Spice Cabinet: Update 5

So, um, remember that woodworking class I take sometimes? Class has actually been in session since September but with all the craziness of getting ready for our trip to Korea I didn’t get a chance to post any pictures of my progress (Also, I forgot to take my camera to class a few times which didn’t help.)

So to refresh your memory: I’m in the middle of building a spice cabinet with a rather fancy door. (Here are updates 1, 2, 3, and 4.) Here’s some of what I’ve done so far this semester.

Glued the diamond panel into the middle of the door and trimmed the edges of the door to size.

Hand sanded the door, the cabinet box, and the cabinet backing.

It took about an hour and a half to do a good job on the sanding. First I sanded everything with 80 grit, then 100, 120, 150, and 180. By the time I was finished my hand was numb and cramped. But if you don’t sand thoroughly sometimes you’ll see track marks after you apply lacquer to your project but by then you can’t do anything about it. I’ve put in so much time on this cabinet that I was going to make sure I did a decent job on the sanding.

Glued strips of solid mahogany onto the front edge of the shelves. After I stuck the strips on with glue a used an air gun to tack the strips down with tiny little pin nails.

The strips will give the shelves some stability and to provide a lip so the spice bottles won’t slide off the shelves. I also think it looks better.

The cabinet box and backing. The backing will be glued on after the cabinet has been sprayed with lacquer.

I didn’t get any pictures of it but this last week my wonderfully understanding instructor sprayed the cabinet door, box, and backing with several coats of lacquer for me. Going in the spray room and breathing in the fumes is a no-go for me since I’m pregnant right now so I really appreciated his help.

Next week I’ll glue on the back of the cabinet and install the hinges. We only have two weeks left of class but I think I’ll also be able to finish up a Christmas present I’m making for my dad. I have pictures of it in progress but I’ll probably post them after Christmas so as not to ruin the surprise.

The Crib I Made

The people who run the community education program where I take my woodworking class wanted students to submit photos of past projects to their website. I was going through my photos and realized I didn’t have any of the crib I had made (it was from before I started this blog) so I ran upstairs with my camera to remedy the situation.

(Sorry I couldn’t get a full shot of it–E’s room is teeny and I couldn’t back up any further.)

Close up of the lacewood medallions.

So far E seems to be a satisfied customer.

The crib is made out of solid walnut with lacewood accents. It took me three semesters to finish but I wasted a bunch of that time redoing things I messed up on and sitting around waiting for help (it was back when I was more of a beginner). If I were to make another one now (not that I have plans to) I could probably finish it in two semesters. I bought my plans and a hardware kit (the spring support for the mattress and the rails for the sides to slide up and down on) online.

Look back now there are a few things I would do differently. The slats ended up being a touch thinner that I wanted them to be and in the back of my mind there’s always a small worry that E’s going to kick though one of them, but so far they’ve been fine.

It was a really fun project. If I ever make another one I’ll probably customize the plans in some way like other people have done. All things considered I’m happy with how it turned out.

Spice Cabinet: Update 4

Yesterday was the last woodworking class until fall. I knew there was no way I’d be able to finish the spice cabinet in one night so I wasn’t frantically racing around the shop trying which was actually nice. It was the most relaxing last-day-of-class I’ve had in a long time. But I still made some great progress.

The piece of mahogany for the rails and stiles (sides and top/bottom) of the cabinet door.

The rails and stiles cut to size. (I taped them together before cutting so they would be exactly the same length.)

This is how they will be put together. The panel of diamonds will go in the middle.

I used the router to cut the inside edges of the rails and stiles to create a groove for the panel to fit into and also for the rails and stiles to fit together at the corners.

A close up of the cut profile.

And lastly, me with my long-suffering instructor.

I’m sad that woodworking is over until the fall but it’s nice to have more time to hang out with N during the summer months. And I have a list of projects to do around the house which should keep me plenty busy.

(Previous spice cabinet posts here: 1, 2, and 3.)

Spice Cabinet: Update 3

I made some good progress at woodworking last night. My friend Kristin is taking the class with me but she was sick so I was on my own.

I finished cutting the dadoes into the sides of the cabinet for the shelves and the back of the cabinet.

This is how the cabinet will fit together. It still needs to be glued.

Sanded smooth the diamond panel for the door.

I was a little disappointed I didn’t get the cabinet glued up last night but it should be pretty easy to clamp it up first thing next week. It will be nice to see it come together next week.

(Spice Cabinet updates 1 and 2 are here and here.)

Spice Cabinet: Update 2

There’s no woodworking class tonight because it’s spring break (SPRING BREAK, woo!) but I thought I’d post the photos from last week’s class so I’d be all caught up. I was getting kind of discouraged and moped around the shop a bit complaining about what a pain making the diamond-patterned panel was. But then it came together by the end of the night and I went home happy.

The long skinny checkerboard panel. The issues is that I need a big square panel of diamonds rather than squares and this panel is too skinny to cut a square out on the bias.

I cut the corners off the rectangle and rearranged them to make a panel of diamonds. This method gives me minimal waste but was a real pain to figure out exactly because I’m horrible at geometry (my instructors were a lot of help).

I applied glue to the edges and used tape to clamp them together (please excuse my characteristically tidy workspace in the background). This blue painter’s tape works well for this purpose because it’s a little stretchy.

