When Schwarz post his nail cabinet to the LAP blog a few months ago, I knew immediately I would build one. Why? I can't explain. It just struck me. It's a ridiculously easy project, so no challenge aspect there, but it seems lately I'm drawn to shop furniture that makes the place more pleasant to be in. So the back wall of my personal shop is undergoing a change. And this nail cabinet is the first part of the process. Later I'll cover the drywall with oak flooring and hang my new chest upon it.
I'm using Sapele from some 12/4 planks from Midwest Woodworking that Andy Brownell picked up for me a couple years ago. I had to do a bit of resawing, but the stuff stayed put as I sliced of 3/8" thick pieces. Very stable. I'm not a big fan of Sapele, so I thought shop furniture would be a good resting place for this material. I don't yet know if I have enough stock for the drawers, so in the spirit of the original, I may use something else. I do have a long beam of Douglas Fir that came out of an old library in Eugene, OR. It has ridiculously tight grain and would make fine drawer boxes.
If you end up building this project, make sure you err on the side of a tad loose on the egg crate dividers, especially if you use softwood. I have a hard time dropping my luthier's tolerances sometimes. I had a couple of the short grain section pop free when banging it together. Glued them back on in a jiffy though.
I'm also opting for card frame pulls instead of the bin pulls and knobs from the original. I need the labels. I picked up 21 of them from Van Dyke's, on sale for less than $3 ea. in an oil rubbed bronze finish. You can get nice, heavy cast pulls, but I didn't want to spend over $100 just on the pulls. Here's the link. http://www.vandykes.com/product.aspx?p=207415&green=5321A530-741F-5ECE-AFBC-B78CB130B044
Here's some pics of my French Oak bench in the dead of the coldest winter I can remember. The top is crowned (as expected) and the leg tenons are poking through about 1/32". The bench still works, although it does need flattening to perform better. In case you're interested, my top has opened up quite a bit on the worst end. The red arrows point to pencil lines that I drew across the ends of the checks when I finished the bench this summer. The lower check has just about doubled in size. In a month or two I'll wedge the gaps in the leg tenons, then flatten the top. I only ended up wedging one leg when I built the bench, and its the only leg that hasn't poked through the top. It will be interesting to see what the other three do next winter.