Chibi's Storage Cabinet #1: Case and Drawer Building

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Blog entry by mitchota posted 07-12-2013 05:28 AM 1588 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Chibi's Storage Cabinet series Part 2: Almost Done »

I haven’t had a chance to do any woodworking whatsoever since I built my router table. Things got busy, the garage got messy, and I had flooring to put down in my room that I was renovating. Now that the room is just about finished, it’s time to start thinking about furnishing it. I gave up a small closet in my room that will be for my pet cat’s litter box and I wanted a storage solution to hide away the bag of litter and give me some storage room for other items like some toys and grooming supplies. This gave me the idea to build a cabinet.

Since my woodworking is not based in making fine furniture (yet), I’m sticking to a kitchen cabinet type of build. It’s a pretty plain old vanilla base cabinet built a little shallower than standard. It has a single large drawer for the grooming tools and other frequently used things, and the bottom will just be a storage space. I thought about drilling for shelf pins, but the litter bag is pretty big, so I didn’t see a need for a shelf.

I have to say that since this is the 3rd cabinet-type project I’m working on, things go way faster and I’m much more familiar with process and assembly techniques. The sides, bottom and support cleats went on with no drama, and everything came out nice and square. I didn’t even blow any brads through the side when I was toe-nailing!

There is, however, always one moment during every single project I do where I make some kind of boneheaded mistake. For me, it almost always comes when making drawers. This project turned out to be no different. I thought I was doing well—I was able to cut my rabbet and dado joints easily and everything looked to be trouble-free until I was doing my dry fit. That’s when I found out I cut my bottom panel 1/2 inch too small because I forgot to account for the groove the drawer fits in. After feeling like an idiot for about 10 minutes, I recalculated and cut out another piece of plywood for the drawer bottom. The drawer then went together with no problems.

I managed to get the drawer slides installed and the drawer was a tight fit—apparently measuring to get rid of the slop resulted in me making the drawer about 1/64 of an inch too big, but the slides still work fine and I think everything will be okay. The joints looked strong and so I slapped on the edgebanding on the drawer and left the cabinet to settle until tomorrow when I will make the false front for the drawer and the doors for the cabinet. I still have to put together the top, so I need to buy a little bit of hardwood to edge it out. I think that I can actually finish this thing in the next couple of days. Then I have to contemplate what kind of finish to use.

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