I found this piece of mahogany to use for the box of the cabinet and to border the diamond panel on the cabinet door. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but it really is stunning. Mahogany usually has a very tight grain so to find a piece with dramatic grain like this one is fairly rare.

I cut two pieces of mahogany for the sides of the cabinet and marked where the dadoes (or grooves) for the shelves will go.

Then I cut the dadoes with a panel router.

Next week I need to sand the diamond panel, cut it to size, and glue on border of mahogany. I also need to work on getting the cabinet box put together. Since I missed two weeks of class when I was out of town I don’t think I’ll be able to totally finish this project before the end of the semester. But if that’s the case I can hopefully finish it in the fall. My spices have survived this long without a posh cabinet to call home so I think they’ll make it a few more months.

Spice Cabinet: Update 1

Sorry for the picture dump: woodworking class is already over halfway over (I missed two weeks of class when I went to WA) and I since I haven’t posted about my project yet I have a lot of photos.

This semester I decided to make a spice cabinet. I was inspired by this cabinet which has hung in my parents’ kitchen for as long as I can remember. Objectively speaking it’s not exactly my style but over the years I’ve grown fond of it and its folksy illustrations.

My mom’s cabinet has handy spice charts on the door but since I don’t have any charts for the door I decided this would be a fun opportunity to use some fancy woods.

On the left is some African lacewood I had left over from the jewelry boxes I made last semester and on the right is a piece of zebrawood I bought specifically for this project. I’m going to be making a diamond pattern out of these two woods for the cabinet door, similar to what I did for the jewelry boxes but on a larger scale.

I cut the boards into one-inch strips and glued together the lacewood and zebrawood in an alternating pattern. (This part of the process is also similar to making cutting boards.)

Then I cut this board into one-inch strips across on the table saw.

Next I flipped every other strip and glued them together.

This makes a checkerboard pattern.

When I saw how busy the woods were together I started to get a little nervous that the pattern might be too much but I think rotating them 45 degrees so they’re diamonds instead of squares will help. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Thanks, IS•LY!

I enjoy following Melissa Esplin’s craft blog IS•LY and so when I saw that she was having a handmade craft challenge in February I entered pictures of one of my cutting boards.

Lo and behold, Melissa selected my cutting board as first place! I’m very honored and excited about winning this great hand-bound book and stickers.

I’ve been meaning to put together a slide show of how I make these cutting boards and now seems like an apt time to do so. (The photos are from the making of two different boards so you might notice some differences but the process is the same.)

Thanks again, Melissa!

Last Chance

I’m closing comments on the cutting board giveaway at midnight tonight, so if you’ve been meaning to enter, now’s the time.

I’m already registered for woodworking class next semester but I’m pretty sure I won’t have time to make an another extra project. So this is most likely it regarding woodworking giveaways, at least for quite a while. But if you’re in the Utah county area you can always take the class with me and make your own cutting board!

I know taking a class like this can be a little intimidating but it is really fun and satisfying to make something with your hands, we have a great instructor, AND you already know at least someone in the class!

Let me know if you sign up and I’ll save you a seat 🙂

Cutting Board Giveaway!

Remember this cutting board that I worked on last semester?

Well, it’s finally finished and ready to find a new home!

The cutting board is made of solid maple, walnut, and cherry glued together with the end grain facing up so it should be durable but also easy on your knives. The glue I used is food safe as is the finish (mineral oil) that I rubbed on it. It measures approximately 10.5″ by 14.5″ and is almost 1.5″ thick so it’s pretty hefty.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Family members that received a cutting board last year are disqualified (sorry!)
  • Everyone else, leave a comment on this post to enter. If I don’t know you in real life or online (i.e. I’ve left a comment on your blog before) please introduce yourself in your comment.
  • Readers outside the states are welcome to enter.
  • Comments will be closed at midnight this Friday (the 18th) and I’ll use a number generator to select a winner at random.

Woodworking Fall 09: Week 9

We had a low-key weekend. On Friday we met up with Elaine and her husband for some Korean food again. It was a lot of fun. You can see a picture of us (me looking awkward and Elaine looking stylish as she is wont to do) in her post here.

Woodworking last week was a mixed bag of emotions. I made a lot of great progress but didn’t get everything I wanted to finished, mostly because I had forgotten that I needed to chisel holes (or mortises) for the hinges to sit in so the lids would lay flat when they’re closed.

The lids trimmed down to size and sanded most of the way smooth.
(Seeing how these turned out were the highlight of the class for me.)

I drew where the hinges would be placed on the back of the boxes.

Pre-chiseled boxes.

The mortises I chiseled for the hinges to sit it. It was pretty interesting to carve them out by hand with just a chisel and hammer, Noah’s ark style. You can kind of see where I went a bit out of the line and split a little bit of wood off. I was hurrying and took too much off. *Sigh*

Not pictured: the giveaway cutting board I got trimmed and mostly sanded!

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get as far I had expected. The time it took to chisel out the mortises by hand really threw off my plans. But at least I got the cutting board trimmed to size and mostly sanded. My instructor said that I might be able to come in to the shop during the day to lacquer the boxes, so we’ll see how it goes. I need to sand the cutting board by hand and put mineral oil on it and then it will be ready for the giveaway.

I’m planning on taking the class next semester again so if I don’t get the boxes finished in the meantime I should be able to get them done in the first week or two of next class.