|Project by paxorion||posted 07-22-2015 03:32 AM||1093 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
When my wife and I bought our house, I had the DIY dream to take on finish carpentry and improve the built-in storage of our house. After taking on woodworking, I revised that goal to add “make my own cabinets” to that home owner goal.
Fast forward a few years and I have finally taken the first step towards that goal. There is a 50” alcove in our basement that is screaming wasted space. As a first attempt, at making cabinets, I build 2×24” x 30” cabinets to fill the space.
Construction: The cabinets are made of Columbia Forest Products Purebond 3/4” birch plywood from Home Depot. They were very easy to work with. Dados were cut throughout the side panels to fit the top/bottom and back panels in. Everything was held in place with glue and screws. The doors were made of poplar and 1/4” (that is ~5mm) plywood, using mortise and stub tenon construction. Not pictured are the 3/4” plywood shelves edged with poplar.
Finish: The finish was by far the most painful part. Everything was sprayed with my HF HVLP, but it took so many dang coats. I used Zinsser 123 primer (thinned with only water), followed by 2 coats of Valspar/Sherwin Williams paint from Lowes (had to get more towards the end of the project), and finally 2 coats of satin Rustoleum Ultimate Polyurethane (straight from the can). While the spraying made “short” work of the actual finishing labor with absurdly smooth surfaces, the need to spray on 5 coats became the longest step and most painful part of the process.
Installation: The cabinets were hung on the wall with a french cleat, followed by 3” cabinet installation screws through to the studs. The use of a french cleat made it a one-man installation job. I also prepped an MDF filler strip and installed some crown moulding to cap the installation.
There’s still a few finishing touches, like getting rubber bumpers for the doors and installing hardware (when my wife picks it). I don’t know who is more thrilled, my wife who immediately turned to an empty wall and ask when I was going to get that one done (it’s in the TO-DO queue ), or my kids who found great joy in playing in the cabinets. All in all a great learning experience, and one that surprisingly went without any major issues.
With this experience under my belt, I know what I would do (or try) differently next time. For one thing, I believe tinted lacquer may be the finish of choice.