Many of us will recognize this as the opening of every episode of The Woodsmith Shop, the TV outlet of Woodsmith magazine. Don is Donald B. Peschke, publisher and founder of August Home Publishing Company. The show is now in its eighth season.
I don’t love everything about the show, at times is seems like a Kreg infomercial, but they do seem to have an arc, as it were. The first few seasons were basic information about setting up and outfitting a shop. Lots of jigs and fixtures and skill building. It wasn’t until the third season that they built their first piece of furniture. I am more likely to build one of their projects than Tommy Mac’s or Scott Phillips’. I don’t agree with all their aesthetic elements but knobs are easy to change.
A few months back, Woodsmith returned to the local public television station. Woodworking shows come and go and then come back. I don’t understand. The only consistent show has been The Woodwright’s Shop and that mostly because they produce it. Season 8, episode 3, the Curved Front Wall Cabinet, looked interesting for the Monday night woodworking group. I have been trying to steer the group back to the furniture track.
As with any group, there are different interests and skill levels. Some prefer shop jigs and accessories. Some are fixated with sharpening. Others, like me, are more interested in furniture. Some are just happy to be out of the house and doing anything related to woodworking.
Not everybody needs more furniture and wants to spend time and money on a project they don’t need. This makes coming up with a group project … challenging. I thought the Curved Front Wall Cabinet would work for the group but I had to sell it. And once I sold it I needed to build at least one. Group dynamics require one person to take the lead and figure things out in advance. Basically, to champion it. Here is the first prototype:
You might notice it’s in pine, southern yellow and white pine. All construction grade and none of the fancy “white wood”. It comes down to cost. If I am going to build several of these, I am going to use an affordable wood. The doors are 7/8″ and the front rails are 1 1/16″ so I needed to use some 2 by lumber. Milk paint can cover a multitude of sins.
Construction is slightly challenging. Nothing esoteric or extreme. Just basic fussy joinery. The doors are coopered, made from staves like barrels. To make things a bit easier, you glue up both doors at the same time on the same form. A wider panel is far easier to handle and get a uniform curve.
One issue I had with Don’s methods is fairing the doors. Being glued up from six, three-inch boards, the front surface of the doors is not smooth. Stylistically a faceted door could work but Don wants you to smooth it. Don uses a block plane. I used my trusty Stanley #7 jointer plane. Could it be that Don doesn’t believe that we all have #7 jointer planes? I could have used my new Lie-Nielsen #8 jointer plane but I hadn’t bought it yet.
I glued up two more door panels just because. This one is glued up from remnants:
This one is made from two sections of a 2 X 12 cut apart and glued back together in sequence:
Tomorrow, I’ll explain the alternate drawer shown here: