All posts for the month June, 2011

This is the final post about a storage cabinet that I built and mounted in my garage. You can read about Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, or Day 4 in some of my previous posts.

So, I actually broke the last day into two parts- one part where I mounted the hinges and doors and one where I hung the cabinet. But hey, total time was like 45 minutes so it is one day and one post.

The first thing to do was mount the doors onto the cabinet with some piano hinges. You can see the process here. Pretty simple to do- but there are a lot of screws. 30 per side in fact.

I just repeated the process on the other side and both doors were hung.

Here is the final cabinet set up on my work bench. I will be putting it up on the wall above that bench.

Earlier today, my buddy Scott came over and we hung the cabinet. It really was a two person job because of the awkwardness of the cabinet- especially with the doors mounted.

To mount it, I located the studs- 24″ on center in my garage and mounted a 2″x4″ level on the wall to rest the cabinet on.

We hoisted the cabinet onto the brace and I drove six screws through the cabinet and into the studs.

After removing the brace and putting the shelves in we did a little staging by putting some hangers on the peg board and putting a few items into and on the cabinet.

Here is what is looks like all finished.

The last step was to install two magnetic catches. I installed them on the interior vertical support at the very bottom. This keeps the doors closed and gives a much nicer appearance to the cabinet.

I am pretty happy with how it came out. As with any project there are a few things I would fix and improve. I would like to spend some more time on the doors so they are a bit cleaner and stronger. But generally this worked out excellent as a cabinet.

The ongoing project of adding a cabinet to my garage for storage.

See Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 to catch-up.

A really short day today- unless I decide to get re-motivated in the heat of the afternoon.

I wanted to complete the door assemblies today. Which basically comes down to fitting two peg board panels and sizing the rails and stiles on the 2nd door.

Here is the first panel sized to fit. Note the handy pocket screw joinery.

The is the first door completed. It looks pretty good doesn’t it?

And finally here are both doors propped up in front of the cabinet.

The only thing I wish I could do different at this point is have shorter pocket screws. I had some 1″ screws which are not long enough and I had 2 1/2″ screws which either began to poke through or actually did come through the face of the stiles. I am going to see if anyone in town has shorter pocket screws in stock (Woodcraft maybe?).

All that is left if the hinge hardware and the door handles. Then it is time to be hung.

I didn’t get much done today, but things are shaping up nicely.

To catch up, you can read Part 1 and Part 2.

The goal for today was to fit the back panel and begin the doors and I made good progress on those two things.

First thing was to cut some 1/2″ plywood to be the back panel. The 1/2″ was not perfectly flat- but a little weight and some mild persuasion got it into position.

I used Gorilla Glue and more 1 1/4″ screws to attach the panel.

Once that was done, I did a little more fitting on the shelves. They were a bit proud of the external frame, so I shorted them a touch and they both fit excellent now. The hammer and paint can give some scale to this project. This cabinet will hold a lot of stuff.

On to the doors. The first step was to rough cut the rails and stiles. I used 1″ x 4″ select pine for these pieces.

After I got everything to a rough length, it was time to make things the right width. I wanted 3″ rails and stiles. So I pulled out my 10″ table top table saw and sized all of my pieces.

Next was the slot for the panel. The width of this saw blade is almost exactly the thickness of the pegboard. I set up my fence and a rigged up stop and did a pass in each direction on each of my rails and stiles. Running it both directions centers the slot. Note to self: invest in a feather board or two and get a fence that does not suck (which might mean a new table saw really).

Here are my rails and stiles cut to rough length with the panel slot all done.

After all of that work I needed to do some cleanup. The table saw generated a ton (not literally) of saw dust. This pile was just what collected under the saw itself. There was at least an equal sized pile on the floor right below the bench as well.

I began to size and assemble the doors today, but I did not feel like cutting the peg board this afternoon so I stopped. I have one of the stiles connected to two rails and got some measurements for the panel. I should be able to get the panel cut tomorrow morning and then one door will be built. Repeat the process on the other side and then I just need to hang the doors.

While I can still move this cabinet around by myself, I will be needing some assistance to hang it. I’ll drag one of my friends over to the house this weekend to complete the project.

Note: This is a continuation of Garage Storage – Day 1
It is going to be another scorcher here in Austin. High expected to be about 101 or 102. That makes working in the garage brutal. But at least, I am not working in the sun.

I started today off by cutting the dados on the side pieces. Four total. It went really smoothly and the cabinet is coming together nicely.

