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Ideas for sideboard based on unfinished cabinets?

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 330 days ago 1611 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


330 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question oak

I’m looking for designs for a dining room sideboard that uses two of these unfinished oak cabinets as a base:

http://www.menards.com/main/unfinished-cabinets/quality-one-54-x-24-unfinished-oak-laundry-wall-cabinet/p-1319193-c-3632.htm

We chose 24” tall wall cabinets because this sideboard needs to fit in our dining room under a large center-room window (about 30” from the floor), but it also needs to be elevated about 5” off the ground to accomodate a HVAC vent. The basic design is: put the two cabinets side-by-side under the window, so they almost span the 10’ room, and build additional cabinets going up on either side of the window (which will be used to hold stemware).

Here’s an incredibly rough and not-to-scale image of the general layout, just to help put a picture in mind (the grey box under the cabinets is the vent):

Does anyone have ideas/images for a design that elevates and builds on these base cabinets, and would be attractive and functional but not overly ambitious? I’m not opposed to using pre-made parts/millwork (columns, moulding, etc.) from a big-box store to cobble together something that looks nice.

I know this is a pretty open-ended question; I’m just looking for ideas as a starting point. Thanks much.

Edit: I have plenty of oak plywood and hardwood, including some 4’ lengths of 8/4 that probably could be used to make something cool.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.


13 replies so far

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LakeLover

275 posts in 564 days


#1 posted 330 days ago

What is the rest of the room decor.

Compare or contrast look?

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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


#2 posted 330 days ago

The dining room is dominated by a darkish red-brown/rosewood dining room table set that looks a little like this: http://www.slumberland.com/furniture/products/kona-collection---11-pc-dining-set__pint140. The decor is a beer/scotch theme, with a giant vintage brewery painting from the 20s or 30s on one wall and pub pictures on the opposing wall.

I don’t mind a contrasting sideboard as long as the styles work well together, and I plan on finishing it lighter than the table set because the room is somewhat small and I think too much large dark furniture would make it claustrophobic.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View JoeRPhilly's profile

JoeRPhilly

92 posts in 776 days


#3 posted 330 days ago

My first build was something very similar… I bought 3 unfinished wall cabinets, sandwiched some firring strips between them and screwed them together. Then some strips of hardwood nailed to the face frame to cover the gaps. Added some plywood sides and top, and 4 bun feet from big box store. Then some decorative molding around the plywood top. Painted the whole thing an off white. It turned out really well, and was very easy to do. Not the cheapest, but easy. I will try to post some pictures later, it’s not as big as you have in mind but may give you an idea

View crank49's profile

crank49

3366 posts in 1595 days


#4 posted 330 days ago

One of the wood working magazines, maybe it was “Wood”, had a project to do just what you are talking about in a very recent issue.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


#5 posted 330 days ago

If anyone happens to have a cite to that article I’d love to check it out.

Presently, I’m leaning towards using my thicker oak pieces to make tapered legs, and using plywood to cover the top. I can put a hardwood frame around it, bull nosed or ogeed with cove moulding underneath. To build upward on the sides, I’ll just make normal plywood carcases with face frames and rail/stile doors, rabbeted to allow acrylic or glass panels. And maybe I’ll put some crown moulding around the tops of the “towers.” I’ll keep looking at images to see what mods I could make to gussy it up, and if anyone has suggestions I’m all ears. Thanks!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View LakeLover's profile

LakeLover

275 posts in 564 days


#6 posted 329 days ago

Dan Now I had a few hours to think.

Can you use 3 smaller units and pull the middle one forward a couple inches. Like a Hunter Table.

Keep the uppers in line with the lowers, maybe thinner/narrower.

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crank49

3366 posts in 1595 days


#7 posted 329 days ago

I found the article. It was in “This Old House” magazine. Here is a link to an online overview.
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/step/0,,20310641,00.html

You can also Google “sideboard from stock cabinets” and get a pile of related articles.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


#8 posted 328 days ago

Thanks! I did run that Google search, but 90% of the related articles were actually the same article from TOH.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View JoeRPhilly's profile

JoeRPhilly

92 posts in 776 days


#9 posted 328 days ago

That was the one I built, from the TOH plan

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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


#10 posted 324 days ago

Well, I ended up just winging it but I think it turned out nice. Used my thick oak pieces to make legs that also provide some decorative framing, built a 1.5” thick top from oak plywood with hardwood mitered frame, and I’m adding cove trim under the top. Then, I’ll, mate the two cabinets together and use shims/leg levelers to get the tabletops flush, and after I install them I’ll build the side cabinets on top.

Here’s what the two cabinets look like so far:

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1712 posts in 1118 days


#11 posted 324 days ago

That Wood article was in the Dec/Jan 2011 issue (#209). Like most things from Wood, you can buy it separately. I’m pretty sure this is the one Crank was referenceing.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


#12 posted 324 days ago

That’s much more along the lines of what I’m trying to do, and just a brief look gave me some additional ideas. I’m going to add top/bottom rails on the sides to create the appearance of raised panel sides, and once I’ve got the pieces mated and the heights all figured out maybe I’ll add some sort of scrolled/decorative kickboard along the bottom.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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ADHDan

421 posts in 733 days


#13 posted 317 days ago

Just wanted to update with a few pics and tender one last question. I added rails and darkened the stain, so the current project looks like this:

I’m going to add one more coat of a darker stain, then I just need to figure out how to join the two cabinets together so the tabletops are level and flush, and add center legs. I’m thinking of laying the two cabinets face down and positioning them using biscuits to align the table joint, then securing with a hardwood strip under the joint and a big plywood backboard. Then, while they are still on their sides, I’ll add legs in the center to support each cabinet and add leg levelers for fine-tuning.

Does anyone have other ideas for the sturdiest way to joint two symmetrical 54” long cabinets flush at the tabletop, to make one really long sideboard?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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