Roy Underhill’s Nail Cabinet, Part 8, Finished!

Yesterday afternoon I fit all of the drawers, sanded them and applied a finish to the faces.  This morning I installed the pulls and called it finished, I’m pretty happy with the final result.

After gluing and nailing the drawers they are all just slightly too tight for the openings.  I hit the sides with a plane and sanded the exterior, testing the fit as I went.  I think the end result is decent.  I sanded the fronts to 220 grit and applied a coat of plain linseed oil.  The oil brought out the color and grain in the Alder I used.

Drawers fit, sanded and swabbed with oil

Drawers fit, sanded and swabbed with oil

Oil only, shellac to come

Oil only, shellac to come


I left the oil to dry for several hours, then padded on two coats of Garnet shellac.  I made up a simple template to layout the locations for the screws to make sure the pulls ended up in the right place.  I didn’t need to pre-drill any holes, the awl mark was plenty, Alder is pretty soft.

Laying out the locations for the mounting screws for the drawer pulls

Laying out the locations for the mounting screws for the drawer pulls

With the finish applied and the pulls installed I’m calling this done.  I’ll need to make some cards for the pulls to indicate with is in each drawer, but they are mostly empty right now.  I’ll need to order more cut nails and slotted iron screws so I can be in the cool hardware club.

Now, I’m not sure what I want to make next…



Nails Fit

Nails Fit

Last Glamor Shot

Last Glamor Shot




Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Roy Underhill’s Nail Cabinet, Part 8, Finished!

  1. Looks great. How about some shots of the sides and front with the door closed? Where did you get the hardware from?

  2. Jose Santiago

    Bravo! Excellent work. Joe, you have a great ability to “get it done” that I highly admire. I’m sure the next project will be great as well.

  3. Very nice! And no gap-age!! You got that done very quickly.

  4. Very nice and the drawers look and fit great. I think I would have had some gaps if I built this. 🙂

  5. Sweet. Love the retro look. You going to add the “beer-lady poster”?

  6. Looks great! I definitely need to get started on one of these as well.

  7. Nikolaus

    Really nicely done! I like the drawer fronts in Alder!
    I’m busy making one myself and had the same idea because I have some alder boards lying around and thought it would match nicely with the poplar I’m using. Then I find your pics!
    Got the carcase and dividers done already.
    I really like your pulls! Where did you get them and what are the outside dimensions?
    Thanks for your help!

  8. Hi Nikolaus,

    thank for the compliments, this was a really fun project and I use it in the shop all the time.

    The pulls came from woodcraft, I’ll paste in the link below. They are 2.25″ x 1.25″

  9. Nikolaus

    Thank you Joe, that really helped!

  10. Nikolaus

    Hi Joe,

    my nail cabinet is finished, well except the door. And I used the same pulls as you did. Thanks for your help with that! I ended up ordering them straight from China. Took about 30 days but was incredibly cheep. I’m still quiet sure they’re the same.
    Looks really similar to yours! Don’t know how to show you some pics since I don’t have a blog.
    All the best

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