Note: The following is the second article in a series
of three. Part 1 can be found in Volume 3, Issue 4.
Look for the final instalment in an upcoming woodworking
Before you build a house, you will spend a long time
and great consideration designing your plans. Even so,
once you finally start building it, the original plan
will change many times and often evolve quite unexpectedly.
In contrast, when I carve my abstract sculptures I do
not have a sketch or modelI carve the wood directly
and the sculpture develops during the process. When
I started making this cabinet, I approached the project
with a similar attitude and procedure. Of course, the
cabinet is a little different from my abstract sculptures,
so I did make a rough sketch.
The cabinet is free standing and made of two parts, an upper
and lower case. The overall dimensions of the piece are 31-1/2"
wide x 76-3/4" high; the lower case is 8-3/4" deep,
and the upper case is 7-3/4". The upper case has one
glass door and a deep "flower box" at its top, since
Pat, the person for whom the cabinet was made, enjoys flowers
very much. The lower case includes two doors and two drawers.
During the making of this cabinet, every other aspect of the
design, without exception, evolved tremendously.
When I build traditional Japanese cabinets or sliding doors,
I usually follow a standard procedure. I am sure that when
you make a Western-style cabinet, you should also follow a
certain standard procedure, such as determining which part
you make first. However, I find that for me the best method
for building a project is to proceed in the most convenient
way, and that meant starting with the upper part of the cabinet.
I first designed the middle board, which is at the bottom
of the upper case. This set the tone for the whole cabinet
and became the main reference board for my layout: as I worked
on the cabinet, all horizontal pieces were marked from the
middle board. This board has a 1" overhang at the side board
and extends 2" forward of the upper side board's front