Once I had the top and bottom fit into the dados, I was able to measure and fit the center support. I am pretty happy with how this is coming out now. It is big enough to hold a lot of stuff, but not so huge as to make it a pain to move around or install.

Next up are the holes for the shelf pins. My buddy Scott gave me this fantastic jig to create this holes easily and repeatably. I took a little time to setup the jig to get the depth right and off I went.

The one thing to remember here is to use a single reference to work from. All of my holes were referenced from the top of the cabinet. If you are not careful you might end up with holes that do not line up front to back or side to side.

Once that was complete it was time to do final assembly.

I pre-drilled some pilot holes and used #6 1 1/4″ course drywall screws. I made a swap from the 2″ screws I bought because they would be overkill and I might have split the wood. I then used some Gorilla Glue in the dados and put four screws in each end.

I then fit the center support in and used four screws on each end there as well. This is one sturdy cabinet.

While the glue dries I measured and fit the shelves. In this case they are about 23 1/4″ long. I cut and dry fit two shelves and I think I am done for the day.

I did want to fit the back plywood, but it is really hot this afternoon and I need to do some studying for my VMware exam.

Tomorrow I will do the back board and then begin the doors. I am really looking forward to the doors because I get to use my table saw and my pocket screw jig.

If I keep doing these kinds of projects (and I hope to), I am going to need to get a set of real saw horses and a work surface that is at least 4’x4′. Given that setup I should be able to move it around and take it down to park the cars.

I have ended up with some free time, so I thought I could be constructive with my time (bad pun intended).

Recently I was watching Ask This Old House and they had a really nice garage storage unit that included adjustable shelves and peg board for door inserts. I found the episode listed on their website but they did not include any plans or sketches. Only one small picture and my inaccurate memory.

I wanted to do something very similar with some alterations. I wanted the cabinet to be 14″ deep total which will fit nicely above my work bench. I wanted to use shelf pins which I have a fantastic router jig for. Lastly, they did not use dados for the fixed shelves, and I thought that might be a better design. I liked the peg board panel based doors so I decided to do that as well.

My design is pretty simple. A 3/4″ plywood box with a fixed vertical support in the middle. The dimensions will be about 48″ wide x 32″ high x 14″ deep. That depth does not include the doors.

After I completed the basic design, I went off the home center to pick up what I would need. Here is the shopping list and what I paid for the pieces:

  • 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ Plywood AC grade – $24 (a fantastic price)
  • 1/2″ x 4′ x 4′ Plywood BC grade – $18
  • 3 – 8ft x 1″x4″ Select Pine – $19.50 ($6.50ea)
  • 4′ x 8′ White Peg Board – $17 (they did not have 4’x4′ and the two 2’x4′ would have been $16)
  • Box of 2″ Screws – $6.50
  • 2 – Door Pulls/Handles – $6 ($3ea)
  • 2 – 30″ Piano Hinges – $15 ($7.50ea)
  • Shelf Pins – $2
  • 2 – Magnetic door catches – $1.50 ($0.75ea)

Now it was time to cut up some plywood!

I used the bed of my pickup as my plywood cutting station. It is just at 100 here in Austin, so I think my next project will be to build a plywood cutting center.

In plans I marked some of the plywood pieces as being 14″(s) meaning they should be short of 14″ to take in account the 1/2″ plywood. As you know 1/2″ plywood does not measure 1/2″. In this case it measures 7/16″. So all of my 14″(s) pieces are actually 13 9/16″.

This is all of the pieces cut to width. The left and right panels are also cut to length but the rest will need to be trimmed to fit.

The final step for the day was to setup my dado jig. I have a set of plywood router bits where the 3/4″ bit is actually 22/32″. I wanted the dado to be just about 1/4″ deep so I set my plunge router to that and fit the straight edge guide. I intentionally made the first dado deep in on a scrap piece do I could do multiple passes if needed. Turns out the depth is great and the fit is excellent.

I then set the guide to be much closer to the end of my sample board – just about the width of a metal ruler I have on hand and ran a 2nd dado pass. This will be where the dados are on the project.

That ends Day 1.

Tomorrow I will cut the dados on the side pieces. and fit the top and bottom panels. I will then size the top and bottom if needed to make the adjustable shelves fit. I will then size and fit the vertical support. If that goes well, I will also setup and drill all the shelf pin holes. After that I will need to size the back board (which is 1/2″ plywood). When everything is fit together I will glue and screw everything to become a completed cabinet. Then onto the doors…