Interesting Woodworking Link

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Episode #46 - Cherry Pedestal

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Cherry Display Pedestal – Part I

Design Considerations

A new project has been underway in my shop putting the modified New-Fangled Workbench temporarily on hold. The bench is operational and I have been using it for this project. What a absolute pleasure to be working on a stable work surface with lots of clamping options!

This first episode on the Cherry Display Pedestal reviews the evolution of design considerations from the initial FAXED build request to the final full-scale shop drawing. Thanks to design input from Neil Lamens at Furitology Productions, this project pushes me outside my usual flat and square construction used with blanket chests to incorporate moldings and reveal lines to add a sense of lift to the pedestal. In designing the pedestal, I kept in mind its function. The pedestal elevates and offers for display a piece of artwork, in this case a bronze. In other words, the focus is the artwork and not the pedestal.




The construction will be traditional frame and panel with loose tenon joinery. The panels will be veneered 1/4” MDF hardboard. MDF is a flat and stable substrate that lends its self well to veneering. The stability of MDF will minimize wood movement within the frame. The veneered panels will have flat sawn 2-ply cherry on the exterior and flat sawn 2-ply maple on the interior. The lighter colored maple will offer a nice contrast with the cherry and serve to lighten the interior of the cabinet. I got this idea from an article in Fine Woodworking.



I have been focusing on completing the project but I did get a chance to turn the shop camera on a few times during construction. The next set of episodes will go over veneering the panels.

Links For This Episode

Furnitology Productions
Furnitology Blog

Fine Woodworking Article


neil said...

David........this is the way to work the "design process". Finally some glimpses at seeing somebody actually working "the process", call it creative or design. GREAT!!!!!......How much thought is still in the pedestal from the restaurant menu notes????

Seems most woodworkers skip that full scale stage, yet it's vital to implementing the process. How much of the actual construction did you mentally visualize while drawering full scale???

Did you just drawer one view??

The pedestal will be the object, resultant of your process. I'm so excited for you to be feeling the experience of the process. You've picked up a very important key, long term your work will show the importance of "the Cherry Pedestal" process.

Keep work'in the process....Neil

David Pruett said...

Neil -

Thanks for the supportive comments.

A majority of the thoughts jotted down on the restaurant menu are in the final design. Elements that evolved in the final design are two doors rather than one for a more delicate and centered presentation. I also added a few layers and moldings to add some visual interest.

The full scale drawing was a very interesting and valuable experience. I made two drawings, a front view and a side view. I know I actually eliminated some building mistakes. Pencil and eraser are much cheaper than cherry! I also found that I "mentally" built the project as I was drawing.


Mark Mazzo said...


Looks to be an interesting project you are working.

Great view of your design process. I usually follow much the same steps as you did. Though, I confess that I do not often draw a full size drawing except for sometimes certain areas that I feel need it. I do often make full size temlpates to lay certain parts out (usually those with curves).

Im looking forward to see how this comes together. Congratulations on the commission and for stepping outside the comfort zone!

The Craftsman's Path

David Pruett said...

Mark -

Thanks for the comments! As you know I am a fan of your work so I value your comments and insight.


Vic said...


I'd like to know your source for the New Fangled Bench T-track. It looks larger than normal. I'm thinking of incorporating those into the bench I plan to build.


David Pruett said...

Vic -

I initially planned on using my favorite Kreg T-track. However, at that time Rockler had their 2-for-1 sale and I couldn't resist being swayed!


Vic said...

I'll check it out David, Thanks.
I thought it looked beefier than the tracks I've seen so far.