|Project by CyBorge||posted 09-16-2009 05:40 AM||2304 views||1 time favorited||18 comments|
This project was a first for me in more ways than I can think of. Virtually every aspect of the project was something I have never done before. Needless to say, with no mentor other than the internet, it was definitely a challenge!
The bulk of the cabinet is 3/4” plywood. The base is glued into dadoes cut in the back and sides, which are connected by rabbets. The full-extension slides are offset from the inner walls by double-thick layers of 1/2” plywood. The hinges are a hidden European style, and unfortunately they didn’t leave enough clearance for the shelves to slide out once the doors were on, so I had to make some hasty “design changes” on the fly. Hopefully the hinges hold up over time, as the doors are fairly sizeable pieces of MDF…
One of the doors is a little crooked because it turned out that one of the cabinet side panels was bowed out, but only on the top front corner. Not a fun thing to work around. It didn’t help that I put one of the hinges a little closer to the edge of the door than the other, either. I ended up trimming one edge intentionally crooked and fiddling with the hinge adjustment a little. It’s good enough for what it’s for, but it certainly wouldn’t pass for decent interior cabinetry! Oh, and one of the door handles is WAY off. That’s what I get for ignoring the voice inside that was screaming at me, “Stop! It’s going to be crooked!” And rushing. Rushing is bad. Unless you’re a running back. Then it’s expected.
The work surface is a double layer of 3/4” MDF. I still intend to trim the edges down a little, but I haven’t yet settled on exactly how much overhang to leave. Right now there is an extra four inches on three sides, and eight on the left in case I decide to buy a vice. The face frame, which I had originally intended to paint, is birch. I found out the hard way that 18 gauge brad nails secured into plywood edges will not hold a face frame without help if there are doors attached to said frame!!! Another small “design change”. :-) Let’s not get into the other “design change”, which proved to me that glue joints are, in fact, stronger than the wood itself. Okay, plywood in this case, but you get the picture. It wasn’t pretty, but at least I didn’t have to scrap everything and start over.
The entire cabinet rolls around on non-locking casters. If I need more stability I will jam some rubber doorstops under the edges. If that doesn’t work I will prop it up on 2×4’s. If that doesn’t work I will bury it in sand. Down the road I hope to implement several enhancements inspired by Cory, but that’s a project for another day.
All in all this was a fantastic learning experience. I think I paid through the nose for some things, especially the sheet goods ($55 for a sheet of MDF; $45 for 3/4 inch “shop” plywood, whatever that means), but the hardware (swivel casters, rails, hinges, and handles) only came out to around $50. All told it end up being around $200. I suspect it could be done a lot cheaper with different wood suppliers.
-- "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?"