Jelly Cupboard Redux

Since the re-re-relaunch of in 2012, the first post “Jelly Cupboard Project” has continually gotten more traffic than any consequent post.  And not just by a little.  Since February 2012, a full 40%+ of all traffic has gone to that single post.  Due to the continuing interest in that project, I decided to write a follow up.  Let’s get started…

I chose to make the sides of this cabinet out of plywood.  The quality of 1×12 pine at my local big box store is…well, terrible.  I thought using plywood would yield a more square carcass, and maybe it did.  The downside to the plywood I chose is twofold: it contains too many voids and the veneer is too thin causing it to delaminate easily.  Next time I will find a better quality plywood with a thicker face.

I recently got a router bit set designed to create glass doors and decided to try it out on this piece.  I wasn’t sure how long to make the rails (horizontal pieces) to fill the opening and my calculations were quite short.  As a result, the doors have a significant gap all the way around.  Not much can be done about it now (other than remake them, not going to happen).

I only assemble the bare essential pieces before painting because I use an HVLP sprayer (older model Fuji Q4).  It’s much easier to paint individual pieces than to get into every nook of a fully assembled cabinet.

The finish is a slightly modified version of what I have described previously: black walnut Danish oil, wax free shellac to seal the tannin, dark grey base coat, light greyish top coat, sand to reveal base coat, and finish with multiple coats of water-based polyurethane (satin).  Usually when I sand latex it tends to ‘ball up’ or melt, so this time I added some Calcium Carbonate (powdered chalk) to the latex top coat (1/2 cup per quart).  It is supposed to mimic the effect of chalk paint.  There is no doubt that it sanded much more evenly, but the effect wasn’t as pronounced as expected. I’ll probably add more next time to see if it will sand even more easily.

Check out the gallery below for the gory details of how I assemble and clamp the top, doors and face frame.

Small side table

Well it’s been a while since I posted any projects.  I actually did build a few things that we sold at the Spoon River Drive.  I simply did not have enough time to take pictures and post those items, and they were mostly repeats of things I’ve already posted.  However I did make a new piece that didn’t sell, but ended up in my sister’s house.  My mom wanted it but gave it to my sister, so I made mom another one that is shown here.

The plans are based on this this post on  I omitted the bottom shelf at the request of my sister (the other sister, the one with the booth at Spoon).  I applied the same finish I’ve been using lately which consists of: black walnut Danish oil, shellac seal coat, latex base coat, random paraffin wax, latex top coats, sand back, satin poly.  It’s still a lot of work, but I’m getting faster and the spray gun is getting easier to use.


Bathroom Shelf

I’m still working on putting the finishing touches on the basement bathroom (no, that does not include a ceiling yet).  There was literally no storage in the bathroom at all.  No shelves, no cabinet, nothing.  No place to store a towel, washcloth, or toilet paper.  I decided to make this shelf from  It was super easy, I had it constructed in a couple of hours.  Finishing it took much longer due to a minor stain debacle, but it turned out nice despite my best efforts to ruin the whole project.  I added some hooks to the bottom, but they were not yet installed when I took the pictures.

TV Stand

This piece was created to match the Jelly Cupboard I posted a while ago.  It essentially uses the same plan, but is heavily modified to be wider and deeper.  Basically all the dimensions are completely different, but the structure is about the same.  The only significant structural modification is to the top where several cross braces were added to support the weight of a TV.  Hopefully this will add enough stability to avoid unsightly sagging; time will tell.  Luckily my ‘customer’ doesn’t have a heavy TV.

Dresser Project

Edit 2015-01-28: Please go here for detailed dimensions, cut list and material list.

This was built for a friend who commissioned a dresser.  Once again I found plans online, then modified them to suit what I wanted to build.  It is Patrick’s Beach Cottage Dresser from

The plan only calls for 12″ deep drawers.  This is really too narrow to use as an every-day dresser as it would not hold many clothes.  I modified it by doubling the depth and adding a 5th drawer.

The base coat is Antique Mahogany and the top coat is Vanilla Milkshake (both flat).  The piece was finished with Satin Minwax Polycrylic to give it a harder more durable surface and add a bit of shine.