Bad Larry


Designing and Building a Mid Century Modern Credenza

In this woodworking video I build my best piece yet. A Mid Century Modern Inspired Credenza. It is made from Walnut Hard Wood and Plywood. When I used to build furniture for clients, this was my most requested piece. I thought it was only right that I actually have one for myself.

Materials, Tools, and Supplies:


Let's start by cutting out the plywood pieces for the cases carcass. Since the piece doesn't have 90 degree corners, things are a little trickier than normal. So I started by tilting my blade to 37.5 degrees.


We're going to leave the blade tilted to this angle to make all of the cuts. In the end, this will give us corners that are 75 degrees along the top, and 105 degrees along the bottom. I have a whole video that goes into more detail on this here.


The reason we only have to set the blade once is because we're cutting half of the pieces vertically, and the other half horizontally as seen in the two images below. Again, watch the video for a better explination of why this works. Or, just trust me. It works :)


The last thing to do before we glue the case together is to cut in joinery for the shelves and vertical partitions. For the dado cuts that are straight (dadoes for vertical partition in top and bottom piece, and the dado for the shelf on the vertical partition) I used my router. For the dado in the side piece that will hold the horizontal shelf, we have to tilt the blade to 15 degrees and make the cut using a dado stack.


Next we can glue the case together. I used some Bessey strap clamps and a Rockler strap clamp. In my opinion. These are the best types of clamps to use with a box like this where the corners aren't 90 degrees.

Then I inserted the vertical partition and the horizontal shelf.


Next I attached the face frame to cover the plywood lines. Here I pretty much just had to slowly work my way around the cabinet to get everything together. After that we could set the case aside to work on the base.


Then the base. Here is a drawing so that you can get an idea of each piece. It is all held together with half lap joinery

I started by cutting out the legs. They lean in at an angle of 15*, and taper from 1" wide at the bottom, to 3" wide at the top.

I marked a line and then cut them out on this tapering jig. For the cross braces (not pictured here) I cut them to length, leaving a 15* angled cut on the back.


Then I clamped the pieces together to see where they hit and marked everything out so that I could start cutting the joinery.


Cutting out the joinery was really just a matter of following the marks I had made and removing a bunch of material with the dado blade.

It's a good idea to over mark things out, because there are pieces that mirror each other, etc... and it's really easy to get turned around and cut something on the wrong face.


For finish on this piece I used Arm-R-Seal by General Finish.

The only other thing I did (not pictured) was attach a back piece. Enjoy the beauty shots, and be sure to let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading :-)