Author: Jeff Branch

I Embark on a Massive Project – Renovating my Kitchen Cabinets

Several years ago, I was interviewed on a woodworking podcast. A common question with such interviews is “What are you working on?” There is also the very similar, “What’s on your bench?” The natural follow-up then is “what do you plan to do next?” At the time, I had contemplated my next project being building new cabinets for our kitchen. Upon telling them this, both of the guys interviewing me let out a collective sigh; it was more like a groan really. I made a mental note of this and asked them about their response. It seems that building kitchen cabinets is viewed by some as a dreaded chore. If you consider the demolition which normally comes with replacing kitchen cabinets, I suspect it could be just that, a dreaded chore. This was not an encouraging moment. Our house was built in the early 1980s. It is a modest home, a whole lot larger than our starter house, but not as big as others. I think of it as a cottage which is a good …

A Chest of Drawers Using SketchUp Match Photo

A while back, I saw an intriguing piece of furniture on Peter Follansbee’s website. It was a photo of a chest of drawers at a museum somewhere, can’t remember where (see it here). I thought enough of the design that I began creating it in SketchUp. I did not have any dimensions of the original. “No problem,” I thought; I’ll just draw a quick, basic version of it on graph paper, determine the overall dimensions which look right; then create a close representation of it in SketchUp. But, I then lost interest in this idea. Fortunately Peter built a version of the chest of drawers (hereafter referred as “COD”) and in one of his construction blog posts, he gave it’s rough dimensions. After Peter finished building it, I remembered a seldom used feature in SketchUp called “Match Photo.” I wondered if I could use Match Photo to create an accurate model. With a photo of the finished COD and the dimensions, Match Photo should be able to help me make a model, or could it …

The Liquor Box, Part 5 Finished

Hey y’all. We left off last time with the box components completed, but not glued together. There remains three steps which need to be accomplished before I can call the box finished. First, the box lid and the box itself are basically a frame and panel assembly. The sides of the box and lid form the frame and the top and bottom are the panel. The top and bottom are sized to allow for seasonal wood movement and will float within their frames. Due to this, I need to apply the finish to the top and bottom prior to glue-up. Applying finish means I need to get the top and bottom ready for finish. The material for both is walnut which was sourced from a friend. The board given to me had some of the pith or center of the tree in it. Some of the pith was soft resembling rot, but I’m not sure it was actually decay associated with wood rot. Regardless, I needed to remove a small amount of loose material and …