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Location
Canton, GA
Time for another cellarette. I have come to truly enjoy building them.

I designed this one in the Hepplewhite style, to be a little more delicate than the predecessors. I increased the height by 3" so the legs would appear more slender with the taper, as well as to accommodate a pullout shelf. The next one will have even longer legs. The tapered legs preclude stretchers. The case and base are constructed with mortise and tenons.

This was my first attempt at stringing and I found it to be easier than expected. Likewise the fan inlays. I did have to buy a new Dremel, as the old one dated to about 1985, and added the router base. Found the router base to be a little underengineered and wobbly, but workable with great caution.

The dimensions are 38" x 18" x 14." The wood is sapele. I ran into some issues with the 14" x 8 ft. board. It was perfectly flat, I allowed it to acclimate for a month in the shop, humidity controlled at 50% RH. Then rough cut the box pieces, stickered and stacked for another month until I was ready to start. 3 of the 5 pieces had twisted. I had laid the sides out so the grain wrapped around. The short side pieces were the ones that twisted, as well as the top. Needing the wider piece for the top, I hand planed it flat. I still don't understand why the shorter side pieces twisted and the longer front and back did not, when they were interspersed between them in the board. Not having great luck with sapele this year, so time to move back to walnut, if I can find some - the problem is the 13" width.

The finish involved sanding at 150, 220, 320 grits; then Bartley's dark grain filler, sanded, then a light application of Arti light mahogany dye to move the color toward red. Then 4 coats of satin varnish, wet sanded with 400, 600, 800 and 1000 grit between coats. Then 0000 steel wool and wax applied with steel wool and then polished w/ steel wool, then buffed. And, amazingly enough, I only had to finish it one time, which is unusual for me! A neighbor asked how many steps, and I counted 17!

One thing I did to prevent the dye from darkening the maple stringing and inlays, was coating them with a coat of varnish prior to the grain filler - applying that with a tiny brush - two coats - was a challenge, but it worked, mostly.

One issue was finding the hardware. Most vendors had pulls that were 2 1/2" on center, but I needed a matching pull that was 2" on center for the drawer, and nobody had both. My original plan was to use antiqued brass and finally assembled all the necessary pieces; large and small pulls, extruded brass hinges, small keyhole cover, from different vendors, that matched - all except the little knob for the shelf. Therefore, back to bright brass, simply because I could find everything that matched. Now, I like it better.

Next, I want to build yet another, same style, but the lid will be flush, no overhang. I would have done it on this one, but for the issue of hiding the cut nails that attach the top to the cutoff part of the case. Eliminating the overhang would have forced me to locate the nails too near the edge, which would not have looked correct to me. The answer; 2 bands, one 3/16" wide near the edge and another 1/16" wide, maybe 1" or 1 1/2" from the edge, with the fans in the corners. I think that will do it and look good. I will also add arcs to the stringing to eliminate the boxy appearance.

The bottle is a 200 year old Dutch gin bottle, which was what these cellarettes were originally designed to hold, this bottle is ca. 1790 -1800.

Comments

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That is a very sharp looking piece, the inlays are wonderful. A great idea finishing the inlay prior to the stain to maintain the natural color. Well done.
 

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I love the overall size and proportions of this piece. The mahogany with the maple inlays put this over the top. some great craftsmanship on display here. Congrats.
 

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Not only is that incredible work with great inlay, But you also reminded me of the concept of a cellarete. An underappreciated piece of furniture. Well done
 

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Cary,

This is a beautiful Cellarette. You have come to master this build. Well done.
 

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beautiful work carey,they keep getting better with each one. real nice jonb on the string inlay.
 

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A nicely proportioned piece overall, and fine craftsmanship. Great work on the inlays and stringing.
 

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This one is my favorite so far… I’ve gots to make me one!
 

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That is a very sharp looking piece, the inlays are wonderful. A great idea finishing the inlay prior to the stain to maintain the natural color. Well done.
I just found it is not a new idea. Today I received 4 small booklets I found on eBay, "Chats on Period Furniture Styles," all printed in 1925. Sheraton, Hepplewhite, Chippendale and the Brothers Adam.

The instructions for building a Hepplewhite stand say: "...Before any stain is applied, the inlay line should be painted with a solution of white shellac, reduced with alcohol. Care must be taken not to get outside the line............"

In addition to the text about the styles, the last pages show the commercial woodworking machinery in use in 1925 - some seriously heavy stuff !
 
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Very nice. Beautiful work.
 
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