Grant Anderson drinks cabinet Chippendale furniture school

Friends and acquaintances

Grant Anderson originally from Zimbabwe is a professional course student who has pushed the boundaries of design complexity.

A previous piece was an oak coffee table, with nine strips of steam-bent oak per leg, set off with brass decoration at each end.

It had five oak planks as its top, with breadboarded end-pieces held in place with pegs.

It’s was a hugely ambitious piece, and many students would have been content to make legs that were easier to construct.

However, the finished piece was a symphony of perfect steam-bending. It also had a very high level of design and construction difficulty.

Grant, now living in Kirkcaldy in Fife, has taken personal challenge to a new level.  He’s made a drinks cabinet that incorporates some 1.8 metres of tambour door.

A tambour door in furniture making is generally made from thin strips of wood attached to a flexible backing.

This allows the door to open and close by sliding along vertical or horizontal tracks.

Tambour doors are most commonly found on, for example, bread bins or writing desks.

The complexity involved in Grant’s drinks cabinet is that the external tambour doors also attach to an inner tambour mechanism.

This gives a real sense of motion as the tambour doors move in opposite directions.

But further difficulty is added to complexity with the creation of a secret compartment.

A cabinet of secrets

Grant has skilfully crafted burr elm cup holders into his design, but appearances can be deceptive.

Turn each of the burr elm holders and the secret compartment is revealed.

It means that an everyday blended whisky can be displayed and shared with mere acquaintances.

But, for good friends, a few twists of the cup holders reveal the hidden and expensive single malt whisky.

Attention to detail is everywhere, from the veneered oak to the heated-steel ring around the cabinet’s top.

This process involves the steel ring being heated, manoeuvred into place, then rapidly cooled.

This causes the steel to contact and form a tight seal.

Grant had long been a keen hobbyist, learning many basic skills from, for example, YouTube videos.

He caught the woodworking bug while renovating a flat while living in London, and is a self-confessed perfectionist.

We can only admire his perfectionist design and making skills, and the sheer elegance and beauty of his finished cabinet.

Picture: Grant with his cabinet, sitting on one of his Afro-Celtic chairs.  His oak chairs have a southern African design, but embellished with hand-carved Celtic knows down each side.

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