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Marc, this is interesting. I tend to look at the pic's first and then read the description. When I looked at the first pic, I said to myself, "Marc has taken up plastering". LOL.

What's the wood? The stain is Walnut? Marc, the photo seems to show an uneven take-up of the stain. One final question; what is the reason for running the wood casing only up to the top shelf. To my eyes, it makes the unit look stuck-on rather than built-in. It may well be the picture that is not doing this lovely woodworking project justice.

Hope you don't mind the criticism; it's meant to be constructive.
 

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Hey Don. I never discourage constructive criticism. I actually didn't notice a significant amount of uneven stain. At least no more than I usually get when staining alder and birch units. Could be the light in the picture.
This piece was actually modeled after the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen. You cant see it in the picture but the pieces are distressed. The homeowners required that I follow the exact same finishing procedure as the original kitchen cabinet makers. So it was same materials, same finish, and same result.
In case anyone wants to know, finish schedule was dark-walnut lacquer stain, sealer, sand, spray on/wipe off black glaze, lacquer. The glaze really added some extra depth to the piece.

As for the "stuck-on" look, I have to agree with you. The customer wanted the top cubbies left open and they were absolutely thrilled with the results. If it were up to me, I probably would have gone to the top. As they say, the customer is always right. :)

marc
 

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Thanks, Marc. Of course, you are correct. You have to deliver what the customer wants.

I'm not familiar with Alder or Birch other than by name. As for the finish, I'm sure it looks good in person and does not suffer the distortion that digital flash often creates. I know with a number of my projects, I've just not been able to get the pic color looking right. I find I get my best pictures using natural light. Of course sometimes this isn't possible if the natural light is insufficient.

My questions were more from the perspective of wanting to learn than to tell you, a professional, how to do your job. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
 

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Nice job Marc, by the way I saw your picture in the fine woodworking e-mail I got the othe day. Good article and a feather in your cap, way to go, I down loaded some of the vidieo but my coputer is too slow. mike
 

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So Mark is just a face frame with doors and crown? Looks like a giant entertainment center.
 

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Yep, thats it. The only way around it would be to gut the whole structure. Its a brand new house and I dont think the customer wanted that much effort put into it. So its a ply frame, constructed with pocket screws (and a little epoxy for good measure). I made up 4 smaller assemblies: the left side, the middle, the right side, and the TV frame. Much easer to work with. The TV frame has cleats all the way around that hold it in place. The frame is removable if they ever need to service the television.
But overall, the idea was to give the piece the "look" of a built-in.
 

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I just saw your project on the front/home page here and it brought to mind you moving into a new shop, how did that go? I think I will hyper jump over to the thewoodwhisperer site to see if you up dated anything. Nice job on the cabinets. I hate alder by the way everyone is using it to replace cherry… LOL
 

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Its been quite a journey over the last year. The "temporary" shop is becoming a little more permanent than I like. But I can't complain. Just a lot less space than I am used to. I have a full episode on the move itself if you want to check it out: http://thewoodwhisperer.com/a-moving-experience/

And I agree about alder. It really is the poor man's cherry.
 
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