Spalted Maple Cabinet
October 29, 2010
As a follow up to the small cherry occasionalcabinet, I built this piece wider and a little taller, to accommodate my
wife’s cookbooks. It is mostly bird’s eye maple for the top and door frames, with spalted maple for the door panels and drawer front. I get a lot of
compliments on this piece, not so much for my joinery skills, as for the dazzle of the spalted maple. This was my first experience using spalted
wood, which is expensive and needs a measure of caution to work because of how fragile it can be. But is certainly does add a bit of ‘pop’ to most pieces.
This cabinet would be based on the design of a small, cherry single door/drawer cabinet that I'd previously built. The cherry cabinet looks deceptively simple.
But there are a lot of parts and joinery that were a good opportunities to hone some skills that can be expanded to larger and more complex units.
Two mirror-image doors with off-set knife hinges can present some challenges to fitting snugly while still operating smoothly. One trick I've discovered is to fit the doors
while the cabinet is lying on its back. They can easily be removed from the hinges in that position for some additional planeing to fit the opening.
The drawer is built with hard maple sides and bottom with the front being fit with half-blind dovetails. A drawer this wide need to fit the opening snugly so that
it will operate smoothly.
A shelf or two can be added for extra storage in a cabinet this tall. The cabinet is finished with several coats of a wipe-on polyurethane coating.