Monday, October 1, 2012

unveiling...cabinet #2!

My conquest of the 1970s, as expressed in my regrettable kitchen, continues.  You may remember cabinet #1, whose appearance on the scene I narrated here.  Both cabinets 1 and 2 owe their origins to this $100 craigslist find:

I separated the right two panels, and they became cabinet #1, which we all know and love:

That left me with the lefthand door (and some interesting scrap wood, which may find itself incorporated in a later project).  So I cut that in half, and it became the tiny seed out of which the mighty cabinet #2 would grow.  You see, I needed to replace this upper cabinet:

Yeah.  That one.  Well, those three.  So I ripped them off the wall.  Along with the ductless vent hood (that was vintage and pretty cute, but didn't work any more).  I had already ripped off the hideous window-canopy (complete with fluorescent light) to the left.  And I added...CABINET #2:

Below it you can see the replacement for the 1970s stove.  (I am not going to talk about what happened to my 1952 Wedgewood any more, as it is too sad.) 

In this (crappy) close-up, you can see the light that I eventually settled on:

And if you scroll up, you may be able to see that I also matched the original trim profile from cabinet #1 (that's the trim profile it had when it was made - by hand - a century ago).  I used half-round along the edge of the cabinet's top board to mimic the hand-chiseled rounded edge on the top board of cabinet #1, and then I used stock molding from the Big Orange Store with a profile that matched the molding used on cabinet #1.  (Sadly, my stock molding was MDF, not hand-chiseled pine, but even so I am so pleased with myself it's nauseating.) 

And then I added...the irksome vent hood:

As you see, I eventually got my hands on the vent hood I wanted (with the knobs at the bottom).  I am pleased to disclose that I have begun the installation process for cabinet #3, and the knobs are fully functional.  I would also like to draw your attention to a couple of other points in the above picture (for the quality of which I can only apologize.  As you see, I took the step of snapping it during daylight, but that's the best I can do without taking the picture outside in full sun.  Sorry!). 

So first of all, you may see that the vent is held on (in the front) with turnbuckles.  I knew I would need to suspend the hood from the cabinet to get it down far enough, and while I could attach it to the wall at the back with wall anchors (which I did), that wasn't going to hold the weight of the front.  I figured I could put some bolt eyes (with washers) through the pre-cut holes on the top of the hood, and then attach some screw eyes to the cabinet, and maybe cover the intervening distance with chain.  But my "screw eye" searches kept coming up with turnbuckles, as well.  I didn't know what they were, but it sounded like an excellent word to add to my vocabulary, so I checked them out.  I realized that they'd cost a couple dollars more than chain, but would be MUCH easier to use, and would allow for minute adjustments to get the hood level.  Sold! 

I also draw your attention to a beige cord that snakes from the back of the vent up to the back of the cabinet.  You know what that contains?  ELECTRICITY!  Just below that cabinet an electric cable feeds out from the wall.  It fed through the back of the old cabinet and powered the fluorescent light and the old vent.  So I took the light and the vent off the old wiring, unscrewed both the electrical boxes from the old cabinet and attached them to the new cabinet, punched holes in my cabinet to feed the wires through, and hooked up the copper light and the new vent hood.  In the picture above, the vent and the copper light are WORKING.  And I wired them right THE FIRST TIME.  (I note that provided the wires are in standard colors [these were, thank God], an idiot could do this, if said idiot were foolhardy enough to try.  This idiot is.)  Obviously, that means I am excited to take on my next (slightly more ambitious) wiring project. 

Also, as I may have mentioned, the cabinet box I built was out of square, and although I hung the cabinet two weekends ago, it's taken all that intervening time to bump out the hinges so the doors hang straight; fill in the wood I gouged off to make the left door closed when I thought it was the doors themselves that were crooked; add a piece of wood to the righthand door to close the gap that appeared after I bumped out the hinges; and then plane off the top corner of the right door so that it wouldn't sit quite so far out from the cabinet box.  (As my DH politely pointed out, that part of the door is now visibly curved.  I take this as a testament to my skill at planing gradually.) 

Have I mentioned that I love my $13 baby block plane?  Oh, also, have I mentioned that I found a mini Kreg jig for $20?!  I was crazy delighted.  I'll show off how I used that...after I get around to the project that involves it :).  You may have to stay tuned for a few weeks. 

In the meantime...CABINET #3 IS COMING!!! 

I am sharing at Susan's Metamorphosis Monday, because Susan is awesome. 


  1. You are awesome!! Come build things for me!!

  2. You've got mad skillz girl. It looks beautiful!

  3. Looks great, and I love the light you got! It's all coming together quite well. :) My sympathies (again) about the stove

  4. Wow, I can not believe those cabinets! And I love that light. Can't wait to see where you are taking this project and cabinet #3! Thanks for sharing, liz

  5. Where did you learn how to do all of this????? You are so awesome!!