Shaker Style Buffet

IMG_3503This has been a fun project, taking about 6-8 hours to build so far and next will be the doors.  They will be mortise and tenon or butt joint with cleat with punched tin inserts.

The Materials Used
It is built in a Shaker style using low cost white pine for the body and top and cedar fence pickets for the back, all obtained from Lowes Home Improvement (though you can find this type of wood anywhere).  Take your time, look for good, straight boards with interesting patterns.  As I am doing Primitive and Shaker style furniture and want it to look a little old and distressed, I use wood that may have blemishes, knots, dents, etc.

I started with a rough sketch.  Originally there was a shelf here, but I wanted something more.  It stands about 32.5″ tall, 40″ wide across the top and 14″ deep across the top.  It is built primarily from 1×12 (sides, bottom shelf and inside shelf), 1×6 (front stiles), 1×2 (braces across top, front and back), and 1×8 (two pieces butt-edge joined to form top).

Building this was straight forward.  Be sure you measure the wood you buy to assure the dimensions.  Many people assume a 1×12 is 1 inch thick and 12 inches deep.  It is not.  Usually (with some odd variations) it is actually 3/4 inch thick and 11 1/4 inches deep.

Buffet face down with sides, bottom and back cedar boards.
Buffet face down with sides, bottom and back cedar boards.

For this project, first cut the bottom and sides to length.  Then I cut the two front stiles to length.  I wanted  to the do the feet with a slight outward curve, so I first laid out the nominal dimensions, then used a pizza pan to make the curve radius.  I used a jig saw to cut each piece out.  I glued and nailed the stiles to the side boards, then glued and nailed the bottom to the sides.  The 1×2 (seen on the bottom of the picture) give strength and stability to the top end.  Neck, evenly space the cedar boards across the back, attaching with common box nails (they have a head to hold the cedar on better than finish nails.

IMG_3313The top was made from 2 1×8 boards, 40 inches long, joined along the edge.  No glue, just a butt join held by cleats on the under side.  The picture shows the underside.  This is then nailed to the top of the buffet base, leaving about a 1 1/4 inch overhang on the sides and 1 1 3/4 inches on the front.  Go for a pleasing symmetry.

The finished unit was then distressed with

You can clearly see the cedar. I hate to hide it with the doors!
You can clearly see the cedar. I hate to hide it with the doors!

various tools (nuts tied to a rope, bolts, washers and nuts on a chain and a wooden board with 3 Sheetrock screws protruding to simulate worm damage).  After that, it is sanded first with 100, then with 220 grit, all the holes, seems and joints are blown out with compressed air, lightly wiped down.  The base, except for the cedar, was stained with Minwax English Chestnut and the top with Minwax Cherry.  About 2 hours later I used a Van Dyke brown glaze on the top to darken it a bit and make the worm and other distress areas pop out.  After two more days I will use Deft to do a satin clear coat.

Next… the doors.  These will be simply made either mortise and tenon or butt joint with cleats, still deciding.  There will tin inserts in each door.  The tin is galvanized, bought at Lowes in the Heating and Cooling duct work section.  To age the tin, you have to remove the galvanized plating.  I have read that you can do this with Muriatic acid, then age it with Apple Cider Vinegar.  I will let you know if this works for me.

Tools Used

  • Table Saw – Ripping long boards to width and acting a bit like a planer/joiner to get all boards the same width.
  • Chop Saw – for the smaller cuts on long boards
  • Jig Saw – for the cuts on the feet
  • Claw Hammer – fun pounding in nails
  • Squares, tape measures, Titebond III wood glue, nail punch, clamps, and a few others I cannot remember.

Enjoy building.  Just BUILD IT!