|Project by Carbide||posted 06-17-2015 09:26 PM||1402 views||3 times favorited||12 comments|
One of the local Mennonites in my area that owns a furniture store referred a man to me to build a custom cabinet. The man told me that he had the top portion of an old Hoosier cabinet that he wanted me to salvage and build a new base cabinet for. I thought it was going to be a simple project until he brought me the top portion of the cabinet. He tried opening the flour bin and it started to crumble because of the extreme termite damage. He then just dropped his head and said “This is the only thing that I have left that was Grandma’s.” I then said “All hope is not lost Bob. I can salvage the pretty glass in the two doors and the flour sifter and build you a brand new cabinet. Then you will still have a part of your Grandma in the new cabinet.” He sat there for a couple minutes and then his eyes lit up and he started nodding his head. He then said “You’re the doctor. Go ahead and do it.”
It is easy to build a cabinet carcass, add a face frame, measure the opening size, and then build doors to match the opening size. Well the door glass and flour sifter were salvaged and there was no changing their size. So this whole process had to be done in reverse. The whole cabinet size was based on those three original pieces. The glass determined the door size and that size then determined the opening size which then determined the cabinet size. It took a lot of planning ahead to prevent mistakes.
Well he decided that solid red oak would be his preference of wood. Oak plywood was only used in the drawer boxes and cabinet backs. I spent hours gluing up panels for the carcass of the cabinets. I chose to use wormy oak and tight knots throughout the piece to give it the “old” look. He wanted me to use raised panel doors instead of the original flat panels. I decided to use European style hinges and 100 pound drawer slides. So the cabinet has the “old” look but has all of the amenities of new style cabinetry. He chose oil based golden oak and semi-gloss poly as a finish. I needed assistance to flip the pieces during the finishing process because the pieces were so heavy. I offered free set-up and delivery. Mainly because I didn’t want anything to happen to it on the ride to his house. Once the set-up was complete he was completely happy with the outcome. I had roughly $700 in materials and 96 hours of time that I recorded. I never charged a dime for my tool set-up or planning. The last picture shows the original cabinet and what I had to work with from the beginning. I had a rough time letting it go once it was all completed. It was a large part of my life for 4 months. Thanks for looking.
-- When it feels like a job, it isn't a hobby anymore.