Feb. 5 Today was another day off and I arrived at the shop around 9:30 and quickly got set up to work on the cabinet frames. I drew new plans after a sleepless night and tried it out.
The idea was to create one long frame, but the more I thought about it, the more impractical it became because I don’t have a helper. So I will make two instead.The face frames are a combination of red (front) and white oak 1 x 2’s with a 1 x 1/2″ piece of birch glued on to the bottom front and back pieces. This will form the lip to support the shelf. I glued 4 pieces to the 4 corresponding 36″ lengths of red oak. The face frames are flat with the 1-1/2″ side being flat. For the front I used 11″ stiles and for the back 7″ stiles to accommodate the angle of the van wall that was previously measured and sides cut. I started cutting the plywood sheets for the shelving as I waited for the glue to set up. The assembly came next.
My lack of coordination became obvious as I tried dry fitting the pieces together and they kept falling over. So I used my corner clamps to hold them together as best I could and someone came over and helped with the top. I was successful with the counter sink bit on the box and used it for attaching the sides to the frames. I think the screws were too big. I used #10 1″ but they were kind of thick. This was the first time I worked with real wood and didn’t realize what “hard wood” meant until I tried attaching everything. I had to pre-drill all of the holes. What a pain! Everything got clamped down at that point just so I could put the screws in. The face frames turned out very nice, but since they are different kinds of oak (bought white oak too) they will be painted white.
The shelves also had to be narrowed by a couple of inches because I cut the sides smaller. The original dimensions were 36″ wide by 14″ high by 14″ deep, which is exactly what the frames are. However, I didn’t take the interior measurements. Now I have a 12″ deep cabinet including the frames. It will be usable but a lot smaller than I wanted. One cabinet was assembled and I cut the shelf and noticed that the cut was slightly off and wouldn’t fit into the cabinet. So I sanded it down and made a mess. I went over to the band saw and did the best I could to make it fit. The front edge is fine but the back is kind of messy. My learning curve is climbing by leaps and bounds! I sanded the edges smooth and moved on to the dry fit.
I brought the frame into the van and checked the fit. OMG, it fit perfect perfectly! YAYAYAYAYAY! Now, all I have to do is figure out how to attach it to the wall and ceiling. In the meantime, I will make the second cabinet and hopefully, be able to attach it to the first one so I don’t have to put in another side into the frame.