The Built-in aka Dad's Wallunit

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Project by mot posted 05-13-2007 06:35 AM 2639 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Built-in aka Dad's Wallunit
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This project turned out to be a real albatross around my neck. I loved doing it, and I having it commissioned by my mother, for my father. However, I really bit off more than I could chew. This type of project is time consuming for me. It involved alot of sheet goods and my shop is small. I had to setup a way of knocking down the sheet goods in the garage, carrying them downstairs, cutting them, taking them back up stairs for finishing, then taking the back downstairs for assembly…then upstairs again to get them in the truck to take to my parents house.

This was, all the while, dealing with my profession, my wife’s profession, looking after our daughter and trying to be a husband to my pregnant wife.

I had set out to do this job in 30 days. It involved getting the office ceiling painted, getting the hardwood flooring down, building the cases, staining the thing to match the mahogany panelling, and getting it installed. Good thought. I guess.

Well, I didn’t want to paint the ceiling. The painter never showed up. I got to paint the ceiling. I hired out the hardwood floor. Mom and Dad picked the flooring. I told the hardwood guy. He said no problemo. Three weeks later, I asked him what his time frame was. You see, I had planned to get the flooring down right after I painted. This was going to be finished by day 5. Yeah right. At day 24, the flooring guys says, “So, what flooring did your dad pick out?” I could have killed him.

Anyway, the build went on. I learned that my shop is WAY too small to build so many cabinets. I learned about gel stains and got an HVLP sprayer to get the poly on to try and salvage some time. I got the base cabinets, countertop and doors installed, as well as the flooring and the ceiling done in the 30 day window. Then life got in the way.

To make a long and painful story short, this job got finished about a year later. I got the bookcases in, the mouldings and face frames installed. It got spun into closet doors and a new entry door, a new electrical circuit, a rearranging of his 1000 pound desk and when all was said and done, this is what the end result was. Here is a link to the picture on picasaweb. I didn’t take any construction shots because I was so frantic and harried that I really didn’t think about it, or if I did, I didn’t want to remember the process, only the outcome.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

20 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4121 days

#1 posted 05-13-2007 06:38 AM

Well after all of that it turned out great.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4335 days

#2 posted 05-13-2007 06:40 AM

Exellent work!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#3 posted 05-13-2007 06:42 AM


Excellent work.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4184 days

#4 posted 05-13-2007 01:06 PM

phew… I’m glad this is over as well—sounds like a lot of headaches!

But, as you say—the end result?!!!!! Well worth it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View VTWoody's profile


95 posts in 4081 days

#5 posted 05-13-2007 02:57 PM


Those are gorgeous. I eventually want to do something similar in my own office/computer room.

View Sawhorse's profile


281 posts in 4464 days

#6 posted 05-13-2007 03:02 PM

Even with all the frustration, and it still turns out looking Great!!! Woodworking Personified, eh?

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View unisaw's profile


92 posts in 4157 days

#7 posted 05-13-2007 03:53 PM

Nice job. I love to here that a 30 day project took a year – happens to me ALL the time. I feel validated.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4424 days

#8 posted 05-13-2007 04:00 PM

Great job Mot. I hope that your parents were understanding about the delays.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4060 days

#9 posted 05-13-2007 04:52 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. My parents were very understanding of the delays. In fact, they later told me that they enjoyed a few good laughs about my 30 day time frame. My father wondered if I payed attention to the fact that I work, my wife works, my daughter was 5 and my wife was about to go on maternity leave…it’s pretty funny in retrospect. However, the thing I’ve still tried to remember is, I haven’t the room in my shop for this sort of size.

Have a great weekend folks!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#10 posted 05-14-2007 06:12 PM

Worth the effort!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4123 days

#11 posted 05-14-2007 07:11 PM

What a project. I know about committing to a “project” for other family members. I am in the midst of such a one. It brings its own special challenges… :-)

-- John

View cconway's profile


37 posts in 4073 days

#12 posted 05-19-2007 04:43 AM

Your time with this really paid off! I am sure your father loved it.

-- Charlie, Connecticut

View Scoop's profile


13 posts in 4053 days

#13 posted 05-23-2007 06:30 AM

Wow. I’ve got a room that is destined to be a study someday. It will have a window seat 3 walls of bookcases, and one wall of cabinets with bookcases above.

Can I send you a gift card to your favorite woodworking store and pick your brain on the phone for half an hour?

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4060 days

#14 posted 05-23-2007 06:49 PM

You can pick my brain all you want without sending me the gift card. Go grab an application called Teamspeak ( It’s a voice over IP application. Then we can chat without you speding the long distance charges as well. I keep a server open for some friends that I used to online game with, so it’s always on. Drop me a private message and we can hookup if you like!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View RonR's profile


71 posts in 4032 days

#15 posted 06-06-2007 04:04 AM

That is a really nice project! Excellent work. Must have been very difficult with all the sheet goods handling but you pulled it off. I’m sure your father must have loved it.

-- RonR, Massachusetts

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