Woodworker's Journal fall-2009, страница 56


Cabinet Shell Game

How do you turn a "gotta-do-it" home improvement project from a task into a treat? Make it into a "wanna-do-it" woodworking project!

By Rob Johnstone

There are many ways to skin a cat, or so I am told, having never actually tried to de-fur a feline. But when it comes to doing chores around the house, I discovered long ago that there is one way to change many of those traditionally tedious tasks from menial to magical — I simply employ my woodworking skills to fix the problem at hand. A great example of this is the simple cabinet shell that I built for my 1906-vintage house. With the children leaving home, it was starting to feel like the right time to "downsize." One of the trickier roadblocks to getting our home ready for market was a large and unsightly set of shelves in a back room. Our realtor quickly identified it as something that needed to be either upgraded or removed. The spot was really quite handy for storage, so sheetrocking over the area seemed a shame, but the mess on the shelves was indeed distracting and seemed to be a magnet that attracted other strange odds and ends without a better home. When I hit on the idea of building a cabinet "shell" over the existing shelves, it struck me as just the right ticket.

The "before" shelves, overflowing with family games, were useful but unsightly. I decided that a woodworking project was the only way to cure this homespun eyesore.

Making it Really Worthwhile

When I do this sort of project, one goal I have is to design and build it in a way that takes advantage of my skills. The basic DIY style of woodworking can certainly improve a home, but take it up a notch and you can both increase market value and leave behind something of lasting value. For this simple cabinet, I chose quartersawn red oak to match some nearby cabinets and added a couple of ornamental details that matched existing features in my home: keystone-shaped plinths or chevrons. Some details are subtle, such as those in the center door stiles. I chose to make the cumulative width of the two center door stiles the same measurement as the width of each outer door stile. In this nearly square cabinet, this feature helps the project look more rectangular, as do the chevrons (forming a bowtie area for mounting the pulls), placed low on each stile. I made the two center rails from a single piece of stock (see photo sequence on page 58) so the grain pattern in the wood flows from one to the other. The chevron motif is also

56 Cabinet Shell Game

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