Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Built ins and then some!

I've been working on some things for Camper daughter's neighbor, T.  You might remember that I made a built in sewing table for her about a year and a half ago.
Then I built a table with drop-down sides for her that she uses as an end table when not being used as a cutting table for her quilting fabrics.  She recently told me she was ready for me to build some cabinets for her office niche in her bedroom.  And, she also wanted a built in cabinet in the sewing room, something to hold the piles and piles of fabrics that she has!  And, she told me she might go get some night stands to replace the round tables she was currently using, something that would actually hold some of the stuff that was taking up the entire table top and the floor around it.

So, how best to do this and not disrupt her sleeping and sewing patterns??  I knew we'd need to move her things from current inadequate storage into permanent storage in an organized way, I just wasn't sure of the best way!  Finally, I decided I'd build in the storage in the sewing room.  I thought that might give her some additional space for things that are now in her bedroom - if we could clear some space in the bedroom it would sure be easier for everyone while things are being built.

One major hurdle would be to get the big piece upstairs and around the corners of the landings. Building it in two pieces is how I handled that challenge.  Then, because they were being built in, I didn't put a back on them - which made them light enough that I could wrangle them off the truck and up the stairs.  Don would never have built anything without backs!  But, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, right???

 Then, another worry was that the drawers, each of them 30" wide and 14 inches deep, had to be sturdily built and be installed with slides that would hold the weight of all that fabric.  So, looky here - I pulled out my dado blades and cut dadoes for 1/2 drawer bottoms.  Then, I installed the heavy-duty, full extension European drawer slides.  I'm kind of wondering if I should have installed them 1/2 way up the drawer body rather than at the bottom, but they work this way so I guess it will have to be okay!

Drawers installed - big, big, big!


I've installed the base cabinets and the top, but still have to build a piece that will sit on the top and reach to the ceiling.  I'm envisioning it with a glass insert in the door so that T can store her prettiest fabrics in that upper.  The wall slants on that wall so I will only be 22" wide, but then she'll have a large cabinet top available for a TV or other decorative items.  
I used pine plywood for the bases, which isn't always pretty or easy to stain.  So, I painted the cabinet base white and stained the cabinet top to match her sewing tables (Early American).  I think it looks pretty.  As soon as I've built and installed the upper cabinet I'll post pictures of the final project.  

My plan was to start on her office modules next, but I had a bunch of scrap plywood left from her first job - not quite enough for the office stuff, but enough for a couple of night stands.  Along with some white-powder coated drawer slides and a bit more pine boards that I had to purchase, I was able to make these two nightstands for her.  
These were spray painted Heirloom white and the tops were stained with provincial stain.
I delivered the nightstands and then I stalled!

It's been several weeks since the nightstands were done, and I've finally completed all the other pieces.

The cabinet that will sit on the sewing room cabinet base.  I've put a primer coat of white paint on this baby, but the finish coats will be done by T.  

Then, I lost my notebook with all the measurements for everything else. 
 It was just an old notebook, but I'd found it after Don died and it had a few pages of notes and things that he'd written. I hated that I'd lost that.  And, I didn't have measurements!  I had some basic information, and I could start.  Then, I contacted T and had her take a few measurements for me, too.  
Hopefully, when I go to install them, everything will fit.
Keep your fingers crossed!

So, on to the built in desk unit for the office niche in the master bedroom.  This will be made up of several parts that will have to be carried upstairs and around a small landing.  I had to figure out how to build everything so that could happen.
These two bases were first, one with two file drawers, the other with 
one file drawer and two smaller drawers.  
I used the heavy duty drawer slides on the file drawers and the powder coated basic slides on the other two.  These will be joined together once I get them in the room.

Here, those two cabinets are connected.  On the left, is a base that will have a small drawer and a door.  You can see the top pieces and the support pieces to hold everything up and together.

Since these pieces are going into the bedroom, they are finished to match the nightstands.  Provincial stain on the top, Heirloom white paint on the bases.  Handles have been selected by T, and will be used on the nightstands, too.

 I'm hoping to get these installed soon and I'll have pictures of the finished project to post!

When you think I'm just being lazy, there's a pretty good chance that's exactly what's happening - but, not this time!  I've been busy, busy, busy - just slow!

I love sum, sum, summertime!


Kids are out of school and able to visit with Grandma, the days are longer and I can walk after work (I can, but do I???), and BBQing is the cooking method of choice.  I love summer and I've been enjoying these early days of the season.  I haven't been working in the garage as often as I'd like, but I have been busy.  In addition to a big project for Camper Daughter's neighbor, the Docs had a small job for me and I enjoyed that it was a cute thing and fairly quick to build.

The Docs enjoy being outside during the summer, too.  They have a beautiful back yard and patio.  They've furnished it with a wonderful all-weather sofa and chairs that sit right before their amazing fireplace.  They have an outdoor dining table to match.  Legal doc is a movie guy and he's built an outdoor movie screen - huge, huge, huge.  He's hooked it up to a speaker system and they gave it a test run last weekend.  Strangely, I haven't heard how that turned out.  Maybe his friends weren't as in love with the Lego movie as he is!

So, with all that going on in his yard, he thought he needed a custom wooden cooler.  You might remember that I made one for myself using cedar provided by Logger SIL.


Legal Doc had something specific in mind.  It went something like this:

 I used redwood 2x2 for the legs.  Probably the most expensive lumber for this project - and still reasonable!
I used 2x4 fir for the shelves, and cedar fencing for the sides, top and side shelf.

 Dark stain to try to go with the dark wicker-like patio furniture.

 Contrasting, gray-ish stain on the side shelf.  At this point, the top is quite tall.  As I went to install the hinges I realized that my measurement problems had, once again, reared its ugly head!  I had to trim a good inch off the bottom - and hope that I was smart enough to shoot my nails far enough away from the edge that they'd miss the saw blade - Yes!  That part I got right.

 Adding a drain - the plan called for a cooler with a drain.  The one provided to me didn't have one, but by the time I realized it didn't I'd cut off the handles and hinges - no going back!  I had to use my imagination, and the experience of the clever Home Depot folks, to come up with a solution that will, for the most part, work (I think!).  I made both sides hinged, something the plan didn't call for, so that if the cooler needs to be replaced (or emptied) the sides can be opened and Legal Doc can lift the cooler out.  

 And, here it is finished.  Legal Doc made the supreme sacrifice and drank a few beers so that he could provide me with enough caps to "tile" the front, center panel.  My nephew, Vin, helped me with the layout of the caps.  I used mortar to set them in place, then grouted using a light gray sanded grout.

It has 2 wheeled legs so it can be moved around.  A handle on the side to aid in the moving around, and a nice bottle opener for his friends who are wimpy like me and can't easily pop off the bottle caps.
After two coats of polyurethane it was ready to be picked up.

And here it is, sitting pretty on the Doc's patio.