A china cabinet

Here’s a fun little project that started with trying to design something that would fit nicely in a nice early 20th century craftsman home. Working with the craftsman idea, I started with a Greene & Greene type of design. But, I also wanted to update the design and at the same time pull the Asian influence into more prominence. So, I took out the Greene & Greene cloud lift detail, and replaced it with the lifted edges on the tops of this cabinet on cabinet design. The final departure from the craftsman influence was to use some different wood species (and therefore different figure patterns) than would have been typical of the craftsman period. And, this is what I ended up with …


The bulk of the cabinet is built from curly cherry, the door panels are highly figured “bubbly” maple, the drawer faces are highly figured “bubbly” mahogany, and the tops of the cabinets are curly maple that has been dyed black for dramatic contrast. Here’s a close up of the curly cherry.


For those not in the know, cherry will age over the course of a few years to a deep reddish brown color that is almost as red as the mahogany drawer fronts.


A bed

I’ve been pretty heads down for the past little bit working on a big ol’ king sized bed frame. The customers are civil engineers living in North Portland, and wanted it to look something like the St John’s Bridge. For any folks reading this that don’t live in Portland, here’s a photo of the bridge taken from the deck of the bridge.


It’s really a very pretty bridge.

Now, I couldn’t help but to introduce a little curve here, a curve there, but we worked through a number of ideas and settled on a design for the headboard that features the three gothic arches that are so prominent at the top of the bridge’s support towers.

Considering that I had just enough elm that had been salvaged from the Portland Park blocks 20 years ago sitting in my shop as leftovers from another project to build the frame of this bed, and considering that the St John’s Bridge is a Portland landmark, it was a easy decision to use that elm as the basis for all of the other wood choices in the bed. I settled on using some figured maple for panels to represent the gothic arches, and some pretty basic walnut as panels for the remaining spaces. A bunch of milling, cutting, and shaping ensued, and this is what came out the other end.


A little more shaping …


The footboard is much more simple.


I had to do some rearranging of the shop in order to get it all put together.


And, here’s a close up of the birds on one of the arches. (I had some significant tearout when I planed it, so I figured that inlaying a bird would be the perfect way to fix it. And, now it’s art.)