Though members of your family aren’t likely to store spices in a cabinet like this, you can bet that it will be an oft-requested item for you to build. So you might want to think about making more than one when you begin.
Mill the Case • Cut the sides and ends to size, then cut 1/2″ finger joints on the ends of each piece. You can make your own jig like the one decribed in the September 1998 issue (#104) in the tool chest article. Or you can purchase a commercial model. Next cut 1/4″ x 1/2″-wide dadoes on the sides and ends as located on the diagrams. Also cut a 1/4″ x 1/2″-wide rabbet on the back edge of each side for the back.
Dividers and Assembly • Next, cut the three dividers to size, and with the case dry-clamped together, check the dimensions of the dividers against your case. Trim them to fit, then cut 1/2″-wide bridle joints to fit the dividers together. Glue up the case, holding the dividers’ front edges flush to the case front. When dry, sand the joints flush to the outside surfaces.
Add the Hanger • Cut the hanger to shape from the diagrams, then glue and nail the hanger in place at the back of the cabinet. Now cut the back to size and nail it in place.
Drawers • Next cut the drawer box pieces to size. Then cut 1/8″ x 1/4″-wide rabbets on the ends of the sides and cut 1/8″ x 1/4″-deep dadoes for the bottoms on the ends and sides, starting 1/8″ up from the bottom edge. To assemble, glue and nail the drawer boxes together. Cut the drawer fronts to size, then make the knobs. Cut a 3/8″ x 1″ x 8″ strip of cherry, beveling the sides at a 25-degree angle. Then cut the knobs off at 1″ intervals, again beveling the sides at 25 degrees. Use either a band saw to cut the knobs to shape, or sand them to shape after separating. Attach the knobs to the drawer fronts with #4 flathead screws and glue. Then glue the fronts to the drawer boxes.
Distressing and Finishing • Before finishing the piece, distress the cabinet with keys, screwdrivers and a hammer. I then applied brown mahogany gel stain; when the stain was dry, I then applied a coat of wax. PW
David Thiel is a senior editor at Popular Woodworking.