Building a Desk with a Hutch!

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After I no longer needed a desk as large as the U-shaped cherry desk I decided to build myself a smaller desk that looked a little more like house furniture than it did office furniture. This desk is far from fine furniture, but it served the purpose. The two bottom cabinets are built similar to kitchen base cabinets and the top is made from a hollow core door laminated with 1/4” cherry plywood. I also wanted a hutch to help aide in organization as well as giving me a small shelf in order to display some of my personal collectibles.

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A Table for my Granny! 

From approximately 2001 until 2011 I worked primarily as a finish carpenter installing doors, windows and kitchens. While installing some windows for a customer one day I began to talk to them and discovered that the homeowner’s grandparents had lived near my grandparents. I remembered the old house that his grandparents had lived in, but it had since burned down and the second hole of the public golf course was now approximately where the house had been.


While there I called my grandmother who at this time was in her mid 70’s and told her who I was with and she started telling me of different memories she had of him when he was a child. She also started telling me about when his grandparents built their house and how they hired a furniture builder to come in and build all of the furniture in their house. She specifically remembered one particular piece of furniture. It was an end table that had magazine racks on either side. Then I heard my grandmother say something I had never heard her say. She told me how much she coveted that table so many years ago. This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but if you have grown up as a conservative christian in eastern Kentucky, then you would know that this is a big deal. I finished up my conversation and began to describe the table that my Grandmother remembered. The man asked me to wait a minute and he disappeared. After a minute or so, he returned carrying a table. It was the exact one my grandmother had just described. He then explained to me that he was allowed to take one piece of furniture from his grandparents house that he wanted after they had passed and this was the one he had chosen. I tried to purchase it from him but to no avail, so I did the next best thing. I took as many pictures and measurements as I could and decided I would build one just like it.


A Living Room Suite Fit for a Queen!

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In 2003 my wife and I purchased our first house. It was in a little town called Berea, KY and boasted 1400 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and was everything you could want in a 1990’s home. It had oak floors, oak vanities, oak kitchen cabinets and an oak front door. So when we realized we needed an entertainment center and end/coffee tables we obviously chose oak. For anyone below the age of 25, believe it or not there was a time where with technology bigger was better. I had a LARGE 36” CRT flat screen TV, a Pioneer Gold head unit and 50 disc changer and a collection of DVD’s and VHS tapes to envy. It felt that it was my duty to build a piece of furniture that would not hide, but show off all of my large electronics. It took me about a year to build all 4 pieces of the living room suite which was just about the same amount of time for my wife and I to decide we didn’t like oak! This was also about the time we saw our first “slim” flat screen TV. So after using the furniture for a few months we did the only thing that made sense. We gave it to my mother and father in law who use it to this day.

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 A U-Shaped Cherry Desk!


Between the years of 1999 and 2009 I was both self employed and an engineering student at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. Between all the paperwork for the business and the piles of homework a large desk was a necessity. I don’t remember why, but for some reason I had a few partial pieces of cherry ply so I decided to make use of them and build a large U shaped desk. I used this desk for several years and have a lot of bad memories that involve thermodynamics and heat transfer! When the time came that I no longer had a need for it, I carefully disassembled it, which was easy since is was primarily built with pocket hole joinery, and used the cherry ply to build some nice cabinets in my workshop!

A Library for my Father! 

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In 2006 my parents purchased a house that had a bay window in the front. Because of this, the basement foundation mimicked the octagonal shape of the window creating an odd shaped wall in what my dad wanted to be his library. For as long as I can remember my dad has been and avid reader, and like a lot of avid readers he is also a bit of a hoarder when it comes to books. So when he asked me to build him a set of book shelves for this room I knew it was important to make the most of every square inch, even the odd alcove. Typically in an outside corner situation you have two cabinets, one on each wall, that meet at the corner. This typically causes a lot of wasted space and makes the area feel smaller as the two corners of the cabinet just out into the space creating a hard corner. I wanted to build a cabinet that would wrap around the corner to take full advantage of the space and to try and make the room feel larger. The problem with this is matching the geometry of the room exactly. It was a lot of effort, but it made for a very custom look and made the room!

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K-cup Organization!


I love my Keurig Coffe Maker. I love being able to brew a fresh cup of coffee on demand. I also love woodworking and organization so it was only a matter of time before this happened. It all began when i started looking for ways to store my K-cups. I looked online and everything I found was either a plastic drawer or a carousel. In all honesty either of these options would have been just fine, but I wanted something that looked a little nicer and was original. I’ve always liked small projects like this because it gives you a chance to try new things and this would be no exception. Two things I had been wanting to try were bent lamination and a joint I refer to as half mitered dovetails. I started this project a little differently. Typically I make a design and then go get the wood, for this project I did the exact opposite. I started off by going to my local hardwoods supplier and looked for an exotic that I had never worked with that had some character. After a few minutes of looking I found a piece of 8/4 Quina with a large stripe of sapwood and it called my name. I absolutely loved how much contrast there was from the heartwood to the sapwood. Once I had the wood, it was time to make a design that would fit the wood.

Milling a Walnut Log!

Like a lot of woodworkers I am also somewhat of a wood hoarder. So when I was offered a walnut log free of charge there was no way I could pass it up. A friend’s father had a bandsaw mill and offered to mill it for me if I would split the wood with him. It sounded like a no brainer so I agreed.


 A Joint that is as Beautiful as it is Strong!


I love dovetails, especially hand cut dovetails. I love how they look and I especially love how strong they are. However, sometimes the grain in wood is so beautiful that I would rather see it wrap around a joint as opposed to being broken up by dovetails. So while thinking of a way to strengthen a mitered joint I came up with the idea of the half mitered dovetail. I don’t want to claim that I am the first person that has ever done this, but I can find no record of this joint anywhere. That may be because it is called something else and I am unaware of the correct name. If so please message me as I would love to learn more about this joint. In my mind this is a great joint that combines the beauty of dovetails and waterfall grain while simultaneously giving you a decently strong joint.