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Building my very own curio cabinet

Does anyone know what's the best wood to use to build a curio cabinet...?

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Posted 2011-09-29T23:14:28+0000  by Lizabeth99 Lizabeth99

Hello lizabeth99,


Welcome to the community.


I would have to say that any hardwood would work out fine. The most common ones are oak, walnut, cherry, and maple. You can save some money and use other softer woods like alder, poplar, and pine but they will not hold up as well as the hardwoods. It’s just like the old saying…”You get what you pay for.” :smileyhappy: I would suggest staying with a hardwood.


I don’t know about you but if I’m going to put all the time, effort and money into building a piece of furniture I want it to hold up to the test of times. I build all of my wood pieces in a way that it will still look like new (with proper maintenance) when I go to hand it down to my daughter.


It really comes down to the look that you want and how much money you want to spend. Each wood species really has its own specific look. For example oak is known for its ability to show off the grain in the wood and maple is known for its natural look.  So as you can see it really depends on your preferences and your budget.


**Keep in mind that the finish that you use can really change the look of the wood. So what I do is get a 6” piece of each species of wood that I might use and a few different finishes and do a test patch on each piece. You can get small sample packages of most colors.:smileywink: Let it dry for a day or so and then choose which one I like the best.


I hope this has helped you with choosing a species of wood for your curio cabinet.


I would love to hear more about your curio cabinet. Please post updates and pictures of your project. I would love to follow your progress.


Thanks again for joining the community.  

Posted 2011-09-30T18:26:16+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

I agree with the hardwood but a cheaper option may be a good quality plywood with a natural wood veneer and edging.

Posted 2011-10-25T18:24:32+0000  by PhillyDIY

I will second the plywood use. It's easier to use than trying to edge join planks together to get the width you need for a decent sized cabinet. To avoid seeing the plywood edge, you use a product like this from Band-It.

This example is birch and THD sells birch plywood.


Installation is fairly easy.

  1. Fill any voids in the edge of the plywood and let the filler dry completely
  2. Sand rough spots
  3. Cut your edging about a 1/2" longer than the length you need
  4. Preheat your iron on the cotton setting (400°)
  5. Postion your edging and slowly press the iron over the length of the edging, making sure the glue is melting
  6. While the glue is still hot, press down on it with a roller or block of scrap
  7. Allow it to cool completely and trim with a craft knife or plane (similar to shown below)


If you make a mistake, simply heat the edging up again and reposition it (before you trim the edges :smileywink: ).


Finally, sand your entire piece and finish as desired.


Sometimes, when you're hand sanding a piece, it's easy to round over and edge you might want nice and square. To avoid that, you can make an edge sanding block like this:

Edge Sanding Block.jpg

It's simply a 2x4 cut at a 45 angle and mated back to itself with a slight offset. Bore a couple pilot holes through the mitered portion and connect with a couple screws. Just place a piece of sand paper on each inside side of each block. Use self-adhesive sandpaper squares for 1/4 sheet sanders or hit them with some spray glue to help hold them in place nice and flat.


While this makes sure you have nice flat edges, what do you do for curved shapes? Another simple solution is to wrap a piece of sandpaper around a 4" paint roller. Gives just enough support to sand, but flexible enough to bend with a curve.


Hope this helps.

Posted 2011-10-25T21:54:33+0000  by Paul
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