Large Shaker Style Cabinets - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-01-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Large Shaker Style Cabinets

This seems to be a carry-down from traditional shaker style furniture. I've seen it here and there. Sorry, no pics to show you.

You have a large cabinet with a large opening in the middle, and no center stile. The opening may be 1/2-2/3 the width of the cabinet, leaving 6-8" (or more) space on both sides of the cabinet, and there is a single door.

Was there a specific purpose to this type of cabinet? Maybe to store large items like blankets? Seems like small items could get "lost" or otherwise be difficult to retrieve if they were stored in the side areas.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-03-2019, 12:30 PM
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Wide side areas were probably to add stability to keep carcass from racking and to reduce weight of doors on the hinges, works fine for foldable items like blankets, looking at a wash stand right now made like that.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-03-2019, 09:12 PM
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All I can think of is that it keeps the door number down to one. A 20-24 inch wide door is max , but better to the eye then two 12" doors on the same piece, and half the hardware. So, a 24" door with 6" aprons/stiles on each side can handle a 3' wide cabinet.

I've a few Shaker Designs I've built that have this feature. One, I was sitting in my LR reading during a humid summer and heard a BAM, Door blew apart from my neglect . Just hard to allow enough movement for a 20" plus door panel. Fixed that. Now, the same piece shows that 6" side cabinet stile/apron detaching from the shelf it is attached to. 6 inches is enough to noticeably move and it will not be stopped by any means. So. I'd suppose that the original Shaker Designs might not do so well in modern heated homes. Nothing wrong with pieces that age and wear, that don't look new but still function well. Just be sure to apply a finish that is close to the natural wood tone. In my case, I used a black milk paint that looked so good , but every breach of a seam means I have to repaint, or touch up .
So. it's a look from a time gone buy that many of us appreciate. Just expect that , in a few years time, it will show some signs of wear and of modern day wood movement
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-04-2019, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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@FrankC, That's a great explanation!

@Frost, My interest is piqued. Would you be willing to send me a couple of pics of your cabinets?
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-04-2019, 01:59 PM
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Hope these pics come through.
First is a New England Country Cupboard from a FWW plan. It stayed intact as side stiles are narrower and not attached to a shelf.

Next 2 pics are from a Thos Moser book and, I believe his design. As I remember he described it as Shaker like because of the details, but not authentically Shaker as they rarely displayed things instead keeping most everything behind doors. I liked it ,so I made one from Poplar. You can see light lines where the tops of the stiles meet the shelf and have pulled away. I had one biscuit in each stile/shelf joint. Hindsight says I should have put a cleat below the shelf with an elongated screw hole to attach the stile. As you can tell, this was my milkpaint phase, first red, then coats of flat black .
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-05-2019, 09:36 AM
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The photos from @Frost helped me follow this thread a lot better now. Thank you!
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-08-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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@Frost, those are nice pieces.

To your comments about using cleats with elongated screw holes, I learned this technique only a couple months ago. Could you not repair the cabinet by cutting out the exposed biscuits and install the cleats?
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