Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shop Storage (Hutch)

Alright, around 2 weeks ago, I started building a very large cabinet for the shop that will hold a large number of tools and other shop goodies. I had little to no storage, and the existing "shop table" was a joke.

I had just recently pulled-up the floor in the dining room and office, so I have all this random plywood in the garage, so I decided to use what I had available to build this cabinet.

Some of the materials I used were:

- 2x4s
- 2x3s
- 5/8" plywood
- 1/4" Fir plywood
- Random old pieces of painted pine t-g
- An assortment of old doors from the laundry room (not shown)
- 5 old basement windows from 2-3 different houses (garbage pick-ups)
- nails, screws
- 9 sets of hinges/catches, 4 drawer pulls (not yet purchased)


I decided to make the cabinet with a counter top at 96" wide (8 feet) and I sized everything else accordingly. The base is around 22" deep, and the top is around 12" deep. The height is around 8 feet (3 foot tall base with a 5 foot tall upper hutch).

Since I have very few decent tools, most of my cuts were made "rough", and then cleaned-up with a belt sander. This was the fastest and easiest way for me to build this, and I got most of it built in 2-3 days (what you see so far). Alternatively, you could use a router with a straight bit and a fence, but this is hard to do on plywood, and hard on the bit and router. The easiest way to do this (should you want to make a similar large piece) would be to get the pieces cut for you at a lumber store (many places will do this for free if you're buying the materials there).

I wanted the piece to be semi-decent looking, and paint-grade. I also wanted something hefty and SOLID. The base was made from screwed-together 2x4s:

The back and bottom sheets are 5/8", but the sides are thin 1/4" sanded Fir (which is smoother than the cheaper plywood). Note that the bottom boards are notched around the corner 2x4s. The side pieces are just glued and nailed on with small nails.

The entire face frame is made from painted scrap pine boards with a fairly rough texture. One of the main points in making this was to see if I could build the entire thing out of scrap wood. The doors were arranged so that I could reuse (cut down) some of the old laundry room doors from the cabinets that were upstairs. The narrower centre section will have 4 drawers (just plain wood-on-wood plywood).

I used some scrap MDF baseboard for the bottom.

The top hutch portion will have 5 doors made from old basement windows. I re-cut them slightly to make them all the same size. I made the top pretty high at 5 feet (making the full cabinet 8 feet high).

That's as far as I got on this project. The next step will be to build and attach the upper face frame, and attach a back. Once that's done, I can attach doors, build the drawers/tracks, cut shelves, etc. I plan to paint the finished cabinet a green colour (shop tool green).

Other Stuff:

I finally installed the smoke alarm upstairs. It used to be in the guest bedroom (former laundry room/kitchen) but it was a pretty stupid place for it. I decided it should go in the hallway (in the middle of the second floor). I kind of hate to have it there, but it's one of those necessities you just have to have, even though it's an eye sore.

Last weekend I also decided to do a bit more of the drywall mudding in the office and the dining room, and I was able to finish the corner in the office, and reinstall/patch the crown. I was able to reuse some found scraps, and it came together very nicely, considering I used just a mitre box with a HAND SAW. The ends that join up with the exterior wall mouldings were coped, and any gaps were covered with caulking.

The next post will cover the porch work from the past week.

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