Downstairs Built-ins Extravaganza!

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Blog series by BethMartin updated 12-19-2009 02:51 AM 15 parts 24211 reads 156 comments total

Part 1: Time to get started

03-29-2009 04:39 AM by BethMartin | 11 comments »

So recently we had gutted our downstairs. Our home is a 70’s split-level and the walls were previously covered in painted-over wood paneling. We took off all the walls, ran 5 new circuits, put in a ton more lights, and redid the fireplace with gas inserts. Now the walls are back up and painted, and it’s time to build all the built-ins that I have planned. I’m putting shelving/drawer units on either side of the fireplace, then making a double desk for our computers, a vani...

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Part 2: Time to mooch the table saw.

03-30-2009 12:55 AM by BethMartin | 8 comments »

So there was still some debate about which wood I was going to make stuff in. Therefore I didn’t pick up as much wood today as I thought I wood. I mean would. I can’t believe I just typed that. Anyhoo, there were several people who commented in my wood thread about how cherry doesn’t really get its true color until it’s been exposed to sunlight, and I may find that it gets TOO dark eventually. So back to square one, I went the lumber store so I could make a decision...

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Part 3: I Haz Saw Now. Plz Check Work.

04-03-2009 08:10 PM by BethMartin | 15 comments »

Before I waste a whole bunch of wood. :) Here is my sketch from before to give you an idea of what it will look like: Now I’m trying to figure out how to construct the plywood case. I drew out these sketches. This will be in a corner, and I have some play on the wall side so that I can fit it to the wall when I make the face frame. The tricky part of this is that it is 4 feet wide, and will be supporting a big shelving unit on top. So it has to be strong. I’m thinking tha...

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Part 4: The saw and I get chummy

04-06-2009 02:00 AM by BethMartin | 14 comments »

So I’ve been doing my research on table saws for the past couple of days. I have a lot of tools, but I have never used a table saw – just jigsaws, circular saws, miter saws. I don’t think I’ve even really seen one used before. My dad used a radial arm saw, and that was a long time ago anyway. The only thing I really knew about table saws was that ripping boards was very precarious. First step was to download the table saw’s owner’s manual since my friend...

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Part 5: I got a little more done today than I thought I would!

04-12-2009 05:15 AM by BethMartin | 8 comments »

I wasn’t sure that I would have any free time today to do any work on my project. And yesterday was my 40th birthday, so I expected to be tired and hungover. ;P But I wasn’t too bad off. I was waiting for a dado insert for the table saw, and I got that the other day. So really I had no more excuse not to start on this thing, other than nerves. All my plywood was already cut into 2’x8’ pieces, but I still had to rough cut that into smaller pieces with the circular...

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Part 6: Inside of drawer case is done.

04-23-2009 07:20 PM by BethMartin | 6 comments »

I put my drawer case together and have the slides in there. There are a couple of spots where the measurements were wonky for some reason, but I got it all squared up where it needs to be squared up. I think I may have cut my dadoes a wee bit too tight, because I had to wrestle with this thing quite a lot. And it is big, so there was some sweating and swearing. I think if I had more experience with this sort of thing, I could’ve planned my assembly attack better, and maybe saved som...

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Part 7: Making up for lost time.

05-03-2009 03:11 AM by BethMartin | 10 comments »

So I’m finally over my flu. I’ve since put almost 3 days into my project since my last update and I’ve gotten a lot done! I made the face frame pieces for the drawer cabinet. I’m working with maple now and it took me a moment to figure out why my saw suddenly didn’t seem to cut so fast anymore – this stuff is hard! I guess that’s why it’s called “hardwood”, eh? Making the face frame pieces was time consuming because I was worki...

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Part 8: Time to stock up on sandpaper!

05-04-2009 04:26 AM by BethMartin | 8 comments »

Okay, I am done cutting wood for a while. I’ve had about enough of that! Time to start sanding and staining so all these pieces of cabinets are out of the way and I have room to work on more parts. There is wood everywhere! Here is what I finished up today… This is the casing for the upper shelves that sit atop the drawers. It is ginormous! So I’ll be staining it before I glue it all together. This is the back of it facing up. The hardest part was fine-tuning the joint...

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Part 9: Figuring out staining

05-16-2009 10:19 PM by BethMartin | 18 comments »

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been playing with staining and finally have something to show for it. I spent about a week experimenting – and I think I ended up with more test boards that actual boards that needed stain – lol! After all my tests, I found this woodwhisperer’s video: Which was EXACTLY what I needed to see. I think I could’ve cut out a lot of testing if I’d seen...

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Part 10: I need help figuring out what to do with these windows

05-22-2009 06:49 PM by BethMartin | 18 comments »

I have this row of 4 windows that I need to trim out. I want to keep it simple and rustic like the trim on this doorway (this is to my master bath): So I drew this out: But it’s really too big of a span and I need to break it up somehow. Thoughts?

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Part 11: Just a little quick update with no pics

05-26-2009 04:29 AM by BethMartin | 3 comments »

Still chugging along. I bought a bunch of wood for my windows. Ho-lee crap. So much wood. I didn’t realize how deep my windows were. I thought I could case out the insides with 1×8”s, but that’s just a shade too narrow. So a ton of 1×10” boards. There’s no way I could afford to do it in the maple I’ve been using for the cabinets. And so I’m doing it in fir. The stained color should be about the same, and I’m going for the rustic look a...

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Part 12: Where I'm at!

06-08-2009 07:38 AM by BethMartin | 14 comments »

Got some stuff done today, so now I need to get some pics up! This is the back of the top part of my shelving unit, before I put the back on. And this is with the back on. I painted it first, then attached it. It’s just cheapy pine tongue and groove. It’s really hard to photograph the color but I think this pic is close. I’ve left the wall side stile off until I can fit it once it’s up there. I finally relented and bought a pocket screw jig and will attach it wit...

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Part 13: Next unit!

07-08-2009 07:44 PM by BethMartin | 9 comments »

I started working on my second shelving unit, though I’m not quite done with the first. I figure I’ll make all my drawer fronts and doors at the same time. Things have slowed down a bit over here with birthdays and holidays and a visit from my BIL. Hopefully I’ll get back in gear soon. This is the sketch for the 2nd shelving unit on the other side of the fireplace from the first. This one is all one piece, and not as deep as the first one I made. It also has to sit undern...

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Part 14: Things so far and sketching out mantel and my new macaw

08-01-2009 09:40 PM by BethMartin | 5 comments »

I need to get motivated to get going again. Still have a lot to do! Here is where I’m at so far, you can see where I’ve been going with all this. So you can see that the big units are in. I still need to put on all the molding, side panels, doors and drawer fronts. And a few more adjustable shelves still need to be cut too. A LOT of small things. But at least we can kind of use them to hold stuff for the time being. What we did during this remodel was put in a new gas insert...

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Part 15: Phase I complete-ish

12-19-2009 02:51 AM by BethMartin | 9 comments »

I know it’s been a while, but I am done with my woodworking for the winter, because I finished! All I need to do now is make some tile for the fireplace surround/hearth. (The baseboard molding of the cabinets and mantel is not actually attached yet, I just propped them up for the pic.) The picture is not that great – the finish looks a lot better in person – the mantel pics below show the color better. The mantel was the last part that I needed to do before I could mo...

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