Tag Archives: cherry

Magazine Rack (3)

Assembly and Finishing

All the parts are now ready for assembly.


Now that all the parts are ready, it’s time to glue and clamp everything together.


After a couple of hours drying time, the rack gets a final sanding.


A quarter is used to indicate the corners at the top of the two side panels. They are sanded off on a edge sander.


After working on it for some time, I decided not to attach the pencil holder.


The final step is the finishing. First remove the dust with some pressurized air.


The rack is flooded with some tung oil which is allowed to penetrate the wood. After a few minutes the excess is removed with a paper towel.


The next day the rack is sanded again with 400 or 500 grit sandpaper.


Two or three layers of shellac are applied to the surface, each with a sanding in between.


After the final layer of shellac it gets a light sanding with 0000 steel wool. Followed with a good coat of furniture wax.

Ready for some magazines, a journal, writing paper or even your IPad. The magazine rack will be directly attached to the wall with a few screws thru the back.

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Magazine Rack (1)

Utilizing every available space is a priority; the area to the right of the rear side window is large enough to accommodate a magazine rack and is conveniently close to the bed. This will allow for some late night reading. Back to the workshop for some woodworking!

The main wood choice is again Cherry in combination with some Tiger Maple as a front panel.

After dimensioning and sizing the lumber, everything must be put together, including two extra pieces which are added to the side to act as a pen/pencil holder.

Continue reading Magazine Rack (1)

Toilet Access Door

The last time I worked on the bed, the pull-out, sliding shelf was installed. Now I’ll continue with a door for the toilet compartment. In deliberating the hinge options, I came across a simple wooden hinge design, that looked appropriate for this application.

5051Under the built-in, slide-out shelf is just enough space to house the portable toilet. But the access door is still missing. With a hinge at the top, movement of the toilet is allowed towards the front and/or the back of the van, when opened. Space is at a premium and in this case there is only 1¼“ available for the top hinge.

52While figuring out the planned construction method, I stumbled upon a wooden hinge example that I liked. To give it a try, I started with a new tablesaw jig, that would allow me to repeatedly make the cuts between which the gaps will be removed.

Continue reading Toilet Access Door

Multi-Use Cabinet (8)

After my last post, I took a short brake, but now I’m refreshed and at it again. We are in the final stretch of the multi purpose cabinet and next time I hope to have it ready to install in the (cargo) van conversion.

123Meanwhile, to prevent any noise made by the cooktop cover while driving, two rare earth magnets are installed and covered by a thin wood plug.


A bit of super glue does wonders.

Next is the folding shelf.

122125It’s attached with a piano hinge at the bottom and two bolts at the top. The open space above is the second access to the cooktop.


126Time for some paint work. The maple top and the two vertical decorations got three layers of paint. The gray color should contrast the reddish finish of the cherry cabinet.


134133The top is attached to the cabinet with 4 screwed in blocks.


127At the same time, both side panels are fitted and temporarily installed. With those panels installed, the electrical outlet follows. I use the scroll saw to cut out the hole.


128129And finish it off with the outlet and plate.


130131To change the very solid look of both sides and to accentuate the airy feel of the two front legs, the legs are cut out and the opening finished with a downward curve.





Multi-Use Cabinet (7)

Previously I messed up one of the drawer bottoms of the cabinet that I’m making for my (cargo) van conversion. First redo that, then do the top surface with access to the cooktop. After all the major parts have been put together, only the hardware, the finishing and final installation in the van remains.

9697The drawers are done but now we’re approaching the end of this mini-project, I still had to fit the sub-cabinet box to the step-up area in the van.


Shelf Hinges


98Another small job is the installation of the shelf side hinges. A recessed space has to be created on both sides of the shelf/door.


99100With a straight router bit, I take three passes to get to the depth of the recess. The Cherry side panel is wide enough to act as a stable base, while using its side as a guide for the router.


101A screw hole is pre-drilled and some wax is applied to the screw to ease it into the wood.

102The hinges are now ready for the shelf.


 Cabinet Top


103The top of the cabinet needs to have an access to the cooktop during interior use. A 14” x 14” maple square will be attached with a piano hinge to a Cherry frame.

104I oversize the 3/8” thick panel and then remove narrow strips on each side, which are then flipped over to the bottom of the piece. This way, I’ll save a little weight on an already too heavy cabinet.

Then again lots of sanding to get everything flat and straight.


106The Cherry frame around the lid has two boards on the sides and a long board in the rear.
They will be held together with the help of a sliding tenon.


107108Both ends receive a mortise, made with a stationary router.


109110Then a loose tenon is made out of the same material with the corners rounded to conform to the router made mortise.



Finally each end is glued together.

112The lid and a temporary brace are used for final adjustments to the frame during glue-up. Let it all dry overnight to obtain a good bond.


113The next morning the sides are trimmed and sanded. The piano hinge is temporarily attached so its thickness is accounted for when establishing the front curve of the cabinet top.

114At the same time a 2” high overhang is glued to the front of the lid. It functions as the lid handle and is part of that front curve.

115The front of the cabinet top has a curve that is similar to the one at the front bottom of the cabinet. The same technique is used to establish the curve.
Take a thin piece of stock, hold it at both ends at the required depth of the curve (here I use 2 clamps for that) and pull it out to the desired point at the center.

116117Draw a line and cut the curve on the bandsaw. It’ll need some sanding to bring it to a graceful curve.


