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The Woodworking Niche

Updated on October 26, 2014

Everything about Woodwork & Cabinets

From DIY homeowners to professional artisans, finding information about any type of woodwork is just click away with the Internet. The art of woodcraft is rewarding to say the least, learning the skills to master it requires hands on experience, trial and error, and motivation.

The smell of freshly cut wood and the feeling of accomplishment you get from finishing a project are the reasons I love woodworking.

Woodwork & Cabinets in the Home

Woodwork and Cabinets in the home, classified as furniture, are then categorized into furniture types. Furniture is defined as an object in a home or business used to support the human body, provide storage, or hold objects above the ground on a horizontal surface.

Storage Furniture


Bookcases consist of open adjustable shelving used to accommodate books. Some are enclosed with doors, which are often made of glass to enable viewing of the book title. As a stand-alone unit or built in, bookcases hold our reading material. Sometimes they are added to other cabinets like entertainment centers or kitchen islands.


Cabinets stand-alone or attach to a wall, and are used for storing assorted items. Cabinets generally have doors on the front, which are mounted with cabinet door hinges; they may also contain drawers. Base cabinets customarily have a finished top used for display, or as a working surface.

Kitchen cabinets come as a set, which include several individual cabinets. These are generally constructed using the same material and finish. They may include an oven cabinet, refrigerator cabinet, sink cabinet, island, range hood, cook-top cabinet, and a pantry cabinet. Additional features may be added such as a desk, slide out trash drawer, spice racks, appliance garage, and a lazy Susan.

Bathroom cabinets often come as a set, which include a vanity cabinet, make-up desk, linen cabinet, hamper, and medicine cabinet.

Media cabinets or entertainment centers consist of one large cabinet used for housing electronic equipment. They can incorporate other cabinets into their structure like bookcases, curio cabinets, and gun cabinets. Often placed in the family room or living room, however bedrooms can contain media cabinets as well.

Utility room cabinets come as a set, they accommodate a washer and dryer used for clothing. They consist of upper cabinets above the washer and dryer, a utility sink cabinet, a folding table, and a hamper cabinet.

Wet bar cabinets come as a set, used solely for entertainment and housing beverages.

Garage/shop cabinets include workbenches and tool cabinets.


A chest or coffer is a rectangular edifice with four walls and a lid, for storage. They are used to store cloth, weapons, foods, and valuable items. Low chests are often used as benches while taller chests are used as tables.


A curio is used to display collections that share a common theme. Most curios have glass doors and shelving, allowing a better view of the collection.

Dresser (Chest of drawers)

A dresser or chest of drawers contains multiple drawers used for storing clothing not normally hung in a closet. A mirror is often placed on top, for grooming and checking appearance.

File cabinet

A file cabinet is used for the storage of paper in a file folder.

Hatstands & Coat Racks

A hatstand is used to store hats and coats. Typically five-foot tall, they have a central pole set on legs with pegs at the top for hanging.


A wardrobe or armoire is a freestanding closet used for storing clothes.

Seating & Sleeping Furniture

Seating Furniture


A bench is a long seat, which can include a back and arm rests, used to accommodate more than one person.


A chair consists of four legs, a seat, and a back, for use by one person.


Stools or Barstools often include a foot rest are designed for sitting at a bar.

Sleeping or Lying Furniture


A bed is used as a place to sleep, which are made comfortable with a mattress and box spring, and supported with a bed frame. The bed frame holds the mattress and box spring off the ground at a comfortable height. Some bed frames include drawers for additional storage.


The headboard attaches to the head of a bed and can be very decorative. Some headboards have compartments for storage, while the main function is to keep pillows from slipping off the bed.

Surface Furniture

Coffee table

A coffee table is a low table designed to be placed in front of a couch, to support beverages, magazines, books, and other small items. Coffee tables may also incorporate cabinets for storage.


A desk is a type of table often used for reading or writing on or using a computer. Desks often include drawers for storing office supplies and papers. Desks can be placed in any room in the home; for instance, make-up desks are best in bathrooms and bedrooms, while computer desks fit in many rooms. Other desks include hall desk, bedroom desk, workshop desk, and kitchen desk.


A table is a surface supported by a base or legs that is used to hold items at a comfortable height when sitting. Some tables have leaves used to extend the surface, which are removable. Drop leaves are hinged extensions of a table, which fold down when not in use.

Oh the Joys of Woodworking

This is a Hickory Pedestal Fireplace Mantel with corbels and fluted legs. The raised panel in the center was made with shapers, while the crown mold was made by another type of shaper called a molder. The fluted legs used the same molder to apply the flute lines. The fluted board on the right leg was hinged for access to the gas valve.

Fireplace mantels like this one require expensive woodworking tools to construct. However, the crown, corbels and raised panel can be purchased from suppliers and other cabinet shops.

Red Oak Kitchen - My Favorite Range Hood

Red Oak Kitchen
Red Oak Kitchen

This is my favorite Range Hood, I enjoy building fancy cabinetry like this. The two small panels below the mantle pull out to reveal hidden spice racks. The arch molding at the top was made using a moulder with an elliptical jig. It turned out exactly like I envisioned it.

