Closet system cheating

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Forum topic by Puff posted 01-24-2011 09:15 PM 14308 views 2 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2896 days

01-24-2011 09:15 PM

I started to post this over in tools & hardware, where I’d been asking what tools to buy and people had been (helpfully) saying “it depends on what you want to do”. But this is more of a design question, so:

One of the projects I want to do is a what I’ll call a complicated, place-for-everything reach-in closet, sorta like this:

(not that particular closet design, but so you get the idea).

My house has nearly zero closet space (a common issue with houses this old), and the wall between my bedroom and the next bedroom has a 6’ wide, 3’ thick chimney in the middle of it, leaving a 5’ wide, about 20” deep niche (I’ll probably need to move the door a bit to make it a bit deeper).

I’m thinking of cheating by buying a closet system or something like ikea wardrobe units, and just framing them in. However, most of these things seem to be made out of pretty low-grade stuff. I’d like to find a source for these things made out of real wood (as long as I don’t have to sell a kidney to pay for it…).

This is the sort of thing that got me interested in woodworking. I’ve seen stuff like this priced up to $1000 or more, and it’s made out of cheap pressboard.

-- "Always cut towards a major artery... that way you'll be careful."

3 replies so far

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3293 days

#1 posted 01-25-2011 04:13 AM

What tools to buy?

Well, I hate to say it but, it depends on what you want to do…..

I have built simular things like this with minmal tools. A skillsaw, brad nailer, screws and glue (that was years ago). More recently, since I have learned more about woodworking and the benefit of a smalrter design and better tools, I have built simular things that where much nicer but took more time and more tools.

So, you can build it with simple things or complex things.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

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2202 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 01-25-2011 04:34 AM

This is just my opinion, but I tend to think that projects that hide behind closet doors are best when either made cheap and/or just straight away purchased. I’d save the good wood for visible things.

Ikea or the big boxes are great for this stuff, and quite cheap as well. But if you want something handbuilt and custom, then buy yourself 3 or 4 sheets of MDF and cut away. Then, paint it. BION, you can still make some sharp stuff with it, and nothing says that if you’ve got some veneer or face frame lumber laying around that you can’t dress it up a little bit!

-- jay,

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394 posts in 3170 days

#3 posted 01-26-2011 01:31 AM


My first woodworking project was somthing very similar. Our master closet in our new house just had a few wire shelfs along with some holes in the wall.

First I removed all the old “cheap” shelving then repaired and painted the closet. After I built a huge closet system with two levels of clothes racks, built in shoe rack, and another sections of racks with adjustable shelving. All was made with pine, stained a dark walnut with shellace/poly finish. Even though it was my first real project and had plenty of mistakes, it turned out well and we still love it. PM me if you’re interested in some pictures or more information.


-- David

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