Armoire for daughter

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Project by DonDA posted 03-05-2011 04:36 AM 2483 views 5 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built this armoire for my daughter. It took me 18 months with the time I had available. It is 100% solid cherry, starting with 150 bd ft of rough lumber. I have built a few things, but this one really taught me a lot. I started with a stock plan, but designed the curved top, and changed all the joints to accomodate solid jointery, as the design I purchased was for plywood sides and shelves. Started by drawing in sketchup, which sure taught me how to use that tool. Hand planed all the large panels, and then learned how to finish by scraping them. I found out I really like scraping because it sure minimizes the amount of dust from sanding.
Then the finish was dewaxed shellac, tinted shellac, gel stain, 6 coats of General Arm-R-Seal gloss urethane. Now I just have to transport it from Michigan to Phoenix. Anyone one have a good suggestion for transport? Right now I plan to separate the base from the top, put it in my Acadia, and drive it there. But, I’d like to at least see if there are any GOOD options for shipping as I don’t want it damaged after all this work.

-- Don, Saginaw Mi

16 comments so far

View Jeff's profile


553 posts in 4444 days

#1 posted 03-05-2011 04:48 AM

After doing such a great job I wouldn’t want to let it out of my sight until I delivered it personally.

View AZMac's profile


87 posts in 3943 days

#2 posted 03-05-2011 04:58 AM

WOW. great work. I’am with Jeff, I would not let it out of my sight.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3660 posts in 4962 days

#3 posted 03-05-2011 06:03 AM


We agree, too, that this is a masterpiece and we wouldn’t trust anyone else to deliver it!

Thanks for posting.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View larryw's profile


335 posts in 3912 days

#4 posted 03-05-2011 06:32 AM

beautiful case work Don, I know your daughter will be proud this.

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 4036 days

#5 posted 03-05-2011 07:24 AM


That is one BEAUTIFUL piece of work. GREAT job! Love the design, color, fit and finish. Your daughter is going to love it.

I’m with everyone else – I wouldn’t want to let it out of my sight until it was in your daughters place. Besides, I wouldn’t want to miss your daughter’s reaction upon seeing it – that will be priceless!

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View mfike's profile


100 posts in 4916 days

#6 posted 03-05-2011 08:31 AM

That is a really, really nice piece Don. That’s a very long delivery, but I agree with the others that you should take it yourself. You wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if you shipped it. Plus I’m sure a little visit with your daughter would be nice.

View Jerry's profile


70 posts in 3896 days

#7 posted 03-05-2011 10:58 AM

Don that is one fantastic piece, WOW what a finish, what an incredible piece of furniture. I agree don,t let it out of your sight.

-- We are all one decision away from stupid.

View Stanley Coker's profile

Stanley Coker

269 posts in 4445 days

#8 posted 03-05-2011 02:31 PM

I’m with everyone else, deliver it yourself. Besides I am sure you would like a little warm weather.

-- Stanley, North Georgia

View tyka's profile


142 posts in 3943 days

#9 posted 03-05-2011 11:49 PM

Beautiful craftmanship Don. Your daughter is a lucky girl to have a dad like you. 150 bd ft of Cherry $$$$. The curved top is awesome looking as well as the whole piece. Congrats, tks for sharing. I’m also with the others about delivery and keeping an eye on it. The look on her face is worth the trip :-)

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 4606 days

#10 posted 03-06-2011 12:18 AM

Looks great,Can you elaborate on the finish?What color did you tint the shellac.What brand and color of gelstain?

View jonww's profile


33 posts in 4746 days

#11 posted 03-06-2011 04:45 AM

I’m with Stanley, sounds like a great reason to go to Arizona.

-- Jon in Canada. Favorite coffee mug reads: "I never repeat listen carefully"

View DonDA's profile


193 posts in 4481 days

#12 posted 03-06-2011 05:11 AM

47DRVR – Here’s the final concoction I used to finish this after 15 test panels to get “just the right color” she wanted and after a lot of people in this forum gave me great advice.
First coat is Bullseye dewaxed shellac cut 50% with alcohol. Second coat is same cut shellac with 3cc TransTint Dark Mission Brown and 1 1/2cc Bright Red in 8oz of cut shellac. I know that mixes metric measure with English, but that’s what I had to measure with. Third and 4th coats were General Finish Georgian Cherry Gel Stain wiped on. Then 3 coats of General Finish Arm-R-Seal Oil & Urethane Topcoat Gloss, LIGHTLY sanded between coats with 350 grit. Then 3 more coats with a foam brush LIGHTLY sanded with 600 grit between coats. After I deliver it I think I’ll put a coat of Renesance Wax on to eliminate fingerprints. That stuff is great for a gloss finish. I hope that helped.

-- Don, Saginaw Mi

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 4606 days

#13 posted 03-06-2011 04:46 PM

Thanks.I will be starting a large library and bar in my family room and that is the exact tone I was going for.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4923 days

#14 posted 09-15-2012 01:49 AM

Beautiful Armiore.

View Pmh30097's profile


16 posts in 2584 days

#15 posted 05-13-2017 01:35 AM

First, that’s a beautiful piece, outstanding work. Maybe something for me to aspire to.

Second, for transport: I would seriously consider renting an enclosed u-haul trailer or similar. If you don’t already have one on your Arcadia, install a hitch and wiring harness. The cost is minimal compared to the effort you’ve put into your masterpiece. Rent lots of moving blankets and straps. Secure it all in and roadtrip it. Don’t forget furniture dolly or two. Maybe even wrap the piece with plastic over the blankets in case there’s a leak in the enclosure.

Lastly, maybe renting a POD for shipment might work. At least you get to pack it into the pod the way you want it. But be aware that they are pretty dirty. Lots of road junk and exhaust soot/oil tends to settle onto the contents. I would want to carefully wrap it before packing it onboard.

Best of luck!

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