Composing a Door

I made a door for my little Krenov-inspired coffee cup cabinet.

The scale and inspiration for this cabinet was a book matched walnut panel I glued up from some scraps on a whim.  From there I determined the size of the cabinet and the door frame.

Book matched panel for the cabinet

Book matched panel for the cabinet

As I’d mentioned in the two previous posts on this project, the Claro walnut I had wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped.  I used the best pieces on the cabinet sides.  Getting the pieces for the door frame was a little bit of a struggle.  I looked at the boards I had left and picked out the areas I thought might work.  I ripped two strips 1 7/8″ wide, and picked the two lengths for the stiles that had relatively straight grain.  Then I picked the two areas that had more interesting figure that I could use for the rails.  I laid these out on the book matched panel to see how it might look.

Checking the grain and color of the stiles and rails

Checking the grain and color of the stiles and rails

I was going to just make stub tendons on the rails, but decided instead to do through bridle joints.  I plowed the grooves and cut the joints and fir it together.  The joints need a little tiny bit of fine tuning, and I need to repair a mistake I made, but it’s going to look pretty good I think.  I’ll need to shave some material off the top and bottom, it’s a snug fit now.

I’m going to use knife hinges to mount the door.  Tomorrow I’ll finish the door and glue it up.  If I have time I’ll start fitting the hinges and make the back panels.  I haven’t decided what to do about the shelves.  I could have the be adjustable with pins, or have them fixed in dados.  I’m leaning toward adjustable shelves.

Door, dry fit

Door, dry fit


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4 thoughts on “Composing a Door

  1. Hi Joe,
    Krenov Style – it looks absolutely great!
    many greetings

  2. Nice looking scrap wood project Joe. I was surprised to see you used a framed door. I was expecting that the panel would be put in the recess you made.. I’d put a couple of asymmetrical shelves in the interior. Dadoed, I’m not a fan of pins.

    • Thanks Ralph!

      I’m really on the fence over the shelves. My plan is to have a relatively boring interior – three shelves evenly spaced so I can put a bunch of coffee cups in it. Pins would allow me to remove a shelf if my wife decides she wants to put taller objects – say wine glasses – in it.

      Some sort of asymmetric shelf layout inside, maybe with a small drawer or two, would be more in keeping with the Krenov aesthetic I guess.

      I think part of my hesitation is not being sure what to do with the interior, and part is worrying about doing a nice job on the dados. I think I’ll have a couple of cups of coffee and look at pictures of Krenov cabinets for inspiration!

  3. Mike Hamilton

    I like the look of the panel “framed” – kinda focuses the eye on the panel as if a painting.
    Has me seeing an eagle over the earth (or sun).
    If you go the adjustable shelf route, you might try wires in end grain slots (smaller holes in the sides / no brass in view).

    Just thinking…


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