Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dry Sink Cabinet Woodwork from 1973

Woodworking has been on my mind a lot the past several months since starting the garden castle shed. I've been watching a lot of woodworking videos to decide what to do for each step along the way. I've discovered a lot of woodworkers online, many of them with workshops with all the power tools and all I see is money money money in the shops. Then I hear about how important it is to start with a vacuum system to suck up all the sawdust as you work.

Even working outdoors there have been days my hubby was coughing later from all the dust and a couple of times I had dust in my eyes even though I wasn't over the power tools.

I've studied my dry sink cabinet I made in 1973 with minimal tools. Here is is now in 2014.

It looks just the same as when I built it and it has been though moves from Hawaii to California and for three years from 1990 to 1993 was in a hot storage shed with piles of boxes on top. Not bad for 41 years old.

Early American furniture was a popular style at that time, we were gearing up to the bicentennial in 1976. It was the shabby chic of the era and I was a young woman with a limited budget but lots of energy and a desire to have a style that was not readily available in Hawaii.

Dry sinks were usually lined with metal and dishpans of water were set in the top, would have been for homes before plumbing.

Now it sits in the breakfast nook area, next to the kitchen counter where I make tea.

The style is rustic but has a smooth finish. At the time I used Deft, a poly finish. I assembled the cabinet with screws and used wooden plugs to give it the early look.

In 1973 I was in my late 20s, a military wife and we were stationed at Barber's Point for more than six years. My husband was away on deployments half of the time so I stayed busy.

Here is a page of photos from that time. I built it on the front porch of the WWII housing. My oldest son, Joe, is standing behind in the second photo and that's me on the stool working on the frame. The wood available to me was Luan or Phillipine mahogany. The only tools I had was a $13 jigsaw, a 1/4 inch electric drill, a hammer and chisel for routing, and a serrating tool to true up the boards that I pieced together. I had only 2 clamps.

 Here are my original papers where I sketched and calculated.

The only woodworking experience I had before this was making a couple of frames at the base wood shop, no formal classes.  I was flying by the seat of my pants and having a great time.

Having sewn clothing most of my life and understanding how pattern pieces must fit together was helpful. Building this piece of furniture was more satisfying than any dress I ever made. A dress goes out of fashion in a season or two, a piece of furniture can last a life time.

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