I created a highly detailed and precise blueprint for my work.
I built the cabinet and shelves out of a mix of 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch plywood.
At this point, I brought it upstairs to see if it fit in the hole. It did. I left it there until Handan came home so she could see it and shower me with praise.
Handan walked in. “Are you sure it’s big enough? Did you fill it with all the things from the drawer?” she asked.
“It’s big enough.” I said.
“But did you check if everything fits?” she asked again.
“No, but it’s big enough!” I said.
She looked at me.
“Fine!” I said and started cramming all the crap from the drawer onto the shelves. I got about halfway through the drawer, then the shelves were full.
She looked at me.
“Dammit!” I said. “I’ll make it bigger!”
She looked at me. “It’s okay, my babes. I love you.” She turned and walked away.
I retreated to a corner to lick my wounded pride. The cabinet sat in another corner for the next month.
When I was ready to restart the project, I made the hole bigger. I had put a thin layer of insulation back into the hole, thinking that I would be able to compress it with the finished cabinet, thus gaining a little bit of a barrier between the cabinet and the cold of the garage in winter. It didn’t work out, so I ended up ditching the insulation.
My plan was to add three drawers to the bottom of the cabinet and have doors up top. I was winging it at this point: no blueprint, no measurements – just making it up as I went. I started to build the drawers, and since I wasn’t using any sort of drawer slide, I decided that I would have the back sides of the drawer stick out a bit and make it so they would hit stop-blocks I would put in the front of the drawer cavity. Yep, that was my awesome plan. I started to glue the front stop-blocks in place.
And then my walnut brain figured out that if I put the stop blocks on, I wouldn’t be able to insert the drawer. Yep, the old brain was chugging full-steam ahead that day! So I took out one of the blocks for each drawer, leaving one in place.
That way I’d be able to coax the drawer past the one block. When the time came, I’d somehow glue the second stop-block in place while the drawer was in its drawer-hole. Yep, that was the plan!
I put a divider in the next shelf up, so I could have two drawers there, side-by-side.
Then I started building drawers out of 1/4 inch plywood. I would leave the faces for later. I intended to use some scrap ship lap for the drawer faces, the doors and the face frame that would go around the whole cabinet.
Hey, neat! It fit! But it was such a tight fit that it compressed the air on the way in and created a vacuum on the way out. Three big holes took care of that problem!
I rubbed the bottom and sides with wax, figuring it would make it slide in and out easier. Not sure it did a damn thing.
And I built the small drawers.
Because I knew they would be forever trapped within the cabinet once I attached the last stop-blocks, I figured I ought to slap on some stain while the slappin’ was still good. I mixed Minwax Red Mahogany stain into the the last of a can of Watco Danish Oil Medium Walnut. I liked the resulting color. Then I realized I wouldn’t have enough to cover the whole project. Meh, I’d deal with that problem later.
Next it was time to make the face frame. I cut a few 1 1/2 inch strips of ship lap to size, then mitered the corners to 45 degrees.
Do you feel it? A tugging at the back of your brain? Bah, just ignore it! Let’s carry on!
I glued the pieces into a frame using this handy right angle frame clamp.
Have you figured it out yet? No? Well, it’s probably not important…let’s move on!
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