Making a ‘Mulberry’ Corner Cabinet – Part Five


I’ve been preparing the stuff for the door frames. The upper doors will have applied mouldings to match the glazing bars and the lower doors will have a simple moulded inner edge which will retain the door panels.

The upper door stuff is simply cross-veneered, but the lower door stuff is first rebated to accept cross-grained blocks (to accommodate the  moulded edge), then planed level and then cross-veneered the same as the upper door stuff.

The first three steps in preparing the lower door stuff.

The temperature in my little tin shed rose quite ferociously in the recent hot spell. The cornice (being the closest to the roof and therefore the most vulnerable) shrank quite considerably. By the time I noticed it, it was too late to do anything about it. I measured the moisture content of the cornice mouldings and the meter read zero! In the past day or so, the splits have closed a little.

I’m not too concerned as we’ve just entered autumn and will therefore experience inclement weather by the time I get round to finishing the cabinet and anyway, the shrinkage is quite authentic (although I’d have preferred it not to commence until I have applied the finish).

Place in a hot oven and bake for nine hours.



About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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5 Responses to Making a ‘Mulberry’ Corner Cabinet – Part Five

  1. Jeff Aldred says:

    Thank you for this series. I am very gratful to people that are generous enough to share their knowledge and experience.
    I can’t wait to see this finished!


  2. Ray Gardiner says:

    Actually, I like the “aged” look that the splitting gives. In any case they will close up slowly as the moisture content gradually comes back to a more normal level.

    Nice lines, looking forward to seeing the next stage.


  3. walkerg says:

    Ouch! Do you think the wood movement would have been less severe if a finish was before being subjected to the heat? Also do you apply any finish or sealer to interior parts or do leave the wood raw as I see in much original work?
    Last year I discussed baking wood with a custom saw maker at a tool show. He made up some handles out of what he called “roasted maple”. Delicious is the only way I can dscribe the color. Unfortunitely he wouldn’t divulge his secret recipe.

    I envy your weather, haven’t seen the grass beneath the snow since mid January.



    • Jack Plane says:

      If I’d managed to seal the wood with a couple of dilute coats of BLO, then I’m sure the shrinkage (I’m avoiding calling it damage!) would have been less severe. The photo was taken against the skylight in the shed roof, so the gaps are accentuated. I’m not too concerned about it to be honest, other than it will make finishing it a little more awkward – I don’t want to take the sharp edges off the now raised cross-grained segments and I don’t want the gaps to fill with any hard-setting finish. I’ll manage it though!

      I don’t apply any type of finish to cabinet interiors simply because all the (new) work I do is seventeenth- and eighteenth-century reproduction stuff and furniture of that period was never finished (apart, obviously, from bureau/desk interiors). I’m not even sure if I would apply a finish to the interior of a modern piece if I were to make one.

      You’re welcome to this weather; give me snow and frost any day! I’m from the Northern Hemisphere and the high temperatures here don’t suit me one bit!


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