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Pottery Barn Inspired bench for the Laundry Room

I mentioned when I started the View from our “Front” Door series that we needed a place to sit in order to take off or put on shoes in the laundry room. I’ve been looking around for inspiration for awhile–going back and forth between complicated and simple.  Complicated would have involved drawers and more decorative sides that would hide our shoes that accumulate in that spot.  Simple was this:

Pottery Barn Norfolk Bench

I didn’t want something heavy looking in there, so I chose simple.  This retails for $499 plus whatever else they tack on (shipping and handling?).  For that price, I would include shipping if I ran things, but I gave up running the world to stay home with my kids, so whatever.

Supplies: Read More…

The view from the “front” door {post 16} Almost there!

I said that this laundry room series was going to be a long one and apparently I wasn’t lying!  I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now…

Added the board to attach the base molding to:

I added some plastic tabs so that the drawer wouldn’t slide wood on wood.  I only needed them on the bottom drawer in this area (you can see them on the wood rails I added, bottom face frame, middle of the picture on both sides).

I put them on the bottom of the drawer sides midway back and at the back also.  Here is a close up of what I am talking about:

Attached the cabinet to the studs in the wall.  This also pulled the edge of the cabinet tight to the wall, something I was worried about when I saw it just pushed against the wall.  It would have needed a LOT of caulk to fill the gap.  It still turned out level.  I put two at the bottom into the 2×4 framing down there.  One in the middle and a final one at the top.  The one in the back isn’t in a stud–I thought the studs were 12″ apart :)

Drilled holes for the shelf pegs in the hutch.  Three shelves, evenly spaced.

Used tape on the drill to make sure the peg would seat all the way in, but not drill through the side:

And then, reattached the molding with my 16 gauge nail gun.  If I had been smart, I would have made sure the bottom hole would be covered by the quarter round.  I guess we all now know that I wasn’t smart in this instance.  I also discovered that our “trim guy” during the build put the hole at the top up higher.  After I was done.  So I had to add that, just in case.  I’m smart enough to add the holes I have to fill.  Three.  For each stud.

And this is what made me feel like I might actually get this project completed soon.  My Man helped me put the hutch on the cabinet and I attached it with the pocket holes.

I think My Man was won over with the pocket holes after this assembly.  I’m not sure he appreciated their potential.  He just knew I was going to do what I was going to do and he let me do it (lots of do’s in that sentence).  He even commented while I was putting the screws in, that maybe we needed some longer screws.  Once I had finished attaching the hutch though, he had no complaints and keeps commenting on how sturdy it is.  Then I added a screw through the side of the hutch into a stud and now it doesn’t even wiggle at all.  Not even a tiny bit.  And it’s level.  And it’s square.  And it’s put together.

And it’s almost done!!!!

The view from our “front” door {post 9} The drawers

Finally got a chunk of time to get to work again!  Today I tackled the drawers on the cabinet.Here is one drawer front.  1/2″ plywood with 1/4″ thick 2″ wide hobby board glued on top.  I wanted to learn the router so I could use a panel in the middle of 1×3 boards, but that will be for another project now!

Cover the back with glue.

Clamp it and weight it down.  I added one more set of weights in that empty spot too.

Wood putty the edges if they aren’t perfect.   Mine weren’t.

Check all of your drawer parts for square.  The sides too.  You want your cuts to be 90 degrees also, especially with pocket holes since it will want to pull them wonky with angled cuts.

Glue the edge and screw the pocket holes together.  I loved using these 90 degree clamps.  I think they were Bessey clamps and I got them at HD or Lowes for about $10 a piece.  I used 1/2″ plywood for the drawers and since Lowes doesn’t carry 1″ Kreg screws, I bought some 1″ wood screws at Walmart.  They worked great!  I had to buy an extra long 4″ phillips drill part for my drill to be able to attach the pocket holes, but it all went together just fine.

I checked for square at each step.  My plywood bottoms gave me some problems, but with some convincing all the edges and corners matched up.

I made sure that the pocket holes for the sides were on the front and back pieces.  The front piece will be covered up by the drawer front and the back won’t be visible.

I have read that it is really important for your drawers to be perfectly square to work properly.  I checked for square on the top and bottom of the drawers and they looked great!  I really hope they work since this is my first attempt.  I already made a mistake–I wanted to use side mounted drawer slides, but I didn’t leave myself enough room on the sides to use them.  Luckily, center-mounted slides you attach under the drawer should work and I’ll find out for sure tomorrow (oh, please work).  They do look easier to install than the side mounted and these won’t have anything heavy in them, so the weight limit shouldn’t be a problem either.

Stay tuned to see my first attempt at using edge banding and to learn why it will not be anywhere near this cabinet!

The view from our “front” door {post 7: Problems}

Got out my brand spankin new air compressor over the weekend.  This blog is once again doing its job–when I am attempting to conquer unchartered territories in my life, I can put the job off indefinitely.  Years can go by.  But when people come over and read about the Pink Toe experiences it makes me want to get stuff on here.  And so this weekend I plugged in my air compressor to break it in.

