18th Century PA Corner Cabinet – Viewer Project

This project was submitted by Chet who writes:

“This is an 18th Century Pennsylvania Hanging Corner Cabinet. The design was created by Lonnie Bird (well know cabinetmaker and educator from East Tennessee) and is an amalgam of design elements from 18th Century Pennsylvania furniture and hanging corner cabinets more popular in Colonial Virginia. The wood is Cherry and it is finished with a “Simple Varnish Finish”. Yep, I bought the DVD. Actually, I had been using this finish technique prior to buying the DVD based on an article I read from David Marks – sound familiar, :) Anyway, I still found the DVD quite valuable and I have viewed it multiple times. To get the cabinet to the color I wanted, I put it on a rolling cart and took it out for a sun tan several times. So technically, I guess the finish is sunshine and wiping varnish.”

“The hardware (surface mounted H hinges and escutcheon) are period accurate and were purchased from Horton Brasses. The secondary wood is poplar and the back is a traditional ship lap design made from random width pieces.”

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  1. Jason Gerard April 30, 2009

    Did you take Lonnie’s class? He’s about 10 minutes down the road from my parents. Too bad I’m in Florida. I’ll have to go “visit” them for a week when I get enough money for a class.

    • I did take the class. It was my 3rd class with Lonnie and it is an awesome learning environment. It’s a 11 hour drive from Detroit but well worth it.


  2. Justin57 May 1, 2009

    VERY nice work!

  3. runningwood May 1, 2009

    That is really nice Chet ! I love how the finish came out. I am curious, did you finish the inside and if so, how.

    I recently made a similar corner cabinet, but with nowhere near the adornemnts you completed. I too had clamping issues for the funny angles on the front, I like your clamping solutions.

    • Hi runningwood,

      I did finish the inside with a couple coats of the clear General Finishes Varnish.


      • Caitydid86 May 1, 2009

        Nice cabinet dad! Love ya!!! See ya soon!!!!


  4. Dan May 2, 2009

    Masterfully done Chet.

    Interesting that you set the piece outside to darken the wood. Did it work?
    I usually find the sun bleaches my wood rather than darkens it. At least over any significant time.

    • Kris Lauer May 3, 2009

      Cherry does oxidize in light. Even artificial light. We sometimes work with cherry in the shop I work for. Always keeping blankets on it when we are not working with it.

  5. Kris Lauer May 3, 2009

    Great job on the cabinet. What did you learn in the first 2 classes if you don’t mind me asking? It seems a lot of great teachers live in the east. I am going to have to start spending more time looking for some in Portland. Oregon that is not Maine. lol

  6. Martha Agriesti May 13, 2009


    This is Martha from Lonnie’s class. It is nice to see your cabinet with the finish on. It is just beautiful. This might even inspire me to put the back on mine and apply the finish!

  7. Rob Cottle October 13, 2009

    All I can say is that you guys have some real talent. Love the corner cabinet, got the perfect spot in my house. does the DVD show you how to do the work on the door?

  8. Robert Salamy November 17, 2011

    Very nice work.

    Could you provide some basic dimensions for over all proportions? I would like to give it a go.

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