Wall-hanging cabinet for glasses

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Project by Dinger posted 12-22-2013 11:47 PM 2327 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first commission. My business partner’s wife runs a foundation that provides free eye exams and glasses to those who can’t afford it. They have an RV set up for the task. The system for holding all the frames didn’t work well – a few clear Tupperware tubs. So they asked me to build this after another guy was going to charge double – and I thought my price was too high! I feel kinda bad – this is his living and my hobby. Then again he may have been trying to price himself out of this job.

Anyway, I used half inch cabinet grade plywood and used rabbets, grooves and dados for the carcase construction for strength. I used half inch instead of 3/4” due to weight considerations. The face frame is half inch red oak. I resawed some 3/4” oak and planed them down to about 1/4” for the vertical slats. I used some Minwax Pecan stain. I used it on my hardwood floors for my house and it’s one of my favorites. Happened to match the existing cabinetry exactly! Top coat us Arm-R-Seal. I wanted to use solid brass for the hinges but I had concerns about it being able to bear the weight of the cantilevered door. So I used brass-plated steel hinges for piece of mind. The latch is simply a sash lock but it keeps the cabinet closed nice and tight. I debated using a dowel pin and hole to take some of the weight bearing off the hinges while closed – which it will be for 90% of the time. I also debated installing a decorative something or other on the opposite wall to further support the weight when opened. I decided against it. Hinges say they can support 30lbs each. Cabinet weight is about 50 lbs. I guess we’ll find out!

I installed the cabinet using a french cleat system. There was only one steel stud that I could find on the wall and no where near where I needed it. The wall itself is just 1/4” luan with a melamine layer on top. Installed the french cleat with a urethane construction adhesive and a few toggle bolts, then I used a dab near the corners of the cabinet itself. That should do the trick! Here’s to hoping!

The most challenging part of the project was cutting all those groove and dados without a dado stack. My table saw sucks. It’s a no name bench top model made of stamped steel and plastic. The arbor wouldn’t even handle a dado blade. It was a trick just to get the stupid back panels square! So I turned to my router only to see the latest issue of one of my magazines have a brilliant dado jig for the router. I managed. The other challenge was resawing with a wimpy table saw and wimpy band saw. I ended up calling a shop teacher friend of mine and we had one of his students learn how to resaw on a table saw. Finishing is what took the longest. I did a bit of pre-finishing just to stay sane. The install was also a bit challenging – more in thought than in practice.

All in all it holds 64 frames and the customer is happy! Thanks for looking!

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

3 comments so far

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3511 days

#1 posted 12-26-2013 04:37 PM

Great job, it came out really good and well crafted. I’m sure the customer was satisfied. Great work!

View Redmond's profile


4 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 12-30-2013 02:40 AM

Very cool!

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3817 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 09:39 AM

Nice first commission piece, good feeling hey. The first three jewelry boxes I ever made were all bought. Good feeling, and good buddy.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

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