This involves opening up the drain valve on the bottom, turning on the compressor and letting it run for 15 minutes without allowing pressure to build up in the tank.  After 15 minutes you close the valve and let the compressor run until it reaches it’s pressure limit and shuts itself off.  Then you release the pressure down to 20 psi by pulling this ring to open a valve, and finally letting the condensation drain out of the tank by opening the drain valve again and letting the remaining pressure push the moisture out of the unit.

Sounds simple!  And it was.  But I have one bit of advice for anyone who has never used a compressor before.  You go in the bathroom and release any moisture in your bladder before you pull that ring I was talking about.  I was not expecting the air to hit my hand like that (the ring isn’t that big so it’s hard to avoid the air) and it is accompanied by a loud hiss.  I think I jumped about 3 feet in the air and almost had moisture problems of a personal nature.

So that was problem numero uno.  It was all the new experience I could handle in a day, and I was already a little jumpy about using the nailers, so I didn’t actually connect any of the pneumatic nailers to the compressor.  I did that the next day, and encountered problem number 2.

First you need to know that I was attaching the back to the boxes I had assembled.  The backs are purposely smaller so that I can do something to them to make them attractive from the back (since these are viewed from the back and front)

I didn’t have much to nail into, but I thought I was very careful to just nail into the edge.  Look what I had when I turned the box back up.

I was disappointed, but I thought I was probably not the only person in the world to have this happen.  And if that is true, then Google could certainly rescue me.  Advice from a Google search: use pliers to grasp the nail and keep it straight so that you can use a hammer to lever it out of there.  But use a piece of wood under the hammerhead so that you don’t mar your wood surface.

Yeah, right.

No hammer was going to wedge into that corner and there was certainly no room for pliers and a hammer.  And don’t forget that wood piece.

So grab your countersinking nail tool thingy and try to gently pound it out the back the way it came in.  Then when that doesn’t make it budge a mm, try to really pound it back the way it came.  Find out it won’t move no matter how many bad words you utter while trying.

Decide that you don’t care if your wood gets marred and use the hammer to lever out the longer pieces of nail.  Mar your wood.  Start talking to yourself about how much you don’t care.  Try to use the hammer on the shorter nail pieces and find out it won’t work.  Try it again, because it has to work.  Decide it is truly not going to work.

Cut off the short nails as close to the wood as you can get with a wire cutter.  Use your countersink nail tool thingy to pound those back and as flat as you can get them.  Be glad that you’ve got them all out or reasonably flat.

Make friends with your wood filler.

And then decide to call it a day.

P.S.  This did not affect my love of the pneumatic nailers in the least.  I was able to chalk it up to using it for the first time.

P.S.S. It wasn’t as fun to start the post with the first thing I did that day:

Before putting on the back, I added pocket holes to the bottom of the hutch.  I think that will make the hutch sturdier when it is attached to the base unit.  Would have been smarter to think of that before it was put together, but I’m making up some of this as I go!

Leaning Wall Shelves Part 6: Assemble the legs & supports

Here we go, the part I have been worrying about–modifying those shelf legs so that they fit 3 shelves instead of what the plan called for.  I decided to go with Ana’s plans at this point, which meant that I marked my boards from the bottom up, for 3 shelves, using her measurements.  I knew this wouldn’t work perfectly, but I had to start somewhere!

Make sure that when you are drawing the lines on your board, that you make one board a mirror of the other, like this, but you haven’t cut anything yet:

Read More…

Leaning Wall Shelves Part 5: Assemble the shelves

When I was assembling my first project, the closet organizer, I had not figured out the art of using clamps.  Information on clamps seemed nonexistent on YouTube.  So I made it up as I went and had problems.  Project #2 went much smoother after viewing some of the Kreg Jig videos on YouTube and watching what they did (these were videos on using the Kreg Jig, not on using clamps).  I tried to take pictures of my own set-up while constructing these leaning shelves, and I hope they help you.

After the bottoms of the shelves are screwed together, you need to cut a front and back for each shelf at 22.5 inches (same length as the bottoms).  For two shelving units you need 12 cuts.

Next you need pocket holes on the bottom of your shelves in order to attach the sides.  If I could do this again, I would make the pocket holes on the top of my Read More…

Leaning Wall Shelves Part 4: Cutting the boards

My Man just recently showed me how to cut with our his compound miter saw.  It was intimidating, but not as much as a circular saw is to me.  I now had the ability to cut boards, but not boards that are too wide.  My first attempts were not promising.  I could not get the boards to be the length I needed them to be.  That, my friends, is a big problem in the world of building. I’m pretty sure.

This second project turned out so much better.  This is what I did differently; Read More…

The $20 (Or Not) Storage Closet Door Post 3: The OOPS post

Ok, so it was my first attempt at building.  Ana provided me with a great plan and idea for my own house, but let’s face it people, she can’t hold my hand while I fumble through the process.  It was a good thing this was out of sight–I did Read More…

The $20 (Or Not) Storage Closet Door Post 2

Ana’s plans for the storage closet doors involve bi-fold doors in a room with hardwood floors.  If you have this type of door, you should check out what she did.  The door I will be putting this on is a regular door in a room with carpet. Ana uses 1 1/4″ casters, which probably work very well on her smooth floor.  I thought the number associated with the casters had to do with the size of the caster NOT the height–and this is an important oversight.  If you use bigger casters on your carpet (which would be wise) you need to modify the height of Read More…


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