Matt Kenney

Make a Tea Cabinet

October 5-10, 2020

         $1,150 + $150 materials

Skill level: intermediate

This tea cabinet is one of the highlights of Kenney’s 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks project. During this 6 day workshop, you’ll make your own. It’s a great exercise in traditional joinery, as you’ll learn to cut dovetails, dadoes, rabbets, grooves, and bridle joints to make the case, drawers, and door.
You’ll use both hand tools and power tools to cut them. There are also some non-traditional skills involved. There is the kumiko lattice work featured in the door, which is backed by a fabric-covered panel, and the thread-wrapped pulls. These design details are what make this tea cabinet stand apart, and you’ll learn how to make them. Finally, the drawer interiors are fitted
out to hold tea packets and loose tea. Kenney will show you how to make the thin, delicate liners that keep your tea (or whatever you choose to keep in the drawers) orderly.

All materials will be provided. They will be milled prior to class, so that you can get right to work when class begins.

Backsaw or dozuki
Coping saw
Chisels (1/8 or 3/16, 1/2, 3/4 or 1)
Smoothing plane
Block plane
Sliding bevel gauge
Marking gauge
Combination square
6 in., 12 in. rules
Tape measure
Sharpening stones and honing guide to keep your tools sharp

(The Maine Coast Traditional Arts Workshop has extras of many of these tools)


Matt Kenney has made things from wood his entire life. He made his first piece of furniture—a storage box for gardening supplies—more than15 years ago, in the attic above the duplex where he lived. It wasn't much to look at, but making that box awoke a passion for making furniture, a passion that has driven him ever since. He's made a lot of furniture since then, constantly striving to improve his craftsmanship and design. The result of his efforts is furniture that is modern but grounded in the best of classic design, able to sit harmoniously alongside a wide range of furniture styles, and built to survive generations of daily use.

Make this cherry, basswood, and  cocobolo cabinet!

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