Motivated by my shop set up for gluing cabinet doors, I searched my dusty shelves for some raised panels I had cut many years ago but never assembled. The panels were cut from recycled wood, reclaimed from a Frank Lloyd Wright home I worked on years before.

With the doors assembled they needed a place to hang and I found just the piece to build in my copy of Antique Country Furniture of North America and Details of Its Construction, The Pennsylvania German Hanging Cupboard.

In addition to sharing some of my work on and hosting an archive of tools on, last year I created a website dedicated to projects from reclaimed and recycled materials,

I start a recycled wood project with rough boards that I’ve stacked on shelves over the decades. In the photograph is 5/4 mahogany from a Frank Lloyd Wright original home. I begin by extracting nails and other embedded metal, then thickness plane the old finish off. These mahogany pieces are 50 years old and have several layers of varying finish. Some chestnut I recycled from a 1600’s home was covered in urea-formaldehyde foam insulation.

With my parts list roughed out from the reclaimed wood, I begin to build a place to hang these raised-panel doors I started 10 years ago. There is no more appealing a project than one involving such beautiful and easy to work materials as this recycled FLW mahogany. Reclaimed wood has a bounty of marks telling it’s age and imparting it’s history.

The Pennsylvania German Hanging Cupboard required doors almost the exact dimension as the ones I built and styled the same; beveled panels with flat rails and stiles, my personal favorite. I finished the mahogany with Amber Shellac. Still missing replica hinges, turned knobs and the latches on order, I hung the cabinet in my kitchen.

From the same Reclaimed and Recycled wood, I cut a matching shelf with some custom corbels of similar design. The glowing brilliance of this recycled-mahogany cupboard accents a board that my great-grandmother painted with sunflowers over 100 years ago.

Giving new purpose to such significant reclaimed wood in creating this replica of early American antique has been deeply satisfying. The piece is exquisite albeit simple and un-Wright.

Check out a few other recycled wood projects at

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