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So, weeks ago Stacie asked me to make a corner cabinet to replace the TV cabinet that I made last year.  She had gone in to a furniture store and saw one that she liked and decided I could make her a better one since the one in the store was $700.

There is no pattern.  No instructions.  I just need to develop it to fit the space as I go.  I am trying to follow the Golden Rule and at the same time not have it be too clunky.

I decided on the top opening being for where the DVD player will go.  The second opening is for a drawer.  Which presented the first real challenge in the construction of a corner cabinet.  Do you put in one large drawer or two small drawers side by side.  If you put in one large drawer to you make the drawer a triangle that fits in the cabinet.  Then how to you work drawer slides to try to make it so that it goes in and out smoothly.

If anybody has any comments please let me know what you have done in the past.

Finally I am putting two taller shelves behind one set of rail and stile doors.  My goal was to make the face frame, drawer front, top and doors out of cherry.  Unfortunately I do not have a band saw so to make the doors I would need to plane 4/4 cherry down to 1/4 and that seem like just a colossal waste.

Several months ago my daughter asked me to make a new shelve for a bakers rack that she owned.  We looked over all of my wood and I asked her which grain she liked the best.  She settled on some of my butternut.  I usually like to put on a clear finish; tung oil, hot rod varnish, water based polyurethane so when she asked me to stain the wood I cringed, a little.  I am still working on getting used to doing what the customer wants, even when it is family.

I asked her what stain and she said she loved the red oak wine rack I made for her and asked me to do the same.  Ok, so here we go Minwax red oak stain.  Well wouldn’t you know but I actually fell in love with butternut with red oak stain on it.  Haven’t tried it.  I seriously recommend you do.  I went on to make a coffee table, Asian style with drawers and a book shelf with butternut and red oak stain.  Stacie so fell in love with it that she is having me make ‘covers’ for our radiators out of butternut with red oak stain.

What are radiator covers you ask.  Well, we have baseboard / cast iron radiator hot water heat.  Our house is 115 years old and used to have all cast iron radiators.  You know, the big kind with lots of mass that hold heat forever.  Somebody decided years ago to get rid of all but two of them and replaced them with copper tubes with fins on them.  Over those are those tall (aka ugly) sheet metal covers, usually painted some awful color and even then the paint is chipping off.

To try to mask the ugliness of them Stacie has picked up doilies at yard sales to cover them.  She asked me to make just straight pieces of butternut with red oak stain with the corners rounded to put on top.  It has helped but you know what they say, ‘you can put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig’.

Getting back to the corner cabinet.  For me butternut is plentiful.  I am thinking of making the rails and stiles out of cherry and in the center put butternut, planed to 1/4 inch stained red oak.  We will see.  I have a number of pieces I have made out of cherry and the color with age is just amazing.  Initially I think the blonde of the unaged cherry against the butternut will be great, will it last.  Time will tell.  I can always replace the doors sometime in the future if I want.

That is the beauty of being a woodworker.