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For many woodworkers one of the fascinations is creating things from parts and pieces, such is the case with this mirror project. I had picked up package of small mirrors at some sort of a swap meet for a couple of dollars. They were in good shape and didn't even look like they had ever been used. I remember at the time, wondering what I might do with these, but for what was about the cost of a cup of coffee ... I should purchase this pack of mirrors ... and I did.
Roll forward 2 or 3 years and it seems every time am looking around for something in my shop, this package of mirrors shows up. I have been ignoring them for years, so time to get them out of my shop, make something and get them out of my way. I decided to ask for suggestions on what to do with them, to which my wife promptly announced we needed an entrance way mirror, why not make that ... and so, and entrance way mirror it is!!
The mirrors were a bit of an odd size, all 5.5 x 7.25 inches. The only other thing I knew was that I wanted the mirror to look like an old window frame so the outside rails and stiles would need to be at least 1" thick and would need to be about 3" wide. This would give the mirror a nice 3 dimensional look as it would stand out from the wall a bit.
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There are a variety of television shows that revolve around the collectables theme, whether it be antique or more modern collections. Almost every collector loves to show off their collections or at least parts of it to those who are interested. In this article and video we build a small wall hanging cabinet with glass door, and with battery operated motion sensitive light, precisely for showing and storing a collection.
In order to make the collection the focus, we purposely built the cabinet fairly plain, and even finished it with a dark color to help take away any distractions from the wood and the cabinet. After all, the whole purpose here is to show off the collection, not the cabinet.
This cabinet could also easily be built without the door, in our case it was a requirement, but for others it might not be so. Our cabinet was a modest 14 x 6 inches and 4 1/2 inches deep. The main reason for this size was to make something small enough that a battery operated illumination would enhance, and it did ...
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There is a lot of wooden furniture and other wooden objects that were designed hundreds of years ago that just do no have much functionality in today's world. This doesn't mean they aren't attractive, just that the uses for them have passed. For example, candle boxes, these are smaller wooden boxes used to hold a small supply of candles. Most homes don't need a small warehouse of candles so a box to hold them is not much use.
This is partially true with many things, and even this antique designed bathroom vanity. Some people could have a problem finding a place for it in their home. 100 years ago, most homes had one. I had a large bowl on top and often some sort of a pitcher with water and was a place to go and wash your hands. Now we do that in a sink with hot and cold running water. Still, I love the designs of these old wash stands and have been wanting to make one for years. I really am not sure what you I will be able to put it to, but we will see if we can fit it into modern living in our home.
The challenge with this build was to make the entire cabinet, and doors using only my doweling jig so that we could compare the differences with the build we made entirely from a pocket hole jig a few weeks earlier.
The design of this cabinet is such that it could be used for a multitude of things including plants on to and storage inside, it could be used as a small library cabinet. I could be re-purposed as a very trendy looking bathroom vanity or it could even be uses as bedroom storage and decor.
Part 2 of this build is making the doors, and to keep to the theme of this build, we needed to make them using our dowelmax jig, just as we made our past video using only pocket hole technology.
As a rule, when making doors, I prefer to make them using the router and router table, it's quick and easy, and just something I have become accustomed to doing. I found making the doors using the doweling jig worked well and for anyone who does not have a router table and the associated door bits, using a doweling jig is a great alternative.
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Pocket hole joinery is nothing new, it's been around for many years and still remains a strong, viable option for creating all sorts of woodworking projects. It's very versatile and can be used from everything from jig making to custom furniture making. One of it's greatest assets is the fact that you can disassemble pocket hole joinery in order for fix or modify it and put it back together easily. After the holes are drilled, assembly can be very quick because it's a simple matter of using the special wide head screws to put things together.
In our case we are making an entry way table and part one is making the legs and frame. The wood we are using is kiln dried red alder, a super wood to work with, easy on the tools, hard enough to make fine furniture, and takes most finishes with ease.
The first step in making anything is to determine sizes, and for our project we elected to use square legs 1.5" square by 32" high. The apron for the table would be 5.5" wide and other than the legs and some drawer parts, everything else would be 3/4" material. The lower stretchers for the table would be 2" high, enough to support a small shelf.
The drawers are veneered on the front to match a veneering that will be happening on the table top.
And of course the last component is to put a top on this carcass and so we decided to laminate a veneer on to MDF and then add some natural wood edges to really make it "pop" and this is what our finished table looks like.