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Wall-Mounted Corner Cupboard


This is a simple wall-mounted corner cupboard. The carcass is 3/4" birch plywood. The trim is 5/8" thick cherry. Over the years, I have constructed a number of cherry/birch and cherry/maple projects in the house. We like the look of the contrasting colours of these wood species.

This is a fairly small piece. The sides are 12" wide, and the diagonal is about 17". The overall height is 42". Being a compact piece, I decided that the trim should also be fairly minimal and understated. There's a definite Shaker influence in much of my work.

The compact size is intentional, as we don't want it protruding that far out into the room.

Here is an in-progress picture. I had to make a clamping jig for gluing the cherry trim onto the shelves, as there was no way to get the clamps to hold on the angled back.

For a finish I first brushed on one coat of orange shellac, followed by three coats of satin flecto varathane.

The coat of shellac warms up the pale birch, as well as give a bit of depth to the cherry. (For a contrast see my Kitchen Table project. That was also a birch ply + cherry piece, but I omitted the shellac on that project. The result is a much whiter/paler body.)

I use roughly a one-pound cut of shellac. I picked up this method some years back from a fellow woodworker on an internet discussion. Fill a jar with shellac flakes to a desired depth. Then add the alcohol to double that depth. Stir it, let it dissolve for a while (I usually let it sit overnight), and then strain through cheesecloth into another jar.

The next step was to apply 3 coats of water based varathane. The reasons for the varathane are for extra protection. It will sit in a kitchen and have plants on it, so it will need the protection. A very light sanding with a worn sheet of 220 grit sandpaper was taken between each coat. This was done after the shellac application also, as that raises the grain. After the third coat it is sanded with a 3m pad (equivalent to #0000 steel wool, but you don't use steel wool on a water-based finish) lubricated with a few drops of water.

The final step is to hang it in the kitchen.


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