120121The cabinet is now close to its final form and shape.



The simple, gentle curves complement the overall design of the cabinet.


Multi-Use Cabinet (5)


The Drawers

The back panel is finished, the hardware is ordered; in the meantime my attention shifts to the drawer construction. Rails are installed and drawer panels put together.

66First a filler is glued-in at the back, to compensate for the frame height in the front.


Wooden rails will support all the drawers. To minimize wear I’ll use hard maple strips for the bottom drawer to ride on.

67Next a few pieces of plywood make two filler inserts, one on each side of the narrower top drawers. These are attached with a dado to a wide hard maple rail that supports both the bottom and center drawer.



They are left to dry overnight.

71At the front, the inserts will be finished off with the ‘ribbed’ decorations that I made at the start of this phase of the project. That has to wait until after some sanding and painting is done.


The drawers consist of hard maple sides and rear, dadoed to a cherry front panel. The height of the bottom drawer forced me to glue 2 boards together. By bookmatching them, they make nice, though hidden, statement.


All parts of the drawer are individually fitted to the cabinet. The width of each side piece is carefully adjusted, so it snugly fits between the upper and lower rails.


Complicating things is the requirement for the drawer to extend both at the front as the rear of the cabinet.


Next is the front panel. It is cut and planed to a size where it tightly fits the drawer opening; later on this will be fine-tuned to its final dimensions.


Multi-Use Cabinet (4)


Back Panel

After the plywood core, the cherry frame and the decorations, I now turn to the back panel of the cabinet. In its up-position, it covers and protects the drawers section, while in the down-position it functions as a side table when sitting outside the van, with the side doors of the cargo van conversion open. The panel will be hinged at the bottom and have sliding locks at the top.


First I cover a plywood sheet with cherry ply to form the core of the panel. Next is the edging; for durability, I choose a 1/8” cherry strip.
There are multiple ways to saw and attach the edging. Using only basic tools and few clamps, I start with a cherry board, slightly larger than the longest panel edge.
After sizing and dimensioning to a thickness proud of the panel, the board is glued to the panel.


5051The rigidness of the board ensures a good distribution of pressure, which limits the need of additional clamps.


A few hours later we’re ready to cut the edging to its appropriate width.


The hardwood edge should now be, just proud of the the plywood panel.

With a careful use of a block plane, most of the protruding edge is removed.

A scraper, followed by a light sanding finish the job.

Both ends are now cut flush.

This durable hardwood edge will stand up to more abuse than any iron-on edge banding.


The previous process is repeated for each side of the panel.

The finished panel now covers the rear opening of the cabinet.



Remaining are two side posts that will protect the panel and hide the edges of the plywood side panels.


A tight fit


Multi-Use Cabinet (3)


Fitting the cabinet in the van

3738The RV’s cabinet overhangs the step-in area at the side doors. A simple box with a Cherry front will fill that in. The extension at the top of the will cover the end of the core bottom panel.


As we are approaching glue-up, it’s time to check the fitting of the cabinet in the conversion van to reveal any problems or necessary adjustments.



The relative size and location are as expected and with the additional top for the cooktop, it will extend nicely above the bed. One miscalculation I made, was the bump on the step-in panel. A little scribing and removal on the bottom box will solve that.




Back to the workshop for a full glue-up and the addition of the top.




Just before glue-up, I used a 7/8” forstner bit to put a hole in the side of the top and bottom panel; a plastic irrigation pipe will be inserted as a way to guide the gas pipe or the electric cord from the cooktop to the bottom of the van.


In addition to the pipe, several pieces of ½” blocking is applied to the sides, which adds a lot of rigidness to the cabinet and creates a base for the Cherry plywood finish panels.



Most plywood connections are simple dadoes or rabbets; a little bit of ordinary wood glue will form a unbreakable link.


Cherry frame

By dimensioning (sawing, jointing and planing) some raw Cherry lumber, I create a few 3/8” boards.


The bottom rail is fitted, the curve cut and then glued to the plywood core.



Bottom rail with its distinct curve.


Multi-Use Cabinet (2)

Now we have finished the decorative strips, the plywood core will be next.

It will hold the drawers and sliding cooktop, while guiding electric and/or gas lines, hidden from view, to and through the floor of the van conversion. The space between the core and the sides also allows for the hinges of the folding shelf to be recessed.

20The base core consists of four ½” plywood panels, connected to each other through ¼” deep dadoes.



The rear of the cabinet has a 3” high sub base and the front has 2 cherry feet.


Only the front of the feet is made of ½” Cherry, while the remainder is made from plywood scraps. The sides are offset to accommodate the cherry plywood.


The top and bottom are rounded on my tabletop sanding machine.



The front of the feet are installed flush with the plywood core, while the outside edge is offset.


25Next the sub base, which holds a ‘hidden’ compartment. Composed of three plywood sides, they are again held together with simple dadoes and rabbets.

26The rectangular box has one ledge, extending towards the rear of the cabinet. The folding shelf will be attached to it with a piano hinge.

27A simple opening with cover under the bottom drawer will give access to this ‘hidden’ storage area, which is also used to attach the cabinet to the floor of the van.


2829First the opening is routed out with a straight bit. Followed by routing the edge with a rabbet bit.


3132The cover is made out of another piece of plywood, sized to the larger opening. When the corners are rounded and the piece snuggly fits the opening, it is routed with the same rabbet bit.