Alan Young's Church Cabinet

...and it all started with Grampa.

SHOP OWNER: Alan Young
LOCATION: Ypsilanti, MI

    This is a cabinet I built for the lobby of our church. Each week cookies are placed on the cabinet. The proceeds are given to a local ministry for the homeless.
     The dovetailed drawers appear to have been made sideways. The dovetail is designed for strength, but it is also an attractive and eye catching joint that is usually hidden from view. I knew that these drawers would not be holding heavy items like silverware so I decided to let the dovetails show by building the drawers "sideways". The drawer pulls and middle "cloud lift" are ebonized oak. I soaked them in a solution of rust water and vinegar (a technique I learned from Master Dresdner).
Alan Young's Wagon Alan Young's Wagon

    This is a wagon I "helped" my grandfather make when I was around 10 years old and my twin brother and I spent a number of Saturdays working with Grampa in his shop. The shop was very small--approximately 12' x 15'--but it had a metal lathe, drill press (mine now) and a table saw. We each made one of these wagons. Gramps did the design and setup on the machines but my brother and I did a "fair" amount of the work.
Alan Young's Chess Set

     Next is a chess set. Grampa built the board. I turned the pieces out of broom poles. I took the board to school for show and tell when I was in third grade. The teacher placed the board on a steam radiator where it sat until I took it home at the end of the day. When I picked it up the board had twisted and warped greatly. I took it home and as it re-acclimated, the twist straightened out flat. A crack did result, but the board has remained stable for the last 30 years.
     I took the design of the chess pieces from a plastic set we had. I traced the shapes from a picture on the box from which the set came. I carved the knights' horse heads from some maple. The dark set is painted brown; the light set has an oil finish.
Alan Young's Grandfather's Wagon

    I made this dresser from (gulp!) lauan mahogany, with oak for the framing. I used a red mahogany stain and polyurethane varnish.
    The book case is made of red oak on MDF. I applied a walnut stain, not because I liked it but because I had to match an "accident."
    The sides of this bookcase were ripped pieces left over from another project. I had left them on the floor in my shop for several weeks while I pondered what to make with them. Not wanting the thin veneer edges to be damaged I set the boards on a rug.
    In the meantime our aging cat had developed incontinence and decided that my shop floor was the easiest placed to answer the call. One day I found that he had urinated on the rug. The boards then, via capillary action, absorbed the urine. This left a section of otherwise fine red oak stained very dark.
    The smell disappeared but the veneers were too thin to sand out the stain, so I found the darkest stain that seemed to match the cat-stains. I placed the cat stained sections on the lower insides of the shelf to minimize its effects. My son has since filled the bookcase, so the problem is now out of sight and out of mind.

...Alan Young




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Springtown, PA 18081