Formal Mission Curio Cabinets

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Project by Dusty posted 02-12-2007 07:33 PM 2513 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After I had finished the rehab and remodeling of the home I am currently living in, I was planning what pieces of mission and arts and crafts furniture I would build to furnish my house. One of the very first projects I did- were these curio cabinets. The reason I built two curio cabinets was – I wanted to try an experiment. I found that the price of red oak was so much less money than white oak and easier to work with – and more abundant and available. I had been experimenting with my 12 step staining process for some time and decided that this would be the perfect project to see if there was really a difference in the end result of the “mission look” I wanted to achieve. I found the naked or untrained eye it’s very hard to tell the difference between the white oak and red oak when using my staining process.

I realize it’s hard to tell in a picture but can you guess which one is the red oak and which is the white oak?

After completing one out of white oak – the other red oak- and using my staining process I found very little difference in the final appearance.

I then choose red oak for the reasons I stated to complete all my other furniture projects.

I found an existing plan and modified it to my needs and desired construction methods.

The cabinet’s specs are 36 inches wide 54 inches tall and 16 inches deep. I selected 4/4 and planed it down to 7/8 for the carcass. I used mortise and tenon construction as I do all my work with no nails or metal fasteners.

When possible I use the same log for the complete piece of furniture. I am careful when selecting grain patterns.

The hinges and hardware are hand forged copper.

The glass is beveled, polished and tempered. I used ¼ inch for the shelves. Soon I will replace all the front and side panels with my own custom stained glass panels, that I designed and build. I hand cut and installed all the glass including the back of the cabinet which is a mirror.

I finished the curio cabinets using my 12 step mission staining process.

-- Dusty

10 comments so far

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4675 days

#1 posted 02-12-2007 07:43 PM

Dusty – Your curio cabinets are absolutely beautiful! The lines, hardware and finish are perfect. Thanks for sharing the details of construction. I am a big fan of mission style and arts & crafts furniture. You are indeed very talented. Looking forward to seeing your stained glass.


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4835 days

#2 posted 02-12-2007 07:44 PM

Very nice Dusty.
I’ll take a guess, I think it’s image number 3. I love working with Red Oak. Have you ever tried Black Ash. I think it’s easier to work with than the Oaks’, and looks almost similar to Oak.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4850 days

#3 posted 02-12-2007 08:15 PM

I’ll take door #3 also. Looking forwared to the glass.

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4809 days

#4 posted 02-12-2007 08:46 PM

I also believe that #3 is the red oak and #2 white oak. Both are very nice.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4847 days

#5 posted 02-12-2007 09:46 PM

My guess would be #2 is the red oak. I believe that the white oak would have the larger grain pattern that is in #3. Other than that, they do look very simular in color. Very fine furniture, just like your table and chairs.

_White Oak is a ring porous species with a characteristic strong grain and rays that are more pronounced and longer than those in the Red Oaks._According to:

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4713 days

#6 posted 02-12-2007 11:32 PM

I wouldn’t know white from red oak – but I do know when I like a man’s artistry – Yours is fantastic, Dusty!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4697 days

#7 posted 02-13-2007 12:38 AM

I can’t imagine living in a house filled with such beautiful furniture—that was made with my own hands.. WOW
(and my guess would be COMPLETELY a guess. so I won’t bother.)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4692 days

#8 posted 02-13-2007 03:34 AM


Every day I get up and still am taken back – not to mention – truly full of gratitude. iI am humbled by the fact I have been able to live out a dream- and to have such a extraordinary opportunity – doing a project(s) like this one.

It has been said -if you have a gift-your suppose to use it, develop it- in short – perfect that gift. In addition to using you – then should share it with those who want to share it with you.

Give it away freely- never take it for granted -that will be your gift to your creator in return.

I’m trying.

I’m not only humbled but blessed.


-- Dusty

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 4661 days

#9 posted 02-14-2007 05:14 AM

Dusty I’m a huge fan of the Mission furniture – All your work looks great! I really enjoy seeing the work youv’e done and how you have placed in your home. Thanks for sharing this fine work!


-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4697 days

#10 posted 02-14-2007 01:40 PM

well… since you are to give away freely…. :)
I live in Ontario, Canada :D

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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