Koa Credenza

  • Advertise with us
Project by cathyb posted 09-15-2021 03:19 AM 850 views 2 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my credenza. It was so hard to make that I decided to never sell it. This piece was inspired by a picture in a woodworking book. I absolutely love laminating wood and decided to give it a go. My first adventure was to create the form for my sides, which was 6 3/4” in width, and it had to be perfect. Then I wanted koa, but I had to have koa that had a straight grain to bend well on the form. The credenza is 18 1/4” deep. I needed six laminations, 3 for each side. They had to match perfectly, so I had purchased 8/4 lumber to resaw and have a seamless look. This took some time. (prep work is everything). I used epoxy as my adhesive and tried to not add too much, since I could only remove the 1/4” from each side before edge joining the laminates together. On the inside of the cabinet, I also had to support the bent sides with wood that had been shaved to match the laminate angle, but flat on the cabinet side to support the construction of a tradition cabinet.

This all took time, then came the joinery for the top, which seemed a little overwhelming, but I came up with a plan: I added a traditional dado to the underside of the top, which was wider than the thickness of my sides. I took another piece of wood, the same width and length as the dado in the top, to create an insert. I measured the angle of my bent sides to the top, and used my mortising machine (matching that angle) to create a angled dado in this extra piece of wood. Then I glued this to the top of the side. At that point, I was able to glue my sides to the top quite well. There is always a work around :)

The rest of construction was basic cabinet making.

Best Regards,


-- cathyb, Hawaii

26 comments so far

View Andre's profile


4682 posts in 3022 days

#1 posted 09-15-2021 04:54 AM

Absolutely beautiful piece! The carving adds some thing that is really hard to describe.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Peteybadboy's profile


3893 posts in 3166 days

#2 posted 09-15-2021 08:41 AM


Wow! Great design, and work. I love Koa and that must have been pricy.

That is a work of art.

Well done!

-- Petey

View recycle1943's profile


5814 posts in 2838 days

#3 posted 09-15-2021 10:52 AM

Wow. an outstanding beautiful piece of furniture. The chaotic symetry on the front is mezmerizing. Great Job !

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Brodan's profile


373 posts in 2519 days

#4 posted 09-15-2021 11:11 AM

Absolutely beautiful. I understand never selling it.

-- Dan, TN

View NoWhiskeyWoodworking's profile


75 posts in 15 days

#5 posted 09-15-2021 01:04 PM

I’m blown away by this piece!

-- Van "If you're looking for perfection, don't look here."

View horky's profile


327 posts in 4147 days

#6 posted 09-15-2021 01:23 PM

Absolutely outstanding. Thanks for sharing.

View splintergroup's profile


5748 posts in 2439 days

#7 posted 09-15-2021 01:58 PM

A lot of challenges in that piece, which you overcame superbly!


View pottz's profile


20151 posts in 2201 days

#8 posted 09-15-2021 02:31 PM

that is insane cathy.i would never have sold it either.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View gdaveg's profile


320 posts in 418 days

#9 posted 09-15-2021 02:57 PM


That is an amazing build. Absolutely stunning. Daily Top 3 for sure!!

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View therealSteveN's profile


8656 posts in 1790 days

#10 posted 09-15-2021 03:36 PM

Great work Cathy. The detail work is very nice, and adds a lot, but for me the star of this show is how you matched the front so well. I’m not sure if thats an Owl, or a Cat, but it’s awesome. Well done.

That would be a keeper. Congrats on the creation of a heirloom piece.

-- Think safe, be safe

View sras's profile


6330 posts in 4345 days

#11 posted 09-15-2021 03:58 PM

I was going to call this impressive but I think pottz is right. “Insane” is a better match! So much to appreciate here.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4460 days

#12 posted 09-15-2021 05:02 PM

Thanks so much for your kind remarks. It was tough project, but I learned so much. As a self-taught woodworker, every piece is a new classroom experience.

I’m working on a small coffee table now. I bet everyone has these projects where you bought a piece of wood, because it just spoke to you, and keep it laying around forever. I finally decided make it into something. So far, it is unique and I like how it is turning out.

Have a great day!


-- cathyb, Hawaii

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4807 posts in 4325 days

#13 posted 09-15-2021 05:38 PM

Wow, that’s beautiful!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Kerux2's profile


454 posts in 2948 days

#14 posted 09-15-2021 07:27 PM


-- Hey I'm Dyslexic! I don't have all day to check and re-check forum post.

View mtnwild's profile


4364 posts in 4744 days

#15 posted 09-15-2021 09:16 PM

Welcome back Kathy…

When I see you I always think of that horse mailbox you created, so cool…

This is a wonderful piece of furniture art…Really can’t say I’ve seen anything like it…unique…

Great wood!, super build, good patience to do it all correct…super…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics