American Chimney cupboard in salvaged English Oak

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Project by bluekingfisher posted 02-17-2012 07:30 PM 5370 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was hoping to say this project didn’t cost me a penny in materials but alas, I had to buy a sheet of oak veneered plywood for the door panels and the back panel.

The oak came came from an old school in Bromley (England) they were tearing down about 12 years ago. Its been gathering dust since then but when we converted our garage into a dining room the sideboard we currently have looks out of place so I thought it an ideal time to use those old oak boards.

The panels were actually the sides of a built in book storage cupboard. The school was built around 1876 so I guess the oak is of the same period. It was fun reading the graffittii on the insides of the boards written by kids probably long gone by now.

The drawers are left over flooring planks from the new dining room and other scraps, bamboo for the boxes (that stuff is hard) and oak for the false fronts.

I originally planned to make raised panels for the doors from reclaimed table tops but when I milled the tops the boards had been joined by splines which showed through when I made teat cuts with the raised panel cutter.

The other mistake I made was not anticipating the extra 3/4” required for the door rails for the overall width of the door. It is the first time I have used cope and stick joinery so I forgave myself the oversight. I got around it by adding beading to the inside of the face frame. I think it actually makes the project more attractive, but that’s just me.

I gave the cabinet 5 coats of oil (still drying) next weekend I’ll apply some paste wax to finish it off .

I had a job lifting it into the house, it weighs a ton. The overall dims are H76” W23” D13 1/2”


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

12 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3629 days

#1 posted 02-17-2012 07:50 PM

Nice cabinet. Great history!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CSlabon's profile


302 posts in 4568 days

#2 posted 02-17-2012 08:27 PM

Yeah. Nice save on the doors too. Nice cabinet.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4270 days

#3 posted 02-17-2012 08:54 PM

Thanks fellahs

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4868 days

#4 posted 02-18-2012 01:39 AM

Great looking chimney cabinet.


View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7177 posts in 4485 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 03:55 AM

Hi David:

All I can say is: “Beautiful”....It looks really great, and the craftsmanship is supurb, pal….I really like the choice of the old wood you got from the school….Wow….great wood…I’ve never tried to build a chimney cubboard, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun, and hard work, too….lol. I like that you left it natural and used the oil on it.. I think it really brings out the beauty of the wood… tell Julie to fill ‘er up with grub…

I always figured they called them chimney cupboards cause they were tall and slinder like a Enjoy your endevors, my friend… well deserve it…..

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3596 days

#6 posted 02-18-2012 04:52 AM

Beautiful cabinet, and the boards you used had such a great history, it’s time for you to continue the history.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Belg1960's profile


1157 posts in 4356 days

#7 posted 02-18-2012 04:57 AM

David, that is a really nice job. I like how you highlighted the knot in the center of the drawer. My wife would love this finish, for that matter so do I.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Ryan Bruzan's profile

Ryan Bruzan

153 posts in 4186 days

#8 posted 02-19-2012 02:47 PM

Very nice! Always nice to use left overs and scraps.

-- No matter how many factors go into thinking about a project, there is always one important new discovery to be made.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4270 days

#9 posted 02-20-2012 08:15 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback guys, much appreciated, I am pleased with how it turned out, particularly after my mistakes ( cutting the door rails too shor) t, oh well it’s all a big learning curve and I learned a few things on this job, mainly that it was too big a job for my little shop, Heaving that bugger around the shop was no easy task, it always seemed to be in the wrong place when I went to use a tool.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5064 days

#10 posted 03-21-2012 02:42 AM

Hi David

Nice looking cabinet and design. A person does learn from their mistakes. Just call it a design change. I like the Misson style doors over the raised panels on this cabinet. Very well done as always. Love seeing your beautiful shop!

I do not feel too bad for you having to move your cabinet around the shop. I have a 30 gun cabinet top section 16” d X 9’ w X 62” h to move around while trying to build a fire place surround with bookcases. I have it on a moving cart so I can roll it around the shop. When I was cutting plywood sheets and long solid stock I had to roll it out side.


-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 4270 days

#11 posted 03-21-2012 08:48 AM

Hi Tom, thanks for the kind comments, I t was a bit of a rush job so I am pleased how it turned out. I know only too well what you mean about moving around large heavy projects in the shop.

I’m in the middle of the kitchen project as you know, I have to cut three wooden worktops. The quote I got from the contractor almost gave me a heart attack, so I am going alone with it. Of course I had to buy some tools. One of which is a plunge track saw. I’m going to have to give it a trial run as it looks a little more fiddly than my circular saw.

I hope that gun cabinet is coming along fine, I have no doubts it will be. Seems like you have plenty to keep you busy?

Best of luck with it

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View joebloe's profile


157 posts in 3585 days

#12 posted 03-23-2012 03:58 PM

Very nice,love the oak. I know what you mean about small shop,or is it we have to many toys.In my case a little of both.

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