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Walnut Credenza With Bookmatched Case And Hand Cut Dovetails

author-gravatar prjctfish May 04, 2019

This project started after I visited the studio of George Nakashima. I was so inspired that I set myself up to build an incredibly complex project in walnut featuring hand cut dovetails. My design certainly refers to Nakashima but I also was influenced by the simplicity of mid-century modern designs with splayed legs. The credenza is 66" long 15 1/2" wide and 30" tall

I started with a 10 ft 10/4 slab of walnut for the case sides and top and 8/4 stock for the doors. I designed a system of wooden grooves and rails so that the doors slide on rabbits in the top of each door. There is a single divider in the middle of the case and adjustable shelves on each side. The base is also built from walnut with 6/4 for legs and 4/4 for the rails and center stretcher. The only screws in the entire project were used to attach the case to the legs in slotted openings.

The sideboard features a book matched case created by slicing a large timber in half and gluing it back as a mirror image. This timber spans the left side, top, and right side for a continuous grain pattern. Hand cut through dovetails is used to join the casework on all four corners. Each door is also formed with a book matched panel and the doors slide on wooden runners. The doors can be easily removed for cleaning.

I sanded the casework down to 320 grit, then applied 2 coats of boiled lindseed oil/mineral spirits letting each coat dry 48 hours. I then sanded to 400 grit and finished the casework, doors, and shelves with 6 thin coats of Arm-R-Seal sanding to 500 between each coat. Finally, I applied a coat of Liberion Black Bison paste wax and buffed to a low sheen.

Photo of Walnut Credenza With Bookmatched Case And Hand Cut Dovetails

Walnut credenza displaying bookmatched doors

Photo of Walnut Credenza With Bookmatched Case And Hand Cut Dovetails

Walnut credenza with doors open

Photo of Walnut Credenza With Bookmatched Case And Hand Cut Dovetails

Walnut credenza showing the bookmatched side and top, all from a single board for continuous pattern

Photo of Walnut Credenza With Bookmatched Case And Hand Cut Dovetails

Walnut credenza showing hand cut dovetails on the top and side

Photo of Walnut Credenza With Bookmatched Case And Hand Cut Dovetails

Walnut credenza showing the wooden slides of the doors

2 comments

Wow... This piece is absolutely gorgeous! I love the design and you nailed the color. This is probably one of the nicest pieces on the entire site. Thank you for sharing. This piece is very inspiring.

Fantastic piece! You knocked this one out of the park. 

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