Photography By John Morley

THE FEAR of disruption to work schedules, coupled with worry that clients may be put off by apparent chaos, results in many furniture-makers discouraging visits to workshops.

Personally i encourage such calls, having found a number of good clients this way; indeed, the piece of furniture featured here resulted from just such an encounter.

The brief was for a tall cabinet with two drawers and a cupboard base, with adjustable shelves, to measure 1353mm (53%\n) tall, 762mm (30in) wide and 381mm (15in) deep. The piece had to fit into a specific niche in the client's London home.

He favoured American cherry {Prunus serótina) for the cabinet, with handles of American black walnut (Juglans niger). We were working to a set budget, but this was eased by his willingness to let me work on it as and when other jobs allowed.

One constraint imposed by the budget was that a complicated or curvaceous piece would not be possible. i enjoy working within set parameters and the simple design I came up with, coupled with the choice of timber and dimensions, lent this piece a distinct Shaker air while remaining contemporary and original.


The carcass comprises two cherry sides joined by four horizontal boards of the same thickness; these form the apertures for the drawers and bottom fixed shelf. For the sake of stability and economy I made these components from 18mm (%in) two-sided cherry-faced plywood, with a solid cherry lipping.

As yet 1 have not been able to find a supplier of decorative plywood with two 'show' veneer faces, so i made these boards up from one sheet of 12mm (Min) one-sided cherry plywood and another of 6mm (Min), laminated together good faces out.

"Any inaccuracy will be virtually impossible to remedy with the carcass glued up. A real case of think three times, measure twice and drill once!"

The drawer divisions use stopped housings while the top is rebated and fixed with screws.

The sides are made up and cut to 1321 by 381mm (52 by 15in), and the stopped housings and rebate are marked up and routed out. Two straight-edges clamped one either side of the router base ensure that the router doesn't wander off line while making these cuts.

Taking several passes with the router for each joint achieves smoother results. The rounded ends to the housings, left by the router cutter, are squared up with a cornering chisel.

Door recesses

The doors are fitted flush with the drawer fronts so must be recessed into the carcass sides. Before cutting this recess I made the doors slightly oversize in width and height, but to a finished thickness of 13mm (/¿in). The recess can then be cut to match the door's thickness.

Mark out the recess then cut close to the marked line on a bandsaw. I trim up to the line by clamping a straight-edge exactly on the line, then using this to guide a bearing-guided panel-trimming cutter in my router.

The adjustable shelves are supported by short lengths of 6mm (!4in) diameter copper rod which locate in a series of holes accurately drilled at the required height and matching both sides.

Any inaccuracy here will be very apparent when the shelves are fitted, and is virtually impossible to remedy with the carcass glued up. A real case of 'think three times, measure twice and drill once'!

When using this means of adjusting the shelves, I have found that sanding the copper rod with 120 grit abrasive to slightly less than 6mm (%in) eases removal and replacement.

Once the shelf-support holes have been drilled, the rebate for the carcass back can now be cut. Here I use a bearing-guided rebate cutter, set to the depth of the housings.

Cut-out, boards

The curved cut-out at the bottom of the carcass sides is marked out using a piece of string and a pencil as a compass. I measured 75mm (3in) up from the bottom centre line, then made trial and error adjustments to the string miff j

• GUY LEWIS is a professional cabinetmaker working in Sturminster Newton in Dorset. He can be contacted on 0 I 258 471642.

miff j

• GUY LEWIS is a professional cabinetmaker working in Sturminster Newton in Dorset. He can be contacted on 0 I 258 471642.

FAR LEFT AND ABOVE LEFTS Shaker-influenced lines and simplicity fit the brief, the budget and a niche in the client's house

How To Sell Furniture

How To Sell Furniture

Types Of Furniture To Sell. There are many types of products you can sell. You just need to determine who your target market is and what specific item they want. Or you could sell a couple different ones in a package deal.

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