Oval Shot Glass Cabinet

In Tutorial by jackmanworks@gmail.com

The oval shot glass cabinet is about 4 feet tall and holds a little over 100 glasses – made almost entirely from reclaimed materials.
The main frame is made from bendy plywood with an oak veneer on the exterior. Backing is milled shiplap pine boards reclaimed from a church renovation. Shelves are made from pallet slats. Door is made from some old resawn barn wood that belonged to my great grandfather. The door also holds a sheet of plexiglass. It hangs on the wall with a french cleat. The whole cabinet is finished with linseed oil and the outside has a few coats of lacquer.

Build Details

I started with a rough sketch for the client and to use as a template for the build.

I printed out a full size template of the drawings to work from.

The template was used to trace onto a scrap piece of OSB. I created two copies of the oval shape for each side of the form and spaced it with some pieces of strapping.

I cut the pieces for the form in quarters of an oval.

They are then attached to the strapping spacers and each quarter of the oval is attached together.

The flexible plywood is ripped to width.

I glued together 3 layers of the 3/8″ flexible plywood around the oval form.

Lots of clamps to hold this guy in place.

Lots of clamps… I used a couple of strap clamps around the perimeter to hold it all together and then a bunch of screw bar clamps to tighten it all up. Had to buy a few extra just for this job.

I set the form aside to dry and planed down some reclaimed pine boards to use as the back paneling for the cabinet.

These pieces were ripped to random widths.

Then a rabbeting bit was used on the router table to create the opposing rabbets for the ship-lap joints between the pieces.

Once the form was dry, I sanded the back of the oval flat and smooth.

Then a rabbet was cut in the back to receive the ship-lap panels. This rabbet was pretty deep because I made it to accept the panels but also the 3/4″ thick french cleat that will be used to hang the unit.

Each of the pieces for the back paneling was marked and then cut with the jig saw.

The panels were glued and nailed to the side. I used some small pieces of 1/4″ plywood for spacers between the pieces. Also, I nailed right through the side of the oval because I will be covering this with veneer later.

This is what it looks like with all of the ship-lap installed.

I then scribed the final thickness of the cabinet off of the backer panel and sanded it down to that line with the belt sander. You need some steady hands for this move because the belt sander will easily bite the corner off if you wobble either way.

Then it’s time to disassemble the pallet so I can use the slats for shelves. I start by cutting the slats at each end, right next to the side runners.

I then use my palm nailer along with a nail set and hammer the crap out of the nails in the center runner. This will destroy the head of the nail and partially set it into the wood slat.

You can then just twist the slats and, with a little elbow grease, they pull right off.

The slats are all cut to the same width.

The back is marked for the shelf heights.

I then mark each of the shelves for length and angle.

And each one is cut to length at the marked angle.

These are also glued and nailed right through the side.

The piece of barn wood I want to use for the door is 2 inches thick so I start by resawing it.

I leave a little bit in the middle to keep it from binding against the blade and then since it’s fairly soft pine I just crack it in half, like a man.

All of the pieces are lined up on top of the oval and cut to fit around the perimeter of the face of the cabinet. Each end is joined with a biscuit.

I assemble each joint and hold it together with a strap clamp.

The back side is sanded smooth while the front is left rough.

I lay the cabinet on top of the door and trace out the shape to be cut.

This oval is then cut on the bandsaw.

It fits! I then scribe the inside of the oval based off of the outside of the oval.

And the inside shape is cut with the jig saw.

I use the same rabbeting bit in the router to cut the profile to receive the plexiglass.

The veneer for the outside of the cabinet is cut to rough width.

I then use spray adhesive on both surfaces.

And apply with a roller.

I then mortised out the hinge and attached it with screws. I ended up replacing this hinge with a taller piano hinge to take away the play that this one had.

The french cleat was cut from a piece of 3/4″ plywood and screwed to the back, directly into the back of one of the shelves.

I then applied the first coat of finish, which was linseed oil on the entire project. After that, I put a few coats of lacquer on just the outside of the cabinet.

I like the color that gives the wood. And that’s a mahogany pallet slat right there!

I got a piece of plexiglass to install in the door. This was traced using the door by just scratching the protective plastic with a screw.

I cut this to size on the bandsaw.

This plexiglass was attached to the door frame first with some gel type super glue and clamped in place with my top of the line, patent pending, clamping system. This is then reinforced with some screen door hardware to make sure it stays in place.