Wall Cabinet Contest
March 1, 2005
Entry Details

# 73
Michelle Glime
Appleton, WI
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   15.75
  Height:   25
  Depth:   8.5
Materials:   Wenge, Curly Maple, Curly Maple Veneer, Birch Plywood

I was trying to create a sleek artistic design for my keepsake/jewelry cabinet that would allow the materials to make the statement.  I needed a cabinet to store all kinds of treasures.  From drawers to hold small trinkets, to hooks inside the door for necklaces and bracelets, and open shelves for small boxes, perfume bottles and any number of small collectibles.  Having a curved door that exactly matched the dimensions of the carcass made for very tight tolerances, as did the inset drawers.  The outside veneers (5 pieces) were cut from a single sheet so the grain is continuous around the cabinet.  

The door panel is a glue-up consisting of two sheets of 1/8" birch plywood, and inside and outside veneers.  Assembled in a vacuum press on a shop-built form (my first attempt at vacuum veneering).  The carcass was assembled using dados and rabbets.  The back panel is mirrored to lighten the interior.  

The finish is GF Seal-A-Sell clear, GF Arm-R-Seal rubbed down and finished with Briwax clear giving it a very soft feel.  The cabinet utilizes a french cleat for mounting.

Pulls are an original design, the only commercial hardware is a pair of Soss invisible hinges and a Brusso ball catch.  Drawers are lined with burgundy velvet.

Judges Comments
AJH : The contrast of light and dark in this clean piece makes it stand out without being obtrusive. This looks so nice on the inside, that it's a shame to keep the door closed.
DM : Very nice. Classic black and white contrast with the wenge and curly maple. Proportions look well placed and I like that the builder made his own handles. Great job especially considering that it is a first time run at vacuum veneering for this individual.
EW : Your concept and attention to detail are excellent. I think I would have made the door panels thicker, using a lamination technique, but the effect is nice. The drawer-lock joints that you used for your drawers is a bit extreme in terms of the short grain that it creates; a simple 1.8" x 1/8" tenon would have done the trick.
LG : This is a very striking cabinet. The veneers are beautiful and the contrasting wenge on the inside contributes nicely. For your first attempt at a cabinet of this nature you did extremely well. Copying the curve of the door with the inside of the cabinet, adding dovetails and using more delicate interior parts would make this work quite extraordinary. It's a beautiful piece as it stands, keep it up.
RJ : The proportion of the front view of this cabinet is very close to the golden section-- if the width had been set at 15.45" it would exactly match it. I'm not sure why I noticed this. Maybe it's because I've been working with proportion and aesthetics for a long time. A very striking cabinet which uses maple veneers and colour contrast well. Simple and elegant exterior with an attractive interior although slimmer drawer sides would add grace-- perhaps the lapped tongue and housing was chosen because hand cutting dovetails in wenge is usually a thankless task? Technically sophisticated, neatly and unfussily executed. A very attractive item.

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