Seed Cabinet

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Project by Don Carrier posted 12-25-2011 08:34 PM 2606 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I guess this is my first true ‘furniture’ project. It’s a cabinet for my wife to store her garden seeds. I’ve built plenty of tables but never anything with drawers. The top, drawer fronts, and carcass are made from reclaimed barn find cherry. (200 years old and was the actual support beams for the barn) Each horizontal set of drawers are book matched. The slat sides and back are from wormy sassafras (From the same Barn) The drawers are from a pin oak I fell in my yard in Sep 2010. I learned a lot. The drawers runners are wood (some of the not so nice looking cherry) The drawer boxes required building a finger joint jig. The joinery on the frame is Kreg. The finish on the frame and sides is homemade wipe-on varnish. The top although very shiny is satin poly. I’m proud of the top. I completed the entire finish in 1 day using water based poly and a trick I know from auto painting. The actual labor was less than 1 hour, most of the day spent wainig for the 4 coats to dry. It really shines but does not look like plastic. This was my first quart of water-based poly and I imagine I’ll never use anything else. I love it. The wooden drawer pulls are store bought from a local mom and pop hardware. I learned everything I needed to complete this project on lumberjocks, I’m hooked. Thanks to all who helped me struggle through jigs, drawers, and finishes.

Happy holidays to all of you. Let’s do this again next year!

Don Carrier
Bristol TN

-- Don

11 comments so far

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 5049 days

#1 posted 12-25-2011 08:42 PM

Beautiful cabinet, well done

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5711 days

#2 posted 12-25-2011 08:46 PM

Looks really great, Don!

The water based poly gives great results if you want to maintain the natural wood color, while oil-based tends to lend a warming tone. I use both depending on the situation.

The finish on top is beautiful. Are you going to share your secret? Does it involve rubbing out with polishing compound? That works quite well with poly.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Don Carrier's profile

Don Carrier

114 posts in 3869 days

#3 posted 12-25-2011 08:58 PM


I don’t rub out anything anymore! (hehe) Be glad to share the secret. Put on 4 coats of waterbased. No need to sand between if you take your time and brush with china bristle. Sequential coats as soon as the previous is dry to the touch. Dont try an expensive brush it will streak. I imagine a foam brush would work too, i was out of them. I’m no expert so this is not that hard. The flow on water based is amazing. Next go to your local auto parts store and buy 2(two) 3m Trizact pads, they will cost you about 6 bucks each and last forever. One 1000 grit and one 3000 grit. These are 6 inch foam/cloth based pads. I have an electric 5 inch porter cable random orbit sander. Wet the pad, spray a little water, a little dont wet your sander, and sand all the brush marks out with the 1000 grit. Took me less than 2 minutes. Polish (keep the surface damp) with the 3000 grit. Again less than 2 minutes for the whole top. Wipe off the residue and look at your smiling mug. It is amazing and so fast.

-- Don

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5711 days

#4 posted 12-25-2011 10:24 PM

Sounds good, Don. I’m definitely going to try that!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View a1Jim's profile


118333 posts in 5070 days

#5 posted 12-26-2011 04:07 AM

View s_grifter's profile


186 posts in 3960 days

#6 posted 12-26-2011 03:10 PM

that’s a very beautiful cabinet

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4954 days

#7 posted 12-26-2011 03:54 PM

Very very nice first drawer cabinet. Do me one favor and document where the wood came from and the history about it. Trust me, there will come a day after you are long gone that a grand child will have this cabinet and be interested to know the story about it. My parents did that for us kids and when you look at them now that they are gone it’s like getting a personal note from them.

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

View Don Carrier's profile

Don Carrier

114 posts in 3869 days

#8 posted 12-26-2011 04:08 PM

Good idea Dr. Ken. I’d like to think something i accomplish in my life would outlast me.

-- Don

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5166 days

#9 posted 12-28-2011 03:40 AM

Beautiful cabinet.

View Paden501's profile


35 posts in 3843 days

#10 posted 12-28-2011 03:44 AM

That’s an excellent piece of furniture there. The top is fantastic. Thanks for the sanding tip.

View Sawdust's profile


128 posts in 5900 days

#11 posted 01-26-2012 10:33 PM

That is a very nice project, and your design is really good. I like your tip on the finish. Nothing looks better than old cherry, it is like finding the mother lode.

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