Monday, January 13, 2014

Underhill Nail Cabinet and a Sneak Peek



In case anyone has noticed, its been a bit quiet around here lately. Two reasons. The holiday season is our busiest, and we've been hard at work getting our new leg vise in order. So shortly before the New Year, I set down my drafting pencil, engineer's cap and mug of spiced cider and headed out to the shop to use some Benchcrafted product.

I started this nail cabinet purely on a whim. And I finished it with an equal amount of surprise. I didn't know it at the time, but this little cabinet caused a big change in the shop that I hadn't planned. The wall behind my main bench is not exactly inspiring. Unpainted drywall, steel shelf standards and mdf shelves with eight years of accumulated detritus. I wasn't about to hang my new cabinet in that mess.


This is what the back wall of the shop looked like a couple years ago. I desaturated it for your benefit.


So I tore the shelves out (we've already repurposed one in an adjacent building--you've got to have a little Sanford and Son here and there) and piled all the garbage on the bench. I had two or three empty cans of linseed oil on that shelf. Yeah, empty. Too lazy to throw them out? Nope, the garbage is lower than the shelf. If you have the answers, please, I'm searching.


A call to my local lumberyard ---okay, wait, for you kids, local does not equal Home Depot (even though the words home and depot sound local) and no offense to Home Depot, actually, yes, offense to Home Depot---yielded a couple hundred square feet of prefinished natural hickory flooring, which I nailed to the wall and part of the ceiling. Admittedly, not my ideal look.

My first choice? Wide, unfinished quartered white oak run vertically. Cost: much folding money.

Cost on the hickory flooring: $0. (see kids, I told you to be loyal to your local yard)

The hickory definitely has the cheesy "sawmill office" look. But who doesn't like a cheesy sawmill office? All I need now is a circa 1987 Mr. Coffee with sludge rings in the carafe to complete the ensemble (pronounce that as if you was French.)

Now, lest you think I stopped at sawmill office, think again. I went all the way with it. All. The. Way. (I always wanted to try the single-word sentence, three sentences worth, with periods. Never. Again.) I could have stopped, lived with the cheese. But what is cheese without.......crackers. Yeah, cheese and crackers. The age-old combo that can't be beat. Like a guy walking down the street with an open jar of peanut butter, then unexpectedly bumping into a woman carrying an open-air chocolate bar. Or the Wonder-Twins putting out a forest fire by taking the form of eagle and the shape of water bucket. Yes, I combined cheese with its natural partner and Cracker Barrelled my shop.


I couldn't resist hanging up some of my French workholding devices on my new Dean & Deluca-class cheese-and-crackerized southern wall. Lest you think I went whole hog and installed the track lighting just for this, no, they were already there. But get this, I installed them retroactively in the future, during the past. So they were there already, even before they weren't, in anticipation of them not existing anticipatory-ily.

After I finished the decorating, I called in my shop stylist for a Feng Shui check before hanging the nail cabinet. There are some balance issues with my garbage can and scrap bin, but I think the new cabinet's Qi more than makes up for this slight imbalance.







Oh, and lest I forget, here's the sneak peek:


16 comments:

  1. What a fabulous looking cabinet.
    If I made a cabinet like that, it would immediately be seized by SWMBO and brought to the house.
    Brgds
    Jonas

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  2. FIRST TO ALL, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU. MAKES ME PLEASURE THAT I HAVE SENT THIS MAIL. BEAUTIFUL AND COMFORTABLE PLACE FOR THIS MOBILE, PERHAPS THE MOST OF HARDWARE THAT IS USED IN THE LABORATORY. I HAVE TOO MUCH, AND EVEN SMALL TOOLS MAY be useful to me. Congratulations FOR THOSE WHO HAS CREATED, AND FOR THOSE WHO PROPOSES TO THE PUBLIC. -
    I DO NOT SEND THAT IS MY MOST 'BEST REGARDS. -

                                                 MR PHILIP LAI

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  3. Beautiful work on the cabinet, and for what it's worth I like your cheesy Hickory wall. The one issue I would have as far as purchasing from a lumberyard is that being an amateur, I make about 3 or 4 "big" projects a year. At that, in my experience, lumberyards are generally much more receptive to professional woodworkers rather than an amateur like myself. Not that I was ever treated badly, but getting help is way down on the list for a guy looking to buy 30 board feet of poplar. That being said, I do my best to purchase from lumberyards, but there are times where they just don't make it all that easy. Thanks.

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  4. The answer to your empty linseed oil cans is really quite simple. It is virtually the same answer as how your track lighting got hung up but in reverse. But not really. But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and think that way. It's all a bit timey-whimey, wibbly-woobly. But bottom line is you threw them out. It doesn't matter that they were still there when you looked at them in the past. They're gone now (or are they). Timey-whimey is the best way to explain it. To really wrap your brain around it, you'll need a TARDIS.

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  5. (written from within my actual lumber yard office) Cheesy? My office has vertical ship lap Cherry. The one across the hall is in Teak and the one diagonal is White Oak. The bathroom is flame Birch, and the entry hall is Walnut...oh wait I think I see your point now.

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  6. That is what sapele should look like. What did you finish with Jameel, Garnet shellac?

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    Replies
    1. Yep, dark garnet. Three brushed on coats.

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  7. Sorry about all the Doctor Who references (and there are a lot in there). I had my geek on.

    I do have a question: Are those the 1.5 inch or 1.25 inch card holder pulls from vandykes.com?

    Thanks,
    Patrick

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  8. A shop stylist? I have shop a shop elf. I wonder if she would be able to give my shop a Feng Shui check? I like the hickory on the wall and "Cracker Barreling" of your shop, another classic move. All seriousness aside, the nail cabinet is beautiful. Nicely done. As a side note the Drawsharp ROCKS! It's Qi more than makes up for my slight imbalance.

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  9. Jameel,

    Care to share the name of this local, helpful lumberyard???

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  10. How much longer till you stop teasing us about the new vise??? :-)

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  11. Wow. That nail cabinet is a thing of beauty! Great work.

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  12. Jameel,

    Beautiful work on the nail cabinet, this has inspired me to make my own one, although unfortunately we don't have sapele here in Australia, so I'll have to make do with humble pine and a few coats of garnet shellac.

    And I tried to order the same card frame pulls from Van Dyke's but for some arcane reason their shipping department wants to charge me an "International Additional Charge" of $10 per item on top of the actual shipping cost ($33). That's $10 per card frame pull i.e. $210 in extra charges.

    Despite repeated appeals they won't budge on this - is there anyone in the US who can possibly help me obtain these as I can't find them locally and they look better than similar ones from Lee Valley (and are cheaper)?


    Regards

    Craig


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    Replies
    1. Craig, try this Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/listing/106107765/set-of-5-antique-brass-finish-label?ref=market

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  13. Jameel, if you didn't have a beard I'd kiss you.

    A big tip of the hat to Etsy and a wag of the finger to the robber barons at Van Dyke's.

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