Candle cabinet

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Project by guitchess posted 04-12-2014 03:06 AM 1429 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A coworker gave me a small, 3/8” thick slab of walnut, so, this what I did with it. This design is based on one shown in Fine Woodworking. It’s as simple as a cabinet can be, but I wanted the walnut to do most of the talking. These images don’t do the door panel justice. When light hits it just right, the figure has an iridescent shimmer. This internal shine was brought out with two coats of tung oil, then sealed with shellac, and finally top coated with Sherwood precat lacquer.

7 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


5760 posts in 3518 days

#1 posted 04-12-2014 03:09 AM

Wonderful cabinet with many possible uses .
Very well done !

-- Kiefer

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3421 days

#2 posted 04-12-2014 02:00 PM

You may call it simple, but that doesn’t take anything away from the gorgeous candle box I am looking at right now. Very nice!

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View DocSavage45's profile


9017 posts in 3694 days

#3 posted 04-12-2014 03:43 PM

I’m in agreement with Kiefer and Josh. You do some nice work!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3718 days

#4 posted 04-12-2014 04:00 PM

This is a beautiful design that is full of elegance and simplicity. Nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 3826 days

#5 posted 04-14-2014 02:11 AM

I like this piece a lot. It has a great design and warm tone that draws you in. It sounds like you have a good knowledge base on this type of finish, do you have a source that you can share that would give a better understanding in the application process . Thanks for sharing your work and any more info!......ROB

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View guitchess's profile


85 posts in 4560 days

#6 posted 04-14-2014 03:41 AM

Thank you all for the nice comments. When I saw this design in Fine Woodworking, I knew I had to build it, even though I have no practical use for it. The slab that my coworker gave me was just barely big enough. I had a 1” x 6” strip left. I was going to build him a marking gauge with it, but never got it done, and he’s now moved away.


Thank you for the kind words. I don’t have an exact source for anything. I’ve just picked up things here and there. I am constantly experimenting with finishes. This process was from Shop Notes if I remember correctly. It has the depth and warmth of traditional finishes but can be completed in one day.

1. The first coats of oil are not allowed to cure completely. You recoat when it is dry to the touch, which on a warm day, only takes an hour or so. DO NOT SAND BETWEEN COATS. Since they are not cured, it will only make the wood “furry.” The luster means nothing in this step, only the color and depth of the wood. When it looks good to you, move to step two. Also, what ever oil you use, it needs to be thin. If it’s too thick, it will sit on top of the wood and not dry.
2. The oil coats do not have to be cured to apply the shellac, only dry to the touch. According to the science that I have studied, this is possible because there is enough oxygen in the wood to continue to cure the oil. I usually use two coats of the shellac because I sand between them. These coats take about 30 min to dry. I usually let the last coat dry for longer just to be sure.
3. The lacquer coats are super quick. I use SW precat lacquer. They are what we use on cabinets. It dries fast and is very tough.

This finish does not have the luster or feel of a traditional finish. It does bring the natural beauty of the wood out like traditional though, and it’s more durable.

I spray everything but the oil.

Don’t use this method without testing it for yourself.

Hope this was some of the info you wanted.


View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 3826 days

#7 posted 04-14-2014 10:48 AM

Thanks for responding back with some detailed info, much appreciated ! I feel that one of my weak points is in the finishing department so I am trying to educate myself when I can ! I like the fact that this finish uses a combo of traditional methods but added durability . I also like the fact that it is a “one day” process. Thanks again , I will most likely give this a try some time soon….......Rob

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

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