My Design, 2002. Here's another piece from Lancaster County walnut supplied by the
ever-generous Basil Bailey. This time, however, he gave me a few pieces of crotch
grained wood and I used them to full effect on my most ambitious project yet. This is
a frame and panel cabinet tbat I designed, featuring bookmatched crotch veneered
panels on both sides and the doors. I resawed the veneers myself at Paul Lloret's (he
has a larger bandsaw than I do).
Of course, these photos don't begin to do justice to the spectacular grain, but they
give an idea. The finish I used was a homemade mix of poly, linseed oil, and
solvent, which gives it a very nice depth. The hardware is from Horton Brasses.
Great products and spectacular service.
...and here are the guts. The 'shelves' are dowels that run between front and back
lap-joint frames that I inset into the inside corner of each leg. That, plus the
mortise-and-tenon joinery in the rails make it extremely sturdy. And, by the way,
it made for a very challenging final glue-up, but that's another story. As is usual
with my pieces, there is no metal used for any joinery save attaching the top.
This shot, showing the drawer joinery, was made with artificial light, thus the
I used just about every tool in my shop on this piece. Hand tools, power tools,
borrowed tools. The wood Basil gave me was straight from the sawmill, so
there was plenty to do. For a change, though, I had some extra time to work on
it so while it is the most complex piece I've made, it was one of the quicker ones,
in elapsed time. Lots of hand toolery here, as usual... I won't bore you with the
details. The drawer and back (and rear shelf support frame, if you care) are
from pine that I reclaimed out of our house during our various remodelings. I
admit I'm pretty proud of this one.
This shot shows some of the more spectacular grain on the side panels. I pretty
much designed this piece around the striking figure I got out of those pieces of
crotch wood. It looks pretty drab here, but close inspection reveals amazing
chatoyance and changing patterns, especially if you move the light source! Not
many folks would think of getting down on their knees and waving a lamp
around to enjoy a piece of furniture, but it's worth it on this one! The side
panels are, if anything, prettier than the doors. I managed to get four veneers
out of this piece, so the panels on both sides are essentially identical. I put
beads into both the top rails to carry the lines from the upper and lower drawer
supports around to the sides.