Woodsmith

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.

 ??  ?? Cherry and poplar perform together well. The contrast between the drawer sides and the rest of the cabinet make looking at the cabinet as enjoyable as using it. A clear lacquer finish lets all the wood shine.
Rule joints rule. Do you see the brass hinges that holds the drop leaf to the top? No, you don’t, and that’s the beauty of a rule joint. A rule joint does the double duty of smooth operation and hiding hardware.
The drop leaf support you see here works unseen underneath the top. The support glides easily and effortless­ly in the bracket that the holds it to the top of the cabinet. A thumb and index finger is all it takes.
Cherry and poplar perform together well. The contrast between the drawer sides and the rest of the cabinet make looking at the cabinet as enjoyable as using it. A clear lacquer finish lets all the wood shine. Rule joints rule. Do you see the brass hinges that holds the drop leaf to the top? No, you don’t, and that’s the beauty of a rule joint. A rule joint does the double duty of smooth operation and hiding hardware. The drop leaf support you see here works unseen underneath the top. The support glides easily and effortless­ly in the bracket that the holds it to the top of the cabinet. A thumb and index finger is all it takes.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States