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Project by vipond33 posted 06-17-2012 05:53 PM 3829 views 9 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve noticed that many projects here start out with a spectacular piece of saved or found material and then only finds its expression in due time, as the design somehow suggests itself. Sometimes it takes a while for it to come to fruition and this one certainly did.

These bedroom pieces started off not with wood but from a few pieces of a sea foam green laminate left over years ago from a job at work, i.e. somebody’s bathroom vanity. I hoarded it for its colour, celadon by name, and for its interesting texture.

Celadon “has been described by ancient Chinese artisans as having a quiet elegance whose colour is “beyond description,” in that it must be experienced to be understood”. The build was done in a Deco style to be very restful, perfect for my bedroom.

The mate to this material is walnut for the most part, done in my favourite technique of veneer over solid. Building this way allows for a flowing grain match and a uniformity of colour not possible with solids alone. I also appreciate how your design then has fewer limitations. Don’t want flashy grain? Done. Want a bold symmetrical pattern to build on? Done.

For the laundry cabinet it was laid up over red oak for many of the verticals, interspersed with solid walnut at different levels and with solid walnut corners. The profiled edges of both units are walnut veneer over walnut.

One piece routed and dadoed frames made in Baltic birch form the structure. The glue up was a pig to do as clamps were pretty much useless for the most part. Each strip was held with hand pressure for a minute or two, followed by an arduous removal of the squeeze out.

I inlaid a feature strip of padouk all round to suddenly offset the green, and fitted it slightly proud to help protect the walnut from cross grain scratches

and ground a custom knife for the shaper to profile the edges.

This is reversed on the base of the laundry cabinet. I’m not super happy with the strap hinges but honestly, nothing else would work given the voids everywhere.

The bookshelf is a through dowel construction and the design is based on a very old idea from IKEA. The cantilevered shelves are strong enough that one could sit on them.

The mystery material at the top of the hamper opening is that most humble of sheet goods, Masonite. To me it looks far better than it has any right to.

Spray shellac finish by clayton on the hamper, Tried and True on the bookshelf. Watco liquid satin wax with 0000 steel wool. Machine threaded knock down bolts on both pieces act as levelers.

Laundry hamper 25” x 17” x 36”
Bookshelf 42 1/2” x 33” x 11 1/4”
About 62 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

24 comments so far

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 3579 days

#1 posted 06-17-2012 06:05 PM

A freakin laundry hamper elevated to fine art? I would only put folded, clean clothes in it that never graced the shelves of a discount store.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 06-17-2012 06:14 PM

Very nice look you created sir, I like it a lot. Cheers.

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3838 days

#3 posted 06-17-2012 06:17 PM

You are a craftsman sir. Very nice, but I have come to expect this level of fit and finish from you.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 3601 days

#4 posted 06-17-2012 06:42 PM

Both pieces are outstanding in design and execution, but the bookcase excells on all fronts. Inspiring!

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3648 days

#5 posted 06-17-2012 06:57 PM

Excellent elegance. Just stunning work and craftsmanship.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5640 days

#6 posted 06-17-2012 07:08 PM

Great salvage job. Beautiful build. Creative design.

All flows into some fantastic pieces.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4258 days

#7 posted 06-17-2012 07:58 PM

Wow, those are absolutely beautiful! Simple lines but elegantly and tastefully displayed and made. Love the color combinations.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View SeattleSawdustMan's profile


25 posts in 3450 days

#8 posted 06-17-2012 08:08 PM

Very nice, I don’t think that I can use my plastic hampers in good consciousness anymore… off to the shop. :)

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4276 days

#9 posted 06-17-2012 08:36 PM

Excellent use of saved material, Gene. That is a really beautiful colour contrast. I prefer the almost Japanese subtlety of the laundry hamper although the bookshelf is growing on me. The latter has a retro, 50’s feel.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Spoontaneous's profile


1340 posts in 4570 days

#10 posted 06-17-2012 08:43 PM

I really, really love the details…. and the Art Deco look of both pieces. Very elegant, even. When I grow up, one day I hope to say something like, “ground a custom knife for the shaper to profile the edges.” (I’m pretty sure I haven’t said anything like that before).

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Boxguy's profile


2901 posts in 3507 days

#11 posted 06-17-2012 08:53 PM

Beautiful project. I too like the color. This is a wonderful vision skillfully brought to fruition. Some things like this just look like they were destined to be made. An interesting phenomenon…a short time later we look back in wonder and vague disbelief at the project as if to ask…did I really make that?

Some day we will need to have a forum about what happens in the creative process. It seems that materials and ideas often seem to lie dormant, but not forgotten, around the shop and then they want to be used or combined with something new for some pressing purpose…curious how that works.

-- Big Al in IN

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4226 days

#12 posted 06-17-2012 10:20 PM

Most impressive laundry hamper!!! I love the minimalist feel that comes out of such a busy set of lines.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View rdjack21's profile


268 posts in 4167 days

#13 posted 06-17-2012 11:25 PM

Wow I just love it. If my wife saw this I know what I would be making next.

-- --- Richard Jackson

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4063 days

#14 posted 06-17-2012 11:33 PM

As we expect, just the best :: )))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View JoeinDE's profile


450 posts in 4563 days

#15 posted 06-17-2012 11:38 PM

You have elevated the laundry hamper to a place that I am not sure it has ever been before.


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