Sunday, October 7, 2012

cabinet #3

It's here!!!

When we left it last, it looked like this:

And it was planning to hang from the underside of cabinet #2:

But first, I had to install the vent hood itself:

And then...there was a vent-hood-cover:

Basically, I had to add lengths of 3/4" plywood to the top edges of the vent hood cover so I could screw them into the bottom of cabinet #2.  (The rest of the vent hood cover is 3/16" plywood, so I wanted something stronger to hold its weight.)  Then, I added 1 1/8" molding across the top and bottom edges of the vent hood cover, on the front and both sides.  (I always prefer primed pine molding for stuff I'm going to paint, but plastic was the only option in this profile and size.)  I also added molding vertically where the sides meet the wall.  And of course, I had to add caulk (which I recommend you do in very strong light - ask me how I know), and two more coats of paint (it got its first one before it left the garage - I have given up on doing all three coats before installation when it's going to take so much of a beating before I'm finished).

My original motive for adding molding was that it would give a finished, intentional look to the relatively insubstantial cover (which is just 3/16" all over, making the edges look relatively flimsy).  Ultimately, the real success of the molding was in concealing my workmanship - from my circular saw cuts that weren't EXACTLY straight and sharp, to the slim gap between the cover and the wall that I had to leave in order to access the controls comfortably.  Oh, and then I got one wee piece of 5/8" molding to conceal the fact that I never did get a very precise joint at that funny angle between the pieces on the front.  See:

Now, I'm curious - can you tell that the profile on the molding I used to border the vent hood cover is the same profile (shape) as the molding on the top of cabinet #2 (and cabinet #1)?  It is.  Obviously, it's missing the half-round curve at the top.  And I used a smaller version of the profile for the vent hood cover - both cabinet #1 and cabinet #2 have that part of the molding at 1 3/8" thick, while the molding on cabinet #3 is 1 1/8".  I realized that since the strips of wood that form the pattern on the front of the vent hood cover were only 3" wide, the molding would have to be appreciably under 1 1/2" to look right.

I like to think that repeating that profile makes cabinet #3, which is entirely a creature of the 21st century ('cause I made it all by myself!), look like it belongs with cabinet #1 and cabinet #2.  While I made parts of both of them (everything but the doors, in the case of cabinet #2), they hail from a century ago, and I want the rest of the kitchen to match that as closely as possible.  I think a wide-angle lens would be necessary to show the all-the-upper-cabinets-together view I can see with my eyes, but here's a low-quality photo from an awkward angle instead:

(Note that I am not claiming that in this picture the kitchen is clean.  Though it was by later that evening.)

I've been taking the one-bite-at-a-time approach to this project, since it's intimidatingly large and outrageously outside my skill level.  This is the only way to preserve my sanity and motivation.  However, this approach doesn't naturally lend itself to a seamless overall vision.  Thus, I've had to step back frequently and ask searching theoretical questions about whether an assortment of different things is giving me that antique kitchen look (before there were stock cabinets!) - or whether it's starting to get an "incompetent, skinflint DIYer makes chaos of her kitchen" look.  (Hence, my posts wracking my brains about every little hardware question.  They will continue...)

Cabinets 1, 2, and 3 form the upper half of the main two walls of the kitchen.  (I will be adding one more upper cabinet on a currently empty wall to hold tea and coffee things - stay tuned!)  So I've now gotten far enough to say, "What the heck am I doing?"  When I step back and look, I am over the moon.  I would not expect anyone to stand still long enough to listen to just how happy I am with how it's turned out.  Sure, I think I have good taste (naturally!).  And I know that though I have no carpentry skills, everybody gets lucky once in a while.  (Plus, unlike 100 years ago, the stores are now full of modern tools and hardware designed to make tricky jobs possible for knuckleheads.)  But that I was able to take a handful of bargain finds and no advanced tools and get to (the first stage of) something I love this much is something I still can't quite get my head around.  God willing (maybe my kitchen remodel is a petty thing with which to bother Him?  I do hope it makes Him happy too!) I will be so fortunate with the next steps.

And the very next step: making a mobile prep table.  Here's my inspiration photo:


Construction starts tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Ooh ooh - and I'm sharing at Susan's Metamorphosis Monday.


  1. We work so similarly, it's scary. Of course, you're doing actual labor whereas my "work" consists more of ideas and visions...
    Looks amazing, and can't wait to see your prep table!

  2. I am thoroughly impressed. I could see myself attempting such construction projects, but failing miserably and then giving up.

    But you're doing great!