Once again, THIS is what I started with.

the thrift store 90cent cabinet


the sketch and idea of what I wanted--An incredible deal at 90¢ …I truly figured I would take it apart for its wood to build the cabinet in my sketch.

Then I realized my design could potentially be found  -in the core of- this cabinet.  Obviously, I’ll have to make adjustments -but it could be done!

~See, cut-cut-cut!

1st– I needed to lop off the ugly, boxy, valanced top to shorten it, which you can see in the upper picture.

2nd– I had to re-figure the 3 sectional depths.  My original design plan descended from 14″ to 11″ to 8″ –this cabinet 16½” deep, reduced to 12½” to 8½”.

I used painter’s tape to give a better visual while I was trying to re-plan the sections, and then make the cuts~and I traced the painter’s TAPE ROLL to make those soft curves!

cutting the 3-sectional depths

the new header--
This is the header I bought looong ago at  A Classy Flea on a trip to Atlanta.  It was wAy too long/wide for my project and had to be cut down–but isn’t it just perfect!?!

I used some of the scrap wood cut off’s to create the rail the header will sit on/attach to. (picture collage below)  The easiest thing was to use a section of the original front face-frame, or, stile.

*STILES are the vertical pieces and  RAILS are the horizontal pieces you see in the frame work of doors and cabinetry.

In the collage below, you can see my very sophisticated re-configuration process to keep the decorative ends of the header.  ; D

I’ll leave things here for this post with these “upper” alterations.

Hope you’re finding this interesting and will come back for the 2nd part of this transformation…..


Oh!  The doors have it!

working on the new header--

Cut, cut, cut.

my  90-CENT  thrift store cabinetSo, you guys know how much

I love to cut stuff up

 a good RE-invention….

I think you’re gonna like this one–

a lot!


I decided in this post to do things a little inside out and backwards.

~I’ll show you where I began and the end of construction right away!

~THEN I’ll take you through

how I got there


what’s happening next.



Hope you’ll come back to see the De&Re-construction process, plus I need a little input from you guys….

My plan was to build completely open storage~but I’m kinda liking the doors–!

Now I don’t know which way to go.  Help!



RE-inventing the 90-cent thrift store cabinet

I’m sharing this project with a few favorite linky parties!

Furniture Feature Fridays


the old record cabinetThe old record cabinet may be finished~but it  still  seems to have no clear identity.

Sure, all the slots are gone that made it a record cabinet, but it is just a bit too tall at 37″ to be a good side table or night stand (even with a high bed).

Well, it’s going to the antique mall for sale–and someone else can figure it out!

   ~  ~  ~

I cut shelves to slide into those slots.  If you look closely you’ll see the slots are DADO’s and the ends/sides of the shelves are RABBETs!

I finished painting, and after lightly distressing the outside to reveal a bit of the undercoat of white primer–I LIKED IT–so I left well enough alone and just waxed it.

The final touch was covering the door’s cut out with 3/8″ chicken wire.  Tomorrow I’ll apply trim to clean it up.  *I wanted to router a rabbet to sink the wire but the curved door would require a trim router–which I don’t have~yet.

Wait till you see my newest project–I’m cutting things up again!

See you tomorrow-


the old record cabinet--making the shelves

the old record cabinet--adding chicken wire

the old record cabinet--the refinished top

the old record cabinet

What. a. weekend.

arch enemy #1

It alternated between

raining & dreary

and just plain ole’ cold.

Bone-chilling damp-cold.

Mother Nature teased us once or twice with some deceptive sunshine, so I mostly parked on the sofa with the laptop and remotes.

The Cat & Mouse game with my arch enemy continued too.

8 down—1 wrascally wred wone that runs away quick as I come in view still on the loose. Probably more.
Below is just a sample of damages and treasures they leave me daily, and the neighbor’s walnut tree that fuels them.
red squirrel damages---In the next few weeks I’ll have a couple of guys helping me make repairs to the garage ceiling.  My arch enemies have stock-piled SO MANY walnuts in my insulated ceiling that parts of it have caved under the weight.  You’re suddenly startled by the horrendous sounds of a raining hail of walnuts and breakage for anything that can’t take the pummeling.  *Add 1 more notch to my board above.

So–I parked on the sofa with the remotes burning some incredible design shows to discs to keep!  Like The Bronson Pinchot Project.

the Bronson Pincot project---diy channel

We’re ditching the “practically a mortgage payment” of bundled cable for a “can’t say NO to” deal from AT&T U-verse.  Sure hope we like it–anyone already have it, and some opinions-??

