Bloodwood Cabinet

This is a cabinet project I started building for myself. It has a number of challenging components. The front face is curved, including the doors. Eventually it will have 4 interior drawers that will have the same curved front. The joinery of the main case has hand cut dovetails on the bottom corners (see photo) and wedged thru-mortise and tenon on the top. One aspect that is making this project difficult is the wood itself. Bloodwood is extremely hard and difficult to work with both machine and handtools. I wore a full face shield when I was chopping the dovetails – wood splinters were flying everywhere like shrappnel and hitting me in the face.

If you look closely at the top door rails you’ll see that the wood grain forms an arch. To accomplish this each of the faces is from the same resawn piece forming a book matched look. I did the same thing to the bottom rail, but it’s not as obvious since it’s straight grained.

The door panels are Ribbon Sapele. Sapele is very similar to mahogany both in appearance and density. I plan to try my hand at carving for this project as well. On the door panels I want to carve a grass or reed motif.

The top molding is made up of three parts, a small cove, a large ogee with the being flat faced. You can see this detail in the close-up pictures. The grain pattern is a mirror image of the top rails. This creates a lot of visual interest in the piece.

This case is 38 inches tall by 26 inches wide. Each side is 8 inches wide, at the center the case is 11 inches deep. It weighs a ton!

October 31, 2007

Building this project is an exercise in patience. I’ve spent more time building jigs to both saw and rout the various curved features. I’ve not started the interior drawers, but since they will have the same curved faces that will also take a bit of time and effort.

March 11, 2009

After a long hiatus, I’ve been able to devote more time to this project. I don’t get much time to spend on this project, since it’s not a commission (it’s my own). So inbetween paying projects or while I’m waiting for something I delve back into this labor of love. I’ve started working on the drawers, they are designed to follow the curve of the doors. I have a single piece of waterfall bubinga that I make all four drawer faces from. There is also an ebony inlay in the design of the drawer face – behind the ring pull.

October 28, 2009

I’ve completed the four drawers. I’ve posted photographs showing the details. As you can see the drawers are both curved and dovetailed, no small feat. But actually, I cut the dovetails before I cut the curve. They are angled too since drawer sides are of unequal length. The drawer bottoms are solid hardwood material (oak)

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