Sunday, 6 January 2013

Krenov Style Cabinet Finished!

Knife hinges get a bad press for being fiddly to fit, but if you work carefully they are no more difficult than any other hinge. Here is my method, I use a spacer to set the offset on both the cabinet and the door and I control the protrusion with a drill bit half the size of the hole. I don't make any allowance for the gap between carcass and door, if it binds a little I just trim the door where it touches.
This is a 1/4" wide knife hinge from Sanderson Hardware in California and it's beautifully made. Their hinges are smaller than the smallest ones Brusso make and ideal for petite cabinets like this one.

Here is the result. I always fit the door when I glue up the carcass and then adjust the carcass to make sure I have even reveals.

Here is the finished cabinet, it's 20" high x 8" wide x 5" deep.

I tiny finger scallop to open the door, which is held with tiny 3 mm magnets.

Wonderful grain!

The shelves were curved to match the curve of the door and were supported by 1/8" brass pins.

The cabinet interior.

The back was treated with the same respect as the rest of the cabinet. The solid panel of rippled ash was left to float in it's frame which was screwed neatly in place.
At 33 hours, it took longer to make than I had anticipated but I was pleased with the result.


  1. David,

    Thanks for sharing your tips on installing knife hinges. Also, it's refreshing to see a door made of solid wood instead of veneered. Do you anticipate any alignment issues or binding in the future?


    1. Hi Chris, The small scale of the door should reduce the impact of any movement. It can cup a little either way without issue as the door is curved anyway. If it warps it could be a problem but the wood has been seasoning in my workshop for years, so I'm sure it will be ok. All the best, David.

  2. David, very beautiful cabinet. I myself am heavily influenced by James Krenov, and have made several standing cabinets. I am currently working on a very small/narrow cabinet made with Black walnut/ Maple ambrosia. Like yourself I have made solid doors and have always first checked MC, and calculate wood movement. It appears that your door will be fine, even though some grain that runs radially near the top left hinge might twist ever so slight, but most of the panel seems to be consistent and should be fine. PS. Love your tool chest, true craftsmanship.

  3. Great cabinet. Is the door coopered?

    1. Hi Aaron, No coopering would hhave spoiled the surface grain. I could have laminated the door over a former but in the end I carved it from solid. Although it's only a small door it took a lot of work! All the best, David.