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Justin asks:
My question is about Roy’s nail cabinet (PWM, February 2014). I have built the cabinet, turned it into a crate and have the door ready to assemble. I still need to build 21 drawers. I am so glad that you did this article it is the thing I have been wanting to add to my shop. My question is about the bottom of the cabinet as it hang on the wall. Why is there a 1/2” overhang on each side? Is it just because that is the way the original is made? Or is there a mechanical reason behind it? It has just confused me since I started looking into the cabinet.

I wondered that myself when I measured the original at Roy’s shop. The only stupid explanation I could come up with is that it was some sort of slight visual clue that it was the base of the cabinet.

Other explanations:

1. Perhaps the maker forgot to cut the bottom stile to finished length after attaching it and left it as-is?

2. Perhaps the overhang has something to do with the box’s former life as a crate? Was it a way to grab the crate to slide it forward? I think this is unlikely for a number of reasons as it would make the crate less efficient to pack against other crates. And there are already places one the crate to grab – the rails and stiles.

3. The Trilateral Commission had a hand in it?

4. You hang stuff on the overhangs?

Crate experts are encouraged to weigh in.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 10 comments
  • gumpbelly

    Can`t think of a possible reason the crate was like that. I think in the conversion the maker had a splash of style. I can`t imagine how plain and dumpy that would look with the door closed with no ledge. With it the piece becomes animated.

  • apbeelen

    I think it could have been made originally to set on a bench, and the added width somehow just seems right for this purpose. Then, the maker realized how much space it took up on the bench with the door swing and all, and hung it on the wall. Of course this is pure speculation, and I don’t know if there are any clues to back it up. Generally, crates don’t have these rails, so I would guess they were added by the guy who made it a nail cabinet.

  • Rich42198

    Stability if it’s put on a benchtop instead of hung?

  • Tim

    Depending on whether you are left or right handed its a place to put your pencil.

  • Sawduster

    Just a thought as to a technical/mechanical reason. Could it be that the center to center distance of wall studs plays a part so that as the drawers with some weight of the contents are pulled out the pendulum effect is better supported from pulling the “crate” cabinet off the wall? It surely is a beautiful piece or work though and I glad PWM included it in this months read.

  • Jim McCoy

    I’m as clueless as everyone else but I do like the way it looks, especially with the door open. That slight overhang gives the cabinet an architectural feel, kind of like a tall building. I think it is a very pleasing look. I wonder if George Walker has any comments about it?

  • Jonathan Szczepanski

    I vote for the “visual clue” theory.

  • Graywolf

    Why on earth would we do that, I mean your doing a bang up job on your own.
    Cheers gw


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