Alan Young's Red Oak Buffet

Completed in five months, this oak buffet was right on time!

SHOP OWNER: Alan Young
LOCATION: Ypsilanti, MI

    Here is a buffet I designed and built for our dining room. This project started life as a blanket chest. That is to say, I informed my wife in early October of 2001 that her birthday present was going to be a blanket chest. I was confident I could complete it by her birthday, which was at the end of the month. However, she informed me that she would rather have a buffet for our dining room to go with an old oak table we had recently acquired. A buffet would take longer to build and design so I had to forget about this as a birthday present. How about a buffet for Christmas?
    Time passed and life got busy. I completed the plans in early December. I bought lumber and began milling pieces the day after Christmas. I think it's looking more like a Valentines Day present. Work was completed in early February but I didn't get the buffet up from my basement shop until February 23rd. Although a little late for all appointed holidays, SWMBD (That's D as in Delighted!) is delighted.  Alan Young's Red Oak Buffet
    Since red oak has a very pronounced grain, the cathedral pattern can get out of hand sometimes. I wanted to avoid this problem because this piece was so large. I bought my lumber for this buffet at Jackson Bros. Saw Mill in Whitemore Lake Mich. I found several boards of very straight-grained oak. Not exactly quartersawn, but very controlled in the pronouncement of the grain elements. The panels for this piece are plain-sawn inch plywood. The inch plywood found in my area is usually rotary cut and the cathedral patterns can go kind of wild.
    I based much of the feel and look of this piece on the Serpentine Chest of Drawers by Lee Grindinger. Many thanks to Lee for his thoughts towards my efforts here. During construction I ran into a couple of problems in executing some of my design ideas. I am also grateful to Andy Rae for several lengthy and detailed e-mails. He guided me through a couple of awkward moments where I had "designed myself into a corner". Alan Young's Red Oak Buffet
Alan Young's Red Oak Buffet
    I chose the original hardware myself. After seeing my "well conceived" choices, my wife said No! She picked out the knobs and pulls from Rockler. Her choices are, of course, perfect for this piece.
    If you'd be interested in seeing some more detailed pictures during the various construction phases, please click on the following link to this project.

http://www.woodwardwoodworks.homestead. com/RedOakBuffet.html

. . . Alan Young



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