The Wine Rack

This red oak wine rack features the diamond box design and includes a wine glass holder on the bottom. It is set back in a niche facing a wet bar. This wine rack has fluted onlays down each side. Notice how the crown mold is cut around these fluted applications to create an appealing look.

Wine racks can be constructed using many different techniques, from a parallel board design to a diamond box design. Another method is building ladders with ¾" x ¾" material for the rungs and placed side by side so the bottles rest on two rungs.

My Great Grandpa's Gun

When my father asked me to mount this antique Double Barrel Shotgun owned by his grandfather, I was honored. It is constructed using red oak plywood with a solid oak band around the edge; the fingers supporting the gun are solid oak as well. Using these techniques anything can be mounted and displayed in the home.

Pictures Say a Thousand Words

This alder cabinet has a very unique valance, the mini corbels were purchased from a supplier, while the arch was cut using a scrollsaw. The homeowner provided me with a picture from a magazine to go by. I think it resembles the picture exactly. When I gave her the picture back, she held it up to my work and just smiled.

This is a good example of inset doors, notice the bead around the doors. Inset doors take much longer to set in the cabinet than regular overlay doors. This technique is not popular among cabinetmakers due to the extra time involved. It takes advanced woodworking skills to construct inset doors and make them look good.

Knotty Alder Study

This knotty alder study is a good example of the different types of molding you can apply to cabinets. It has a large crown mold across the top, with a band of 1/2 round rope mold set below that. The arch and keystone in the middle give it an eye-catching effect. This room was an enormous project taking my workmates and I many hours to complete.

Knotty alder is considered a hardwood, although it is soft and easy to work with. Often referred to as rustic alder, it has become popular among people wanting a more rustic appearance from their cabinets.

Wikipedia Says

Molding is a strip of material with various cross sections used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration. It is traditionally made from solid milled wood or plaster but may be made from plastic or reformed wood. In classical architecture and sculpture, the molding is often carved in marble or other stones.

Arches and Cabinets

This arch-top cabinet was placed in a family room on top of a base cabinet. It was not easy to build to say the least. The top pieces had to be cut by hand out of a solid piece of poplar. To build the doors I had to make a pattern in which the final piece was nailed allowing me to run them through a shaper.

This can be dangerous if not done properly and there is a chance it will split out during the process. The panel for each door which I made out of MDF plywood was hand cut using a jigsaw, then ran through another shaper to create the raised panel you see now.

I think it turned out to be a very nice piece of furniture. I did not get a painted picture of the final product but I saw it. It was painted yellow with flowers and vines on the door panels.

So what did you think about my woodworking niche?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The design of the wine cooler is another important aspect that should be taken into consideration before buying. You need to figure out what kind of design you want; thankfully this is the most enjoyable part. Where are you going to use the wine cooler? Will it be in your kitchen? Whatever room you are going to use it, in you should be sure that the design of the wine cooler blends with the design of the room that is placed in. You need to take aspects such as design style and color scheme into consideration here. If you are going to use the wine cooler inside a basement you can even go a little crazy and try something more experimental. Explore wine cabinet if you are a true wine lover.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great lens!. You definitely do some great work. Love all of the pics! Wish I was closer, so I could have you do some of my cabinet work. Been doing my own, but I have a ways to go before I could do it for someone else.

      @Zoniescall - The Complete Cabinetmaker's Reference (Popular Woodworking) is the best cabinet making book that I have found. It is a few years old, but gives the basic plans for building all types of cabinets.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My friend wants to get into building furniture/woodworking and I thought I'd buy him a book about them for Christmas, but there is a lot of books to sift through. I don't want a book from the 70's or 80's; I would like something that has modern pieces and a modern take about them, and definitely geared towards a beginner. Anyone know of any that they can recommend?

      Many thanks!

      teds woodworking

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You are very smart craftman.

      wooworking shaper

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Really a great Lens. 5* !!




    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens, I thought it was great- 5* from me.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love woodworking too..After I got laid off last April from a civil engineering job after 16 years, I tried getting into Cabinetmaking.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful work, you are a master craftsman. Being an amateur myself I know great work when I see it.

    • teamlane profile image


      9 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel today!

      ~ Colleen :o

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      What lovely stuff! And what a wondrous tool is the scrollsaw in the hands of a fine craftsman

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Fantastic lens - that arched cabinet blows me away - I was looking at the picture and trying to work out how you had made it, even after reading the description, I struggle to see how you have done it!

      I'm not quite up to your level, but you can check out my Woodwork Tools blog

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens. The cabinets are great and the desk and kitchen island with be used daily. Thanks for turning me on to Squidoo it's addicting.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      I've made some simple birdhouses but that's the extent of my woodworking skills. I wish I could do more but those big saws scare me. I've seen movies....

      Great lens


    • Squidaddle profile image


      10 years ago

      Man, that fireplace mantle is incredible! Nice lens, thanks.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Now I know where to send my Hubby when I finally persuade him to build that cupboard under the stairs!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens. I wish I had half your wood working talent.


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