Top to bottom, front to back, and side to side, this Bahut Cabinet is a beauty. It’s a workout in the shop — but the results will provide a lifetime of joy.
If you’ve never heard of George Nakashima or built any of his objects (he doesn’t call them projects) you’re in for a two-fisted, heavy-duty, deceptively simple, ruggedly delicate woodworking journey. All the paradoxes described here are fitting when it comes to the designs and life work of Mr. Nakashima. He was passionate about building, beauty, woodworking, and trees. He treated trees as sacred objects, and many of his thoughts on trees were captured in the book he released in 1983 “The Soul of a Tree.” Here’s a quote from his website that gives you a feel for the reverence that he has for trees. “In Japanese, kodama, the ‘spirit of a tree,’ refers to a feeling of kinship with the heart of a tree. It is our deepest respect for the tree... that we may offer the tree a second life.” Now that you’re aware of the broader background of this woodworker, let’s hone in on Dillon Baker’s interpretation of the Bahut cabinet. As you see in the pictures, the cabinet is mainly made of thick walnut. Not only is walnut used in the drawer fronts, but the sides and back of the drawers also. The back of the cabinet is good looking as well; it’s ship-lapped walnut slats — giving you the option of using the cabinet as a room divider if you so choose. The only plywood here is used for the drawer bottoms and as substrate for the walnut burl veneered door panels. Clearly it’s time to roll up your sleeves and head to the shop.
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