crs—anything's a possibility.
The box you choose for vour "universal carcase"
w w doesn't have to be the same one I used for the projects shown here. It doesn't have to be hard to build either. I've been known to nail and glue a cabinet together. But a universal carcase of some sort provides the theme and teaches you the skill of looking at an object and seeing several options.
Consider doors. Solid doors, frame-and-panel doors, glass doors—each type has its own personality. If you've got six different doors on six identical carcases, you've got six different cabinets.
I apply the "universal" approach to doors as well as carcases. The door frame shown in the drawings is designed for panels of glass, wood, a mirror or a wire grill. The panel is held in place with removable clips, and can be taken off—or even changed —long after the piece is complete.
Drawers add more design possibilities as shown. Replace the drawer with a hinged, drop-down panel to form a writing surface for a kitchen wall desk. A magnetic catch holds the drop-down panel closed.
Cabinet lights and glass panels really change the feel of a piece. How about a lighted curio cabinet with a mirrored back panel instead of plywood? The carcase design I used has a space behind the crown molding for installation of a 3'/2-in. dia. can light (available from Constantine's, 2050 Eastchester Road. Bronx, NY 10461). Be sure to cut ventilation holes in the top so the light doesn't overheat.
Why not make the shelves out of '/-»-in. glass? If you order glass shelves cut to size, specify- a seamed and polished edge—seaming removes the sharp edges, and polishing gives the edge a smooth look.
The old design-school adage goes, "form follows function." That may be so. but form is limited only by your imagination. ^
Walter Morrison is an engineer and woodworker in North-port, NY. He wrote about building a mantel shelf in the July/August 1988 AMERICAN WOODWORKER.
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