Introduction: DIY Apothecary Cabinet
This little cabinet will test your ability and patience in woodworking
but at the end you'll have one wonderful cabinet for generations to come.
Link to material used for making the Apothecary cabinet:
Here is video build with no narration (below find longer narrated versions):
To see construction details with narration please see these videos:
Step 1: Dimensioning the Wood
This cabinet is made from White Oak, Olive Ash, Iroko and some plywood for dividers, back and drawer bottoms.
Every project I start with dimensioning wood since I buy it at the local lumber mill.
There I buy smaller scraps at a very good price that would otherwise be burnt.
Step 2: Cutting the Dovetails
Don't be fooled by the size of this cabinet. It has all hand cut dovetails joinery - 116 through dovetails and 96 half blind dovetails!
But with patience this is done in few days of cutting and chopping.
I can't stress enough how important is that your tools are very sharp, it will make this job pleasant and safe as well.
I made videos on how to cut through dovetails and half blind ones, check them out:
Step 3: Cutting the Grooves
After dry assembling the dovetail joints I took the carcass apart and started to cut the grooves for the back panel, and dividing panels. I used 4mm and 8mm plywood for those.
When grooves were cut in the carcass I assembled it with glue for a permanent joint.
Then I cut dividing panels and grooves in them as well and glued them in the carscass.
There are a lot of steps here so the best is to watch my video few times to pick them up.
Once you have it it will go easy.
Step 4: Finishing the Carcass
I glued all of the dividers in place as well and covered the plywood edges with solid oak strips.
The painter's tape works great as a clamp until the glue dries on those narrow strips.
I planed and sanded flush the dividers and attached the plywood back to the cabinet.
Finally I applied boiled linseed oil and dark furniture wax to bring that beautiful oak grain and pores to life.
Step 5: Drawer Wood Prep
I repeated the same steps as with carcass material to prepare all the pieces that will be used for the drawers.
It is best to mill the wood and then leave it laying flat for few days to acclimatise to your shop.
Step 6: Cutting the Drawer Dovetails
This is the most time consuming part in the project
but a nicely made joints will make this piece heirloom worthy and last for many generations.
So take your time and make it your best.
Step 7: Finishing the Drawers.
Drawers get glued, the bottom fits in the grooves cut on the table saw and some by hand.
Finally install the hardware you want, I love this vintage looking brass hardware with labels.
I got them from amazon super cheap:
Step 8: Beauty Shots
The cabinet is finished and I'll keep organized my tea collection in it.
I love how it looks and it will look even better as the wood ages and gets darker.
If you like this one please check some of my other projects on my YT channel:
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Please be positive and constructive.
Nice work, what an amount of dovetails to cut! How long did it take you to make this , start to finish?
It is crazy amount, but it is doable.
It took me about 2 months to finish, but I was doing many things in between.
Sometimes is nice to take a break from repeating task, like chopping dovetails.
If I had a deadline (and dry, planed wood) I would probably be able to make it in 7-10 days.
Go and try making it, it is possible and the result will make you smile everyday you see it.
beautiful project I could use it around the shop. but are there any plans for it I couldnt find a link for the plans
I don't have plans for it since it is a very custom project.
I'd advise you to draw your own plans and size it to your needs.
Here are some measures from mine:
The external measurements are 580x380x170 mm.
The outer oak thickness is 20mm.
The divisions are 4 and 8mm plywood.
The drawers have fronts 10mm thick, sides and back 6mm thick and plywood bottom of 4mm thickness.
Having said all this, I made this cabinet for my space, and I would recommend that you make it to your necessity.
The challenge is to make so many dovetails and other joints, but in reality it is a very simple design.
Greetings from Croatia and good luck :)
thanks I just needed a few rough measurements to go by as I wasnt sure what size the drawers were
1.permita una gran felicitacion por tan hermoso trabajo!
ahora dime como hago para poder tener las medidas pues creo estar en la capacidad de hacer un trabajo igual.
¿Es posible que tu publicaras estas medidas? seria una gran ayuda de tu parte, Mil gracias +1.
Muchas gracias Francheska!
Este es un gabinete bastante pequeño.
Las medidas exteriores son 580x380x170 mm.
El grosor de roble exterior es de 20mm.
Las divisiones son madera contrachapada de 4 y 8mm.
Los cajones tienen frentes de 10mm, lados y atras de 6mm y fondo cotrachapado de 4mm.
Dicho todo esto, yo hize esta gabinete para este espacio, y recomendaria que lo hagas a tus medidas necesarias.
Lo desafioso es hacer tantas colas de milano y otras uniones, pero en realidad es un diseño muy simple.
Saludos desde Croacia y suerte con tu aventura carpintera :)