By Jason Hammond
The boxes go into place.
The walnut top goes on.
The boxes get a coat of paint and the top gets a layer of poly.
The shelves are installed.
The doors go on and the cabinet is complete.
…the door to our bedroom…
In our bedroom there is a small closet space that was designed to feature a nice built-in cabinet. This was something we had originally decided would not be a part of our initial design, build project, so in the interim period we would place our old dresser in the space. Unfortunately the dresser proved to be about 1/2″ to deep to fit into the space and allow the bedroom door (which is on a track) to slide shut. So for the past 10 months or so we have not been able to really use the space, and maybe more importantly, we have not been able to seal ourselves off for even a few minutes from the madness of two small children. This alone was enough to prompt me to finally take some action and build these cabinets.
I knew we had a few pieces of walnut plywood that we had saved from the design of our upstairs fire place, so with that in mind, along a quick dicussion on how me might best use the space, I came up with a design. We would divide the space up into three even cabinets. The two outside boxed would be open shelves while the inside box would be slightly recessed to account for doors that would be flush with the surface of the other cabinets. Although I am pretty comfortable working on most projects, the idea of building my own cabinets was a bit daunting. After some close study as to the method applied by our cabinetmaker (Eastvold Custom) I set to work building the frames.
I decided to use MDF to construct the boxes which turned out to be fairly easy to do. I then laid out a template and drilled holes in the boxes along the sides that would be used to hold pins for shelves. We slid the three boxes into place and they fit fairly well. I cut the walnut plywood down and we used it to create a nice countertop for the cabinets. Stacy painted the cabinets white and put a coat of poly on the plywood which really made the entire thing look good.
The one thing that remained to be done was to figure out the doors for the center cabinet. We had a couple extra pieces of walnut plywood around, and had decided that it was a nice connection to the rest of the piece to use those to create the doors. The challenge was that the pieces we had either were not big enough to cover the entire space, or the grains didn’t align so that we could do two doors from one sheet. Stacy came up with the idea that we do two doors. One with a horizontal grain on the top and one with a vertical grain on the bottom that was slightly larger. This solution for the doors turned out to be a nice one.
To finish off the pieces I decided to drill holes in each of the doors to serve as handles. The circles were dual purpose as they tied to the sub-theme of our homes design, while at the same time created an out-of-the-way handle that didn’t interfere with the sliding door like traditional hardware may have done.
After a couple of coats of poly on the doors I was feeling really good about the way the entire cabinet was looking. I was also pretty proud that we were able to do the entire thing for under a $100′s worth of new material and some leftover pieces of wood.