I head back to Home Depot…again to get 1×2 POPLAR and I decided I would just cut it myself when I got home. I was sure to look down the edge of the board to make sure it’s straight and I also lay it on the floor and rotate through each face to ensure there is no bowing per Sandra’s instruction.
I used my miter saw (aka chop saw) to cut all of my boards to length. I check each board and if there are any imperfections, I use my pencil to mark the imperfect side with a big “X,” so I am sure to use those as the backside. I drilled my pocket holes, clamped my boards and screwed the face frame together. I don’t know if it was because I was in a hurry or if it was really cold but the first board split on me! It was not huge and I was able to place it on the bottom of the face frame. No one will ever know… haha
I took my time on the other screws and then I had to close down shop. I wish I had a dedicated work space like Sandra but truthfully, it would probably be a HUGE mess and would only get cleaned once a year. My “works pace” is also my parking spot in the garage so it gets cleaned often. A snowstorm is coming and the only thing worse than shutting down shop mid-project is scraping ice/snow off my car at dawn.
I am so excited to almost be finished with phase one of this project! Now I just need to attach the face frame to the carcass and attach the backer board to the back of the carcass. I can do all of this inside the house.
Now I need to make another trip to Home Depot. Mike asked me if there is anyway to just ask Sandra for a comprehensive list of what I need so I don’t have to keep going back to the store. I think he was thinking in recipe terms because he said, it just seems like you keep having to go back for items that you don’t have. I am finding with DIY that it is just part of the process! I went to fire up my best Christmas gift ever (love ya Mike) and the air hose that came with it was NOT compatible with my nail gun (best anniversary present ever. ♥)
So I need to get a different hose and the pocket hole screws are protruding out 1/8″ from the face frame, which after consulting with Sandra, we have a work around, but I don’t want to have to keep doing for every hole.
I got a better hose, quick connectors and better screws. I quickly attach the backer board and the face frame. YES! Next step is to remove the baseboards.
I attached the right cabinet to the corner wall, checking for level in all directions. Ready for the next set of cabinets Sandra!
So