandsaw, sanded out the rough spots and used my router table with a pattern following bit to cut the front and two side stretchers for the bottom shelf. The drawing allowed me to work out placement of the mortises, dados and arch so they wouldn’t interfere with each other.

Finally, I drew a full-size mockup of a side view to show the stakeholders (his mom and grandmother) for approval. I also used it to keep my head in the game.

I found that with the M&T joinery, I really had to work to keep track of overall dimensions vs. dimensions between joints. So if a slat was 10” between stretchers with 1/2” mortises, the overall length of the slat was actually 11”. The mock up also helped me visualize which parts were of the same length, width and/or thickness so I could use each setup efficiently, including cutting the M&T joinery. By doing so, I had few issues with getting the piece square where it needed to be. With so many parts in play, I did a lot of dry fittings. Even so, glue-up was an anxious process.

The dimensions of the final product are a bit different in some respects to the drawn plans. As I saw the need to correct something or take advantage of a small opportunity, I went with it.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments.

-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1574 posts in 2579 days

#6 posted 01-02-2021 06:39 PM

One of my favorite designs.
It’s great your introducing your grandson to this style of furniture.

-- James E McIntyre

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