This armoire, in its final form, came about somewhat by alteration and accident. At the end of my last post, Mesquite & Cherry Gun Cabinet, I mentioned that my clients liked the cabinet so much they asked me to make a new one just like it for another family member, and I was very happy to accommodate their request. This new commission came at a very fortuitous time for me, because I was nearly out of work. “I can start right away!”, I told them.
I sourced my materials, which can take awhile when looking for good mesquite, and was happily into this new project by four weeks when I got a call from one of the clients.
“Well, I was talking to the family member you’re making this cabinet for and it turns out that, even though he owns a couple of rifles, he’s not really that into guns or hunting. It’s a surprise birthday gift for him. He doesn’t know anything about it. He likes nice furniture and beautiful wood, but what can we do?”
“Let me think about it and I will call you back”, I told her.
I studied what I had done. Hummm, if I replaced the glass panels in the sides and doors with wood, made some additional interior drawers with shelves above, what would I have?
“An armoire! Now aren’t you clever”. She really liked the idea when I explained it to her. “That’s perfect. Let’s do it”.
So off I went in search of more mesquite. In the past I had depended on my friend Ray Shelton of Texas Kiln Products to provide me with good mesquite but Ray had met the wrath of the Great Bastrop Fire of ‘011 and seen everything he owned turned to ashes, his wood mill, all his lumber, and even his home were destroyed in perhaps the worst fire in Texas history. I called another friend, Brandon Berdoll, who lived a few miles west of Ray and was, thankfully, spared.
“Come on down. we’re pulling mesquite out of the kiln right now.”, he told me.
It took a couple of hours of picking through a lot of lumber that I just could not accept to find three pairs of book-matched boards for the doors and some wides pieces to make up the side panels. This is all part of the agony and the ecstasy of creating custom furniture, but in the end, when there has been the appropriate amount of agony, things usually turn out ok.
This piece is capable of storing lots of stuff. Custom closets have been extremely popular the past few years, but why pay for a custom closet when you can have something like this?
Routing a mortise for the cocobolo drawer pulls.
The unsuspecting family member loved his new armoire, and in the end everyone was happy (after the appropriate amount of agony).
If you would like to see more of my work, please visit my furniture gallery.