koa cabinet number two

  • Advertise with us
Project by cathyb posted 03-21-2013 01:22 AM 2825 views 8 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I was asked to submit four pieces to a art show. One of the pieces they wanted was a small cabinet pictured on my website, which is the second cabinet shown here. I don’t repeat pieces that I have made in the past, but I don’t mind using the original to create a new piece with the same basic design.

These cabinets are wonderful because they are so versatile. Who doesn’t need a little cabinet somewhere? They stand about four feet high. They are 15” wide and 13” deep with one shelf. They are a good seller and fun to make.

In comparing the two, I like them both for different reasons. On the original, I like the consistent repeating curl of the wood that wraps the cabinet and the rosewood inlay. However, I don’t care for the top. The cabinet almost seems to squat in comparison to cabinet number two. In contrast, the compression curl on the doors of the second cabinet with the spalted pulls really makes the doors the focal point. The taller base elevates the piece and gives it a completely different feel. Hmmm, apples and oranges. Which one do you like?

-- cathyb, Hawaii

26 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4051 days

#1 posted 03-21-2013 01:27 AM

Good stuff. I like the design a bit better in the newest one, but the wood better in the older one. Although the wood is beautiful in both.

View rtbrmb's profile


908 posts in 3841 days

#2 posted 03-21-2013 02:15 AM

I have been hanging around LJ’s for a few years now & I look forward to every new project you post. The work you do with Koa is outstanding.

Both of these cabinets are incredible but I find myself really drawn to the first one. I really like the legs/base better, but I think that the fact it was shot in natural light really brings out the figure/color in the koa.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30677 posts in 3790 days

#3 posted 03-21-2013 02:24 AM

Your work is always beautiful. I am so envious of your Koa.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View mbs's profile


1720 posts in 4392 days

#4 posted 03-21-2013 02:29 AM

Just looked at your website. You have ventured into many types of furniture and are accomplished in all of them. Beautiful work!

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View SFLTim's profile


59 posts in 3434 days

#5 posted 03-21-2013 02:33 AM

Very nice work. Great design and execution. If I had to chose only one, I think it would be the newer one. Something about the proportions and the lines makes it very easy on the eyes. Not to take anything away from the original. It is certainly a great piece.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3937 days

#6 posted 03-21-2013 02:41 AM

Both are very beautiful, but I think I like the more recent of the two. The overall shape and flow works better, I think.

-- Brian Timmons -

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 5287 days

#7 posted 03-21-2013 03:11 AM

I like the one a bit more with the compression curl on mid-door. I see the base making it a bit more substantial as compared to the other. They are both great, as is all your work Cathy.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Hawaiilad's profile


3386 posts in 4473 days

#8 posted 03-21-2013 03:28 AM

Your work is so lovely. I love the work you do in Koa…book matching on the cabinets is wonderful. What Island do you live on?

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4295 days

#9 posted 03-21-2013 03:50 AM

NICE Piiece! What does the inside look like :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4696 days

#10 posted 03-21-2013 04:03 AM

Inside is a shelf, nothing special, but useful.
Larry I live on Oahu.
To everyone else thanks for your comments and support. Woodworking is a bit of a solitary profession. It has to be with all the gear on your head! When the dust settles, it’s nice to share what you’ve been up to and get a breath of air.
Thanks guys.

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3720 days

#11 posted 03-21-2013 04:20 AM

Kathy, both pieces are exquisite. Comparisons are therefor difficult. The older piece has a nicer sense of proportion, but the thin top with the extended overhang is not in-keeping with the rest of that piece. The bowed out legs are a nice change up in line, but seem to be a bit heavy compared with the lines in the cabinet. It could be the photo, but the thin top detracts from the final look because the thin top accentuates the leg thickness.

The The newer piece has a better cabinet design. Of course the book-matched koa would melt any wood worker’s heart. Nice job of accentuating the beauty with an outdoor shot. My only nit to pick is with the legs. They seem too thick and bulky. While there is a mechanical advantage to having the touch point of the legs occur outside the body of the cabinet, a straight or outwardly canted leg might present a better look. There is nothing wrong with the legs, or the curve at the bottom, they just don’t look like they belong on this cabinet. I like the fact that this one sets higher and would be easier for a tall person to use. Since you used black hinges, I would have considered ebony pulls.

So my favorite cabinet is the one your are going to build next, because my guess is that…like all of us…you learned from these builds and have a new idea waiting for the next request. Anyone who is lucky enough to have one of your works of art adorning their home is a lucky person indeed. Please don’t consider a critical comparison of the two to mean that these are not both wonderful pieces…they are. I really look forward to your postings and am a real fan of your work and the forum topics you pose.

-- Big Al in IN

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4696 days

#12 posted 03-21-2013 04:27 AM

Al you are such a wise man! I couldn’t agree with you more. I wasn’t totally satisfied with either cabinet for the points you listed. We must share the same aesthetic. Since I work without plans, I often have only a rough idea of what the final piece will become. You know as you start your joints there is a natural flow that begins which dictates the outcome. I’m glad to see these cabinets because the next one will be better than the rest. I’ll make that one later this year.
Have a good evening….....

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

340 posts in 4531 days

#13 posted 03-21-2013 05:58 AM

Nice build Kathy. I love the way you book matched your koa doors. It’s always difficult to compare old and new works especially if they are tied on to inspirations. Congratulations!!

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines, Instagram benji reyes

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 3628 days

#14 posted 03-21-2013 06:58 AM

From my point of view I prefer number two. As others have stated both are beautiful and a work of art. Side by side and if I were looking to buy I would buy number two.
Just wish I had half your talent and be able to do cabinet work with your skill and style.
You inspire me to be better at all the wood work I do.
Thanks for sharing

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina ([email protected])

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3720 days

#15 posted 03-21-2013 09:24 AM

Kathy, I have been thinking about your latest build. I think there might be some idea lurking in this project I made for my grandson. What I mean to say is that you might use these principles to make a base that is very light and very strong.

Look at this. Of course you would want to cut the dado on the corner of the leg rather than the flat side, but that would let you have more “meat” to glue to anyway. If the crossing members were arched at the bottom, it would add the curve that looks good in the newest build.

Finally, if you turned a piece, cut it in quarters, and applied the quartered pieces to the center where the two horizontal members cross, it would add beauty and strength. If you notched the outside-top of the leg, it could fit inside the base of your top cabinet and be flush with the sides.

If the cabinet is not square, it is still a doable design, but the angles get tricky. If my explanation is not clear, ask and I’ll try to explain it better.

-- Big Al in IN

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics