Beaver Hill Woodcrafters

January 29, 2016  •  2 Comments

Our builder, Matt Dolan, has a knack for finding the best people to contribute to his finished product- a home.  If there is anything that epitomizes finishing a home, it is the cabinets that will house the items a family will use everyday as well as heirlooms.  

We wanted something that had a rustic feel, was unique, well made, and made by a human.  We wanted something that looked sturdy that did not contain particle board or staples and would withstand generations of use.  Matt's source for cabinets is Beaver Hill Woodcrafters, owned and operated by Andrew Campbell.  In the planning stages of our home we stopped by Andrew's shop located just outside the town of Plain (near Leavenworth in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains).  Upon entering the shop, I saw not only power tools, but a lot of hand tools and lay out tools.  By hand tools, I mean wooden hand planes, metal hand planes from another time, chisels, dividers, winding sticks, shop made fixtures.  I also noted that these tools were not for special projects, but were used for the general production of cabinets.  How I knew this is that I saw one of Andrew's employees working on finishing up a cabinet and using a hand plane for final fitting. Andrew Campbell-4701Andrew Campbell-4701

In the months since that initial visit to Andrew's shop he worked with us on the planning and what type of wood and finishes we wanted for cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom and a (very low tech - TV only) entertainment center.  He had a lot of good ideas and was willing to incorporate ideas that I had.  There were a few innovations that Andrew worked into the mix, such as toe kick drawers, perfect for storing flat items like platters, sheet pans and cutting boards.  These were a great way to utilize otherwise wasted space.  

Cabinets-4774editedToe Kick drawer and open shelves for cast iron pans.I like the open shelving for cooking pans right across from the stove. No need to open a cupboard door. The shelves are clad with stainless steel to resist wear and staining from oil. I also had angle iron added to the edges for added protection.

We wanted alder with knots in the panels the rails and stiles of the cabinet doors were clear alder.  We also wanted the drawers to be made of solid alder.

Cabinets-4783editedCabinetsAlder with book matched knotty panels and clear stiles and rails. Cabinets-4765editedKnife drawerI did not want knives on the wall or in a block on the counter, but I also did not want them loose in a drawer. My solution was to use a magnetic strip to organize them in a drawer. This also shows the solid wood construction of the drawer.

The cabinets in the master bathroom and low tech media room featured a different finish.

Cabinets-4801editedLow tech media room. Here is a detail of the cabinet top, flattened by hand plane.

Cabinets-4807editedCabinet top.Flattened by hand plane. Vanity in the master bathroom.

Master Bath-4662editedVanity in the master bath.These cabinets are finished to show saw marks and highlight the "imperfections" of a natural product. Featuring the drawer pulls made by Blacksmith Dan Russell.

A couple of months after the installation of the cabinets I visited Andrew in his shop.  He showed me a custom nightstand he was making for some clients and we talked about woodworking as he was handcutting some dovetails. 

Andrew Campbell-4699Hand cut dovetails.Andrew hand cuts dovetails for his client's nightstand. Andrew got his start in woodworking in shop class at school.  He began his professional career working on boats in Anacortes, WA.  He started making cabinets when a friend recruited him to help in home building.  Andrew is an outdoorsman and has worked as a climbing and rafting guide.  He is an avid surfer, but now that he is living in Plain he travels to get his surfing fix.  He related a story of making furniture in exchange for accommodations in Costa Rica (I'm sure surfing was involved).  I'm also sure they got some great cabinets out of the arrangement.  Andrew is very much in tune with woodworking traditions, generous with his knowledge and a true craftsman.

Andrew Campbell-4725Andrew checks the alignment on the teeth of an Atkins dovetail saw.



Luella Campbell(non-registered)
Andrew Campbell is my eldest son, one of four. I am proud of him - his skill and craftsmanship are truly amazing. Most of all, I am proud of him because he is a family man and a man of integrity and godly character. What a great blog to show off his workmanship. Thank you.
Gorgeous and interesting!
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