Rockler for the tips, as well as Bob Flexner, author of Understanding Wood Finishing. More pics when the doors and drawer fronts are ready…
Emerson Hardwood and got started on the bathroom cabinetry (the vanity and linen cabinets).
Step 1: Plane the material to a uniform thickness. My neighbor was kind enough to lend me his planer – again. We put brand new blades in it and it did a fine job taking everything down to 3/4″. Rough lumber can be tricky to rip to width for a couple reasons. First, it doesn’t have a straight edge to start with, and most of us don’t have jointers with 8 foot beds. Second, the full width boards still have some pretty powerful internal stresses that like to come out as you’re ripping them into narrower pieces. To address the first issue, I simply ran each board through the tablesaw with its concave side sistered up to an 8 foot long straight piece of cedar I had lying around, with a little stop at the leading edge to help make sure they pushed through together. For the second issue… well… there isn’t a lot you can do except rip things a little wide and hope you can take out any new twists with the planer.
Once ripped to a 1/16″ oversize, I ran all my stock on edge through the thickness planer a couple times. This removed all the saw marks (which I think are inevitable on rough lumber) and made all the like pieces exactly the same width. I then took a moment to make sure my miter saw was setup at an exact 90 degrees, and started the process of cutting the pieces for the face frame to length, starting with the longest ones, and finishing up with the short ones.
I decided to follow the advice I have heard so often and assemble the face frames with pocket screws and no glue. I figure worst case I can add the glue later. Having planed everything myself, made using pocket screws a lot easier than trying to use pre-planed lumber (which isn’t always all the same thickness). The vice grips held the pieces tight, and it went together pretty quickly. The end result was square and nearly perfectly flush on all joints. Unfortunately, I didn’t account for quite enough waste, and will have to rip 6 more feet of 2″ stock for the face frame of the linen cabinet. The vanity face frame however, is done!
George Morlan we picked up a simple bare-bones regular height (for the many children queued up to use it) elongated bowl (for the one male child queued up to use it) Toto toilet. It took me much longer than planned to install due to my rather … sub-optimal … existing closet ring, but I got it done (and done right). It’s survived its first day, here’s to wishing my $5 plunger (a non-critical purchase) a pleasant behind-the-utility-sink-dust-covered retirement.
Vernon and Mary Lou helped me install the last of the fourth after I installed the partial box around the post. The last board had to have both sides done at once, a total of 14 biscuits. If you haven’t worked with biscuits before, they expand on contact with wood glue, leaving you only seconds to get the joint clamped up, or they’ll never go together (or come apart for that matter). Fortunately we had prepared for the glue-up quite well, and all went fairly smoothly (big Thank You! to Mary Lou – no way I could have done that on my own!). I still have to install the 3/4″ think mitered base up to the 11″ mark and then add the base cap and crown to finish it off. That might be a few days, and I thought you all might enjoy seeing something other than that 4×4 PT post sticking out of our front deck.
add an inch to their height.
The narrow laundry room posed another problem though: standard bi-fold door hardware doesn’t open wide enough to allow access to the machines’ controls and detergent trays (that and it’s tinny, cheap, and generally unpleasant to use!). Instead we chose Johnson full access bi-fold door hardware, and used standard 3.5″ oil rubbed bronze door hinges (rather than the cheapies that came with the kit). The doors now have hinges that match the rest of the house. Since there is no rickety track and pivot hardware, the doors can rise floor to header, without the need to add extra trim to hide the hardware! Since the doors open 180 degrees, they lay flat against the wall (giving some needed space back to the hallway).
full access hardware from Johnson so the hinges will match the rest of the doors in the hallway and we’ll actually be able reach the knobs and trays on the laundry machines :-)