I architectural millwork- elements- fragments!

the Bronson Pincot project---diy channel

the Bronson Pincot project---diy channel

the Bronson Pincot project---diy channel

the Bronson Pincot project---diy channel

the Bronson Pincot project---diy channel

See what I mean–?!?

So it looks like we’re supposed to have a beaUUUtiful week ahead &

I. can’t. wait!

I have a LOT to do!


This is for you Kathy Nielsen!

Thanks for asking–guess I should explain better when I talk about these things!  Sure hope this helps and I haven’t added more confusion….

I know pretty pictures of cool projects are more fun and interesting, but maybe THIS could be too!


explaining a "rabbet"rabbet

also re·bate


  1. A cut or groove along or near the edge of a piece of wood that allows another piece to fit into it to form a joint.

  2. A joint so made.

Okay, so that’s the technical definition, now let’s talk turkey.

 explaining a "rabbet"

explaining a rabbet cut


 THIS is the primary bit used in a router that makes the cut~

although it is my preference, it’s not the only bit or way to accomplish this cut….

a RABBETing bit
You can also make this cut at the table saw.
cutting a rabbet on the table saw

This type of joint/joinery is very stable and once you start to really look at the joints in/of your furniture, you’ll see it a lot!  And thanks to Kreg jigs, you’ll see a lot of pocket screw joinery now too, which makes another very strong joint.

why a rabbet joint--

But you’ve probably also heard me talk about dado‘s.

dado vs rabbet

These are BOTH commonly used ways to join two sides together  -AND they’re also something you see all the time and probably never realized!

For instance, and some quick examples

using a RABBET to sink the chicken wire--A DADO cut is that little channel that holds the screen and spline in your door and window frames, and sometimes shelves are “buried” into the sides/walls this way for more stability.  Pull a drawer out and see which parts of the box are built this way too–like the bottoms.
A RABBET cut -is what glass sets into to sit flush or deeper/counter sunk from the inside/back of a cabinet door  -it’s that part of a frame you set your pictures, mirrors, and chalk boards into  -and what I set/fixed the chicken wire into for my china cabinet project (pictured at right).  And once again–look at your drawer boxes!

You’ll probably be surprised at how many things you’ll find throughout your house built with these joints.

Once you see it, you’ll notice it even more and start to understand how a lot of things are made.  Just start looking!


Well, it still has no clear identity, but you see I’m plugging away with paint and putting it back together.

And this is it’s current state.

the old record cabinet---inspirational--

To do:

~I’m pretty sure I’ll add 3/8″ chicken wire to the door’s cut out, so I’ll use my hand router to create a rabbet and counter sink the application.

~I need to get crackin’ on an adjustable shelf  (or 2) for the interior.  I’d like to take advantage of the slots from the former the old record cabinet--thus fardividers…….

~Paint the backboard and actually apply properly.

~Still not keen on the finish–guess I’ll be playing with that too…..but I do like the Tiffany-blue interior!

Sooo~ back to work. Even in an impending thunderstorm…?


Under construction!








The old record cabinet.

I bought this in Atlanta in 2009

~while visiting my cousin, JeanAnn.  I think she’s suspicious of just WHO I am coming to visit since I’m always running off to go shopping while I’m there.

the old record cabinet

My plan was to convert it into a little girl’s armoire.  I was going to shorten the legs some and add an architectural crown at the top.  But–I had so many children’s cabinets to be sold–I back-burnered it.  However, I did not mean to abandon the poor thing all together.

It’s been so long, I may have had a change of heart regarding its new design.    At 37h  x  15½d  x  18½w . . . .

How about a small space night stand–??  Too tall?  A side table?  Drop a sink in it to go in a very small half bath?  I could keep going here you know…!

One change I intended is still happening—I’m cutting out the center door section!

After adding back some missing appliques and deciding on the thickness of the “sides,” I used a piece of wood as a measuring and marking guide–then free-handed, or, eased those finished lines with a sharpie marker so it was easy to follow with the jig saw.

altering the old record cabinetcuuting out the center door section--Did that just freak you out?

I drilled pilot holes at each of the corners -and a few extra places- to poke the blade through to cut out the center.  I did a pretty accurate job with the jig saw (it’s a curved door), but I still eased the edges really carefully -and again- free-hand at the router table with a dado bit.  Lastly, I switched to a ¼” round over bit and finished with a little sanding.

after the cut-out---

the door with its cut-outthe parts primed and laid out---This is where I left off last night… everything sanded and primed, except the top is stripped (for now).

Here are all the parts laid back out.  The poor little cabinet was so loose-y goose-y and super rough, I thought it would be easier just to take it completely apart.  I know~looks like crap right now, just gimme a minute….

more tomorrow. . .



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