Notes from the Shop...

After I made my 'A Door & Two Drawers' wall cabinet, I immediately had an idea for another project based on a similar theme. While keeping the walnut and douglas fir wood combination, I wanted to turn the wall cabinet idea on its side: stretch the cabinet's length and width, lose the door, add a drawer, add some legs, and turn it into a hall console table. Basically, a cabinet on stand but with the cabinet part knocked over and the whole thing made into a hall table.

Here was an early sketch:
I always seem to be drawn to adding the odd twist and so right away I knew the drawers would not all be the same width. I originally wanted four drawers with each gradually increasing by a factor of the golden ratio or fibonacci sequence. Nothing original there, but I like the proportions this creates. I think it creates harmony when you don't want to be restricted by symmetry. After a mock-up and more sketching, three drawers just spoke to me more so than four. walnutfirconsole_sketch2 walnutfirconsole_sketch3

So, I matched up three beautiful walnut boards for the case (I was shocked to not find any wide walnut boards for a single plank case) and found some very nice tight vertical grain douglas fir for the drawers. Here are some shots after building the case and completing the hand-cut dovetail drawers.


The through-dovetailed drawers "became" half-blind dovetailed drawers after I glued back on the drawer fronts which were thick 'veneers' I cut on the bandsaw from the same board as the main part of the drawer front. I did it this way for two reasons - 1) it is much easier to cut through-dovetails than the half-blind variety, and 2) fir is soft and easily dented so it was nice to be able to set aside the 'show' part of the drawer during all the rough handling that happens during the cutting of the joinery and the assembly of the drawers.

I'm pleased with the direction this is heading so I hope I can get the legs and stand just right. Stay tuned!



About a week or so later, and here's the completed table. Click for another view.

Walnut Fir Console with Drawers
I curved and canted the legs forward, and added the curved front rail, to give the piece a sense of movement and soften the otherwise boxiness of the drawer case. The legs and stand pieces are rift and quartersawn from one plank of 12/4 walnut which had a lot of sapwood. This led to much head scratching and careful correction cutting to get all the pieces I needed from that one board. But in the end, I was pleased with how the stand and the whole piece turned out. I think it has the slightly unusual grace or presence that I was after.

Fall 2008