Mike Conner's Linen Press

Turning humble materials into an extravagant gift.

SHOP OWNER: Mike Conner

     This armoire, or linen press, was in my sketch notebook for many months; but, when I saw Andy Rae's version here in Shop Shots, I was inspired to go forward, borrowing a little from his ideas. Thanks Andy!
    I built the press for my daughter's 14th birthday. Since I didn't have much cash to work with, it was an excercise in turning "sow's-ear" Ponderosa Pine into a "silk-purse" gift.
Door Carving Detail     I presented it to her unfinished, with an assortment of carving stencils to choose from. She chose the carving design that you can hopefully see in the detail photo. (I'm a good woodworker but a terrible photographer!).
    I did the carving freehand with a Dremel in a router base, routing the various features at different depths to create a perspective effect.
Linen Press Open

    The linen press is actually two separate cases. Shopmade trim dresses up the joints at the base, mid-point and crown.
    The upper drawers incorporate a guide design inspired by an antique dresser. Each drawer has 1/2-in. grooves in the sides that engage runners mounted on the walls of the cabinets, supporting the drawer both horizontally and vertically. The drawers can be extended almost all the way out and not tip; and, with a little wax, they slide almost effortlessly. All the drawers have 1/4-in. T&G aromatic cedar bottoms.
Drawer Detail      I finished the linen press with waterborne stain and four or five coats of waterborne polyurethane.

. . . Mike Conner




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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081