Saturday, September 7, 2013

Making the cupboards for the back wall of the quilt shop

I'm really hoping that my notes and pictures will enable you to follow my thinking processes and work while I built the cupboards for the back wall of the quilt shop. And I truly hope that you'll be enabled to build your own to the dimensions you require for your own project.

As always, if you have questions or comments, I'll be glad to try and help.

Still some changes and work to do but this was basically my vision.
What I wanted to do:

The back wall of the quilt shop is 15 1/4" wide. I wanted to build two equal size cabinets to hold fabric bolts on either side of the room. I want two shelves of fabric bolts but the top shelf cannot be so high that I (being just over 5') could not comfortably pull down bolts. The fabric bolts are 2" tall so the shelves had to be high enough to accommodate them. The fabric bolts are 7/8" deep so the upper shelves need to be 1" deep. I wanted the counter below the fabric shelves deeper so I went with 1 1/2" there.

I wasn't sure what would go in the bottom third of the cabinets so I had to allow for either (a) another set of shelves or (b) faux cabinet doors there.

Then between those two cabinets I wanted a counter to hold notions with the pegboard that I made awhile back above it. That cabinet will have probably faux drawers below the top level and a couple shelves beneath to hold maybe batting and cushion forms.

So that was my vision...

I started with the side cabinets.

What I used:

white matboard
3/32" x 4" x 24" basswood
utility knife (or could have used an X-Acto knife)
cork backed stainless steel ruler
wood glue
white acrylic paint
brown paper bag
matte or gloss varnish
Lego blocks (my gluing jig would have been preferable)
Adjustable bar clamps (BIG Oops! Forgot mine...between some masking tape I borrowed from Leanne and Robert and finger pressure was able to get around this but the bar clamps would definitely have been my first choice!)

First I cut two pieces of matboard  5" x 7". These would be the backs of the cabinets. Not only does that help me keep things square, it allows the cabinets to be free-standing PLUS it allows me to attach them to the wall with poster Velcro. (Went to put on the link and it's no longer available from Lee Valley. I'm devastated!)

When I first cut the notched counter piece (third down in the middle, I forgot to add the 3/32" to the front to allow me to add doors below. (Oh, well, it's a learning process!)

Actually I made a few other mistakes that cost me wood - some in measurements and some in layout. But I did take this picture of a layout that would have saved me a lot of wood if I had planned it on paper in advance.

The actual construction:

I took the 5|" x 1" piece of basswood and glued it at right angles to the top of the 5" x 7" piece of matboard using Lego to keep the angles true.

Then I added the right hand side of the cupboard:

Then the bottom (4 13/16" x 1 1/2") piece across the bottom.

Finally, the right side:

Once the glue had dried on the outer pieces, I glued the back and sides of the notched counter piece and put it in place. Then I installed the middle shelf...after double checking its position to ensure that the fabric bolts would fit on both upper shelves. (As always, using Lego to ensure angles and spacing.)

I painted the wood portions of the unit using white acrylic paint. 

All I had with me was a 1" foam paint brush and a wonderful little brush from Lee Valley. That allowed me to get in the corners. (Actually it was what I also used to glue the wood edges - great tool!)

While I was waiting for the paint to dry on the first set of cabinets, I built the second. While the glue dried on the second, I sanded down the first set with a brown paper bag then gave it a second coat of paint. Then I painted the second cabinet and while it dried I painted the first cabinet with a coat of varnish. Then back to the second cabinet for the same treatment.

 Once all the paint and varnish had dried, I could not resist loading in the bolts of fabric even though I have not added the faux doors across the bottom cabinet!
 And here they are in place.

Now my eye tells me that the fabric bolts need to be re-organized so they are still in colour groups but balanced to the that will come.

But I like how it's coming along....