I was really afraid that after not building for over a year, it would take some time to get back in the groove. Luckily that didn’t happen! This first phase went together really fast–I built 3 cabinets for 2 desks for the Craft Room in a little over a week and that included building 14 drawers and installing the drawer glides as well. It all just clicked–and since this Craft Room is located in an area of the house that doesn’t see visitors, it was easy to not get too worked up over things that did not go perfectly. And there were a few imperfect things…as there always is!
I am trying to keep the cost down on this room, so the first thing to go was face frames. I usually buy select 1x2s for the frames, and even in pine it jacks up the price. This is my first time using edge banding and it went far, far better than my first attempt at using it a couple of years ago. I had problems with the trimmer that I bought back then, but this time I found a video by the Wood Whisperer that worked perfectly and I didn’t have to buy any fancy gizmo or use a router. Just a box cutter and scrap wood. I am so glad to have edge banding as an option when I tackle my walk in closet this summer!
Here are some progress pics during the build.
Cabinet carcases. I did have some spare 1x2s in my scrap pile that I used for the front. If I hadn’t have had those I would have just cut some 3/4″ ply into 1.5″ strips and used that. I assembled them with glue, the Kreg Jig, and pocket holes.
Assembling the drawers. This was a quick way to get them square. I just glued and nailed these with 18 gauge 1.25″ nails.
I thought that putting the topcoat on without the bottoms would make it easier to sand them down between coats. It probably made it slightly easier–I don’t know if I’ll do it that way again or not. I only put on two coats and then attached the bottoms and finished them with two coats of Polycrylic.
Ready for attaching the bottoms!
Drawer glides. Uggh. This time attaching wasn’t too bad, but figuring out the spacing was apparently beyond my capabilities the first time around. I ended up having to move more of the glides than I care to remember at this point. It shouldn’t be that hard!! I always drill pilot holes and then hand screw them in. The notches on those glide screws are ridiculously shallow–I always picture the designer as an oily man twisting his mustache and cackling an evil laugh every time my screwdriver slips off and the screw goes flying. Fourteen drawers worth!
Finally all drawers installed. I was feeling pretty good at this point–the hardest part was done! Except for the painting part. I always forget how much time that part takes. Notice that the edge banding is applied to the fronts of the cabinet sides
I also saved money on this part too–with my cheater drawer fronts. I used 1/2″ ply and 1/4″ poplar hobby boards glued and pinned on with my nail gun for the drawer frame. Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but it worked just fine! Here I am attaching the 1/2″ ply fronts. I used 2 sided carpet tape between the drawer and the drawer front to hold them in place, and 2 nickels taped together as spacers for 1/8″ spacing. I generally use 1/16″ space on inset drawers and doors, but this time I didn’t feel like messing around with exact spacing to that small of a gap. If I had realized this prior to installing these, I would have used a paint stirrer as the 1/8″ spacer. Live and learn…
I used a paper template to drill the holes for the drawer handles. Drawer handles are expensive!!! I had to go with the cheapest option I could, (without actually buying a style I hated) since I had so many drawers, and planned on using the handles on future cabinet builds as well. I really wanted some bar pulls, but they were almost twice as much.
I plan on adding a pencil drawer, but not at this point since I’m not for sure on the spacing for it yet. The desktop was an awesome deal my mom found for me. If you live in NW Ohio and you build, you need to stop by the Sauder outlet. She picked up the desktops for $10 a piece! I had her get 3 for me and I love them. I couldn’t have gotten anything that cheap and these look really nice too! They have drawer glides, cabinet handles, casters, and many other DIY options for a steal.
Now I said I built 3 cabinets and I’ve only shown you two. And I suppose you wondered where all the junk went also–it’s all still there, just shoved to the opposite part of the room! I’ve paired the drawers I built with a 2 drawer filing cabinet, that will receive a makeover in the future.
So there’s phase 1! Still a long way to go before it is officially a transformation, but I’m headed in the right direction. I’ve got general ideas for the rest of the room, but I’m working in phases because I think my plans will change as I get each part installed.
***As always, I only use PureBond plywood in my builds because the air quality in my home matters to me. I have used this plywood since the very beginning of my woodworking adventure and I love it. I am now being compensated by PureBond, but I can sleep at night recommending it to you because I was buying it myself long before the PureBond Pledge existed.