We built a custom alder storage armoire based on two inspiration photos from interior designer Suzie Hall of Cornerstone Interior Design.
Construction started on the armoire by tackling the upper cabinet first. We milled and glued up the top, sides, doors, and shelves of the armoire from solid 1″ thick alder, and the base from 1.75″ thick solid alder.
With the upper cabinet built and finished, it was time to turn our attention to the armoire base. We began by building the platform that the upper cabinet sits upon.
The platform consists of a torsion box wrapped in a three piece trim detail. To build the torsion box, we used a 1″ piece of MDF for the bottom skin and a 1/2″ piece of MDF for the top with a honeycomb network inside.
The trim framework consisted of a 3/4″ cove moulding that sat on top of a 3/4″ quarter round, that sat on top of a half-piece of custom made cove moulding.
We made the cove moulding using the table saw. We have used this technique before with wonderful results, but it always looks like the most dangerous thing you could do with a table saw.
The process is fairly simple:
1. Set the blade to its final height, which equals the depth of the cove of the final moulding. In our case we chose a height of 3/4″.
2. Set up a fence between your body and the blade. The spacing between the fence and the blade should equal the amount of space you want on the final piece of moulding. For our moulding it was 1/4″.
3. Lower the blade so that is just barely peaks above the table and run the moulding through, raise the blade slightly, and repeat the process.
Eventually you will have a piece of moulding that matches any dimension you desire.
We cut our moulding in half, attached it to the side of the torsion box, and added the quarter-round and cove mouldings.
In the end we had a nice looking trim wrapping the top.
With the top trimmed out, we began laying out the leg and stringer assembly. The stringer had a straight middle piece with four curved pieces radiating to each corner.
We milled the five pieces, leaving the middle one long, and glued and clamped the entire assembly.
After the glue had dried, we cut and shaped the center piece to its final length.