Laundry Wall cabinets #1: The planning and design

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Blog entry by HamS posted 11-21-2011 01:06 PM 2086 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Laundry Wall cabinets series Part 2: Waiting and planning or "I hate Drywall" »

The area where the washing machine and dryer need serious attention and I have actually gotten this underway. When the Geothermal heating unit gave up the ghost three years ago and was replaced, the plumbing in the utility and mechanicals of the house where changed all around. The professional plumber who did the job thought it would be efficient to put the drain for the washer and the drain from the geo units in the same 1 1/2 ” drain pipe. However, he failed to calculate the drainage capacity of the geothermal unit and the washer and if you washed a load of clothes when the geo unit was running then water went up the vent pipe and came down the roof and other places. Unfortunately, there was a drain in the attic for the air handler for the heating/cooling system and water also came out that and of course ran down the wall all in the laundry alcove, and the pantry etc etc. I was surprised how long a light bulb burned with the glass globe half full of paper before it burned out. How the water got in the glass is still a mystery.

I know this is a venue for wood working not the travail of fixing walls and plumbing, but now I have reached the point of actually doing the wood work. There are some interesting challenges to having efficient storage so I decided to build the cabinets rather than buy them. The real reason is I had to spend money on something I can build myself, and it is always useful to have some goodwill in the wife bank. Building her something and doing it how she wants it done tend to make fairly large deposits to that account. (Getting it done make more deposits)

Her requirements:

NO MDF or OSB or particle board. Either lumber or plywood.
relatively light weight so on person can install.
painted wight
slab doors
smooth undersides

While I would have preferred to use maple or oak for this and left the finish clear or at least showing the grain, she is my customer and it is almost always a good thing to keep your customer happy, especially when she is your wife. The area to mount these in is 84” wide by 78” high. The standard height above the floor would put the upper cabinet 58” above the floor, but that is for a kitchen not a laundry area and I have a little more room to work with. I think the cabinets will be 21” high which will be slightly lower than standard, but my construction style will lower the bottom shelve another inch or so. The key thing is the cabinets are going to be slightly deeper than standard to make it easier for a shorter person to reach something on the shelf.

If I was making them 12” deep, then I could cut four sides out of a 48×21 piece of pllywood. That would have meant only one sheet for the whole project, however when I mentioned this to her her response was, ONLY 12” DEEP? Being fairly adept at recognising that tone I said, of course, I CAN make it however deep you want dear and we settled on 16 ”. Neither of the walls it has to fit between are square to the back wall (and the back wall ain’t very straight) so I have to leave two inches on either side for a scribe board to fit it in.

The dimensions I finally settled on are two 32 inch cabinets and one 20 inch cabinet. I am planning to start a sketchup model of this so she has a chance to visualize . Will post the model when it is finished. I bought two sheets of 1/2” birch plywood and I have plenty of 4/4 soft maple in my lumber pile. I just realized that I will need to either sharpen the blade in my saw or get a ply wood blade. Since nothing is to good for her, I guess I will just have to peruse the product reviews and buy a new plywood blade. It would be a shame to not have the right blade and end up with spolinters in your lovely hands my dear. (Yes I can say that with a straight face, no problem).

More to come …

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

1 comment so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4036 days

#1 posted 11-24-2011 03:58 PM

Sounds like a fun project.

I can see where getting a new blade would be essential to being able to complete this project!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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