Wall-hung cabinet with coopered door

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Project by johnjoiner posted 04-30-2008 06:13 AM 3675 views 4 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a small Krenov-inspired cabinet I made from cypress I bought from Treebones. Most of this was built with hand tools. The exceptions being the band saw and power planer for stock prep, and the router for removal of the bulk of the wood in the stopped rabbets for the back panel.

The door I sliced into five staves, bevelled them, and reassembled them. I was doing this to enter in our woodworker’s guild show, and I didn’t have time to make a coopering plane. So I smoothed the inside of the door the best I could with a round card scraper.

I learned a ton on this project. This is my first project that I would consider calling “fine” woodworking. In addition to the coopered door, it was the first time I’d made a frame and panel like this, used knife hinges, did the Krenov-style doweling, and used files to round and soften the edges.

Given all that I was pretty happy with how it came out. But there are a number of things I’ll do differently next time, and plenty of room for improvement.

-- johnjoiner

18 comments so far

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Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4492 days

#1 posted 04-30-2008 06:24 AM

good looking posting. sweet details

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Joe Brumley's profile

Joe Brumley

70 posts in 4291 days

#2 posted 04-30-2008 07:23 AM

What a beautiful piece. You should be very proud of it. I have never worked with cypress and am wondering how it compares to other woods? Let me know your thoughts if you have some time. As I said on another post – a Krenov style cabinet is definitely on my list. Great job!

-- Joe, Indiana,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4331 days

#3 posted 04-30-2008 12:21 PM

This is a gorgeous cabinet. I really the design and execution. Building it largely with hand tools is a compliment to your craftmanship.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View toyguy's profile


1697 posts in 4346 days

#4 posted 04-30-2008 02:09 PM

Great design..Great execution…great project.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4728 days

#5 posted 04-30-2008 02:27 PM

Great job on this piece. Top notch design and execution!

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

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 4217 days

#6 posted 04-30-2008 05:19 PM

Looks great. Darn fine job on the coopering too. I’m sure you can see them close up, but I cant see the joint lines at all. Looks like one big curved board with continuous figure.

-- Use the fence Luke

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4195 days

#7 posted 05-01-2008 12:36 AM

Very elegant design

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4506 days

#8 posted 05-01-2008 01:13 AM

Wonderful! What are the dimensions? Also, how are the sides joined to the top and bottom?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4308 days

#9 posted 05-01-2008 01:35 AM

FANtastic cabinet – I really like how you gave attention to interior detail – nice job.

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4283 days

#10 posted 05-01-2008 01:36 AM

Very nice looking cabinet. You did a great job on it. Really like the curved door. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 4402 days

#11 posted 05-01-2008 05:06 AM

Thanks everyone for taking a look.

Crookedshack, the cypress was interesting. I’d say it’s similar in density to the heavier softwoods. So it was pretty quick to work with hand tools. But it’s brittle, so I had to be very careful when working the end-grain or it would chip at the corners. I also had a tough time planing it in spots where the grain was wavy. But I don’t have my smoothing plane tuned well yet. I had to use scrapers and sand some spots.

Dorje, It’s 19” tall, 6 1/4” wide and 4 3/4” deep. The top and bottom are doweled to the sides the way Krenov describes in his books. I used 6 1/4” dowels at each corner. I’ve never thought much of doweling. But for something this small, and with the rear panel nice and tight in the back I think it will be fine.

-- johnjoiner

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4506 days

#12 posted 05-01-2008 08:01 AM

Thanks for the extra details!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 4251 days

#13 posted 05-01-2008 06:29 PM

Very nice looking. makes me want to build one too. Thanks for sharing this with us.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4603 days

#14 posted 05-03-2008 02:56 AM

Hi, John. This is a very nice piece and it was a pleasure to get to see it in person at Northern Woods. When my girlfriend came up to the show on Saturday I made sure to point it out to her. She and I were quite impressed. She “wanted one for our house.”

My apologies for not telling you in person but you were in an interesting conversation with Paul and I didn’t want to interrupt. Keep up the good work! What do you have in mind for next year?

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 4402 days

#15 posted 05-03-2008 06:51 PM

Thanks Jeff.

I’m working on an idea for a really cool cantilever table! Just kidding.

I think I’ll try another cabinet to see if I can be more efficient, and add a few things, and tighten up a few things. I want to add dovetails to my repertoire so I can include some drawers.

-- johnjoiner

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