Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of Obsession

I sort of painted myself in to a corner with my declaration that I will consider the cabinets to be a complete failure if I’m forced to buy one piece of wood to construct them. What I really want to do is use up all of the old redwood I have laying around from the long since dismantled 2 story addition. It is not going anywhere fast, and frankly, I’m a little tired of looking at it. It is a bit of a paradox that I’m a Grade A slob, but at the same time I hate clutter. Seeing all of these piles of old wood lying around really bugs me, but at the same time I treasure it. If I can use it in a constructive manner, all the better.

On top of that, I want to use only the finest burl and curly redwood to construct the dining room side of the cabinets. Well, news-flash, they didn’t exactly use the finest burl and curly redwood in 1920 when they added the addition on to an 1895 Victorian that was being cut up in to apartments. Granted, there was a lot of nice wood in the addition, but anything that was “cabinet grade” was used up a long time ago.

So I scavenged burl and curly redwood here and there over the last few years. I could drive up the coast to one of the tourist-traps and buy some fairly crappy, yet surprisingly over-priced stuff, but I found a long time ago that if you apply yourself you can find the same thing in alley ways and garage sales for a fraction of the cost. The real problem at this point is that none of the stuff I’ve bought is 8-feet long. That is how wide the cabinets will be.

I need at least 4 pieces that will be 8-feet long or I will have unsightly seams in the middle of the face frames at the top and bottom. I want these to look authentic, and in 1895 you couldn’t swing a dead cat in Eureka without hitting an 8-foot long piece of curly redwood.

I know there are some places around – not the tourist traps - that can supply me with 8-foot lengths of the finest curly redwood money can buy. Of course, I would literally be paying through the nose for it because I would most likely see my brains dripping through my nose when they tell me how much they want a board-foot for it. (Boy, the imagery is getting gruesome in this post)

Enter the tile panel I talked about yesterday….

By doing the inset tile panel in the middle of the cabinets this will break up the horizontal lines. This means that the longest, single run of curly redwood I will need for the dining room face frame will be just under 4-feet, and I’ve got that. I’ve got 4-foot runs of curly redwood out the ying-yang. It’s a win-win situation. Below is some ideas of the new look of the cabinets. This is a bird’s-eye view of how it might look.

This is a Victorian 6X18 inch tile panel that will be mounted in the face frame in the inset in the lower section of the cabinets. The uppers would get an etched glass panel.

The real question at this point is, can I pull it off. The jury is still out.


Jayne said...

Brilliant! And this jury member, at least, has reached her verdict: Yes. Yes, you can pull it off.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you use your mind for good not evil! You are amazingly brillaint. Of course you can do it.

HPH said...

Judging by previous projects -- Yes. You. Can.

Greg said...

Your votes of confidence helps, but I am very nervous about this one.

Sandy said...

Loved that panel. You CAN do it!