Shaker Sewing Cabinet
Simplicity often gets overlooked in these hasty times. That’s sad, take a look at what hurried people miss.
The original cabinet that inspired the one you see here came from the Shaker colony that once thrived in Hancock, Massachusetts. The formal description from antique dealers would be “A four-over-two-over-one sisters sewing cabinet.” The drawer count is clearly important to today’s audiences. The Shakers, though, saw things with a more holistic eye. The relation of their buildings to the land, the rooms to the buildings, and the furniture to the rooms, were all governed by a precise set of intentions — the singular mission of simplicity. This cabinet’s clean, clear, and organized geometry echoes all of this.
Gorgeous cherry glows all over this project. With poplar serving as a pragmatic supporting cast for the drawer shells and cabinet back. Birch plywood humbly works as drawer and cabinet bottoms.
If you’ve been meaning to brush up on your joinery skills, this project will get you flexing in no time at all. It starts with a handful of mortise and tenons to bring the side assemblies together. Those steps are a warm-up for more mortise and tenons you’ll tackle in the rails and stretchers. (Throw in dovetail tenons on the top rails for some spice.) Then you’ll spend some time making dovetail drawers at the table saw. The project winds down with making a rule joint for the top and drop leaf. A full plate of woodworking indeed.