Transform Reclaimed Cedar Siding into Beautiful Cabinet Panels
I recently completed a commissioned piece for an alter cloth storage cabinet and had to get creative with the material used to keep the project on budget.
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The client liked the idea of using red cedar to help protect the cloths, but we soon realized just how pricey this species can be. The original design had red cedar legs and cherry plywood panels. After coming across some red cedar siding, I altered the design, using poplar for the legs and cedar for the panels. This allowed me to keep the material costs down, but better yet, the client ended up with an upgrade to solid wood panels.
The cedar had a beautiful, straight grain and the warm brownish-red tones offered a nice contrast against the light colored poplar. These particular red cedar pieces came from interior wall boards that were used instead of sheetrock in a log home. The few pieces of cedar I have left would also work well as door panels. I think I’ll put them aside to be used for a linen closet or a small bathroom cabinet down the road.
When the chest part of the alter cloth cabinet was completed, I built the lid out of solid poplar. The brass lid stay that I bought for the project didn’t look quite go with the overall look of the cabinet, so I came up with a more organic looking alternative.
Follow this link for a cool tip on how to make a handmade lid stay.
Here's a photo of the clapboards before I cleaned them up and ran them through the planer.
The finish on the clapboards beat up the planer blades, but at thirty dollars for a set of two-sided blades, I figured it was worth it. In this photo you can see the nice, tight grain revealed after planing.
I planed the panels down to a half-inch thick and used the existing rabbet, shortened to a half-inch long. They sit in a groove in the rails and legs.
Here's a detail of the rail to leg joint.
I glued up the end assembly's first. Here you can see the rest of the case ready for glue-up.
The final case glue-up.
The finished cabinet.
Here's a detail photo of the leg/rail joint.
The finished cabinet open.
Through dovetails for the top of the legs.
Cleaning up all the parts.
Pegs attach the tenons on the rails to the legs.