Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Krenov-style cabinet stability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,442

    Krenov-style cabinet stability

    I'm thinking about making one of these cabinets, a storage/display cabinet on top of table legs. I'm wondering how they stay stable from tipping considering all the weight is up high. I can see that you could tie it to a wall to be safe, but that doesn't seem right. Or is this not a problem?

    Thanks for input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,179
    Tieing it to a wall sounds like a very good idea to me. (But I do live in earthquake country, so your view could be different. )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Posts
    2,051
    If you splay the legs out from the front and side you should not have any stability concerns. A very subtle amount will do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,442
    Thanks Jamie & Mike. We've had a couple of tremors here in my lifetime, but more worried about the grandkids knocking into it. I understand why splaying legs would help, but curious as why the general design of this style cabinet doesn't address this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,179
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Thanks Jamie & Mike. We've had a couple of tremors here in my lifetime, but more worried about the grandkids knocking into it. I understand why splaying legs would help, but curious as why the general design of this style cabinet doesn't address this.
    I'd say that Krenov was strongly interested in beauty in these cabinets, and not so strongly concerned about functionality. I don't mean that as a criticism. It is just how he was balancing different aspects of his creations. I'd also say that you can create your own design following his style, but tweaking it to suit your needs. Protecting grandkids seems like a big deal to me, even if the chance is pretty small that a kid could knock the cabinet over.

    Building in some invisible way to tie the cabinet to the wall should be pretty easy. For instance, fasten to the wall something kinda like a hook. There would be a matching slot in the back of the cabinet. You "install" the cabinet by lifting it up, and dropping it down on the hook. The hook would be a loose fit. The cabinet would still stand on the floor, just like Krenov's cabinets. But the hook would prevent the cabinet from falling over.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,442
    "I'd say that Krenov was strongly interested in beauty in these cabinets, and not so strongly concerned about functionality." Jamie, thanks for making that observation. I'd rather know that than think I was missing something.

  7. #7
    Have you ever seen one in person? The true Krenov style cabinet on stand is surprisingly diminutive. It's not as much weight up high as you might think. I say this because it was a surprise to me when I finally saw one in person.
    And yes, in terms of functionality, we're talking storage for a few teacups or other artifacts but not much else. They really are more of an object of art than function, but beautiful when well executed.

    Like someone else pointed out, the base is usually sized or splayed out in some graceful way to add stability. But even then, I would worry about it in the presence of rambunctious kids.
    Do you have access to back issues of Fine Woodworking? A Krenov student-turned-instructor named Jim Budlong did a thorough article on the Krenov cabinet covering all the subtelties one would need to know. Maybe you could build to these guidelines and assess the stability, while preserving the option of tying to the wall as Plan B.

    I tied a bookcase in my younger child's room to the wall. I installed small eye screws in the wall, and at the back of the bookcase, near the edge, and then used zip ties pulled tight, thinking I would just cut the zip ties loose if I ever need to move the bookcase. You'd have to inspect very closely to even see it. The hook and mating slot Jamie describes sounds good too, maybe more professional. I suppose something on order of a french cleat or z-clip could work also. Again, these are contingencies that well may not be necessary.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 05-28-2020 at 11:31 PM.

  8. #8
    Sorry for jumping in so late. I just noticed this thread and it struck me as an issue I deal with quite often. I like the Krenov style and have built a few Krenov derivatives in that style but with my own details and unique woods. The stability issue has definitely been at the forefront in a few of these builds. In some instances, the depth of the case was sufficient to keep the cabinet assembly from toppling over forwards..I would say a minumum of 12 inches in depth to avoid this. In other builds, the cabinets were not as deep. I am not a fan of the curved, splayed legs so had to improvise. I did notice that Krenov added "Bird's Feet" to a few of his designs. At first I thought of it as strictly a design element but later realized it was to increase the depth of the stand since the cabinet was not at 8-10 inches. The Bird's Feet could increase the depth of the cabinet assembly to 12 inches . and successfully address the stability.

    So I began to redesign a few of my stands in later builds to account for stability.. and the Bird's Feet was the solution for me. It is aesthetically not bad as it is completely at the bottom of a stand and continues to allow the legs of the stand to be vertical. Again, this is purely a design point of view and subjective, but the Bird's Feet appealed to me for this reason.

    For a better explanation of what I am referring to, my cabinets are at pirollodesign.com and build images at Instagram: woodskillsmag

    StandingTall02-ePub.jpg
    Last edited by Norman Pirollo; 05-29-2020 at 8:51 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,442
    Thanks Norman - not too late for me. I understand the idea of extending the feet to increase the effective depth. It still puzzles me that this consideration was not a fundamental part of the original designs, since you wouldn't design a table, for example, that had an inherent stability problem. I'm learning from this project, that practical considerations, like vacuuming around the feet and type of floor surface, have an impact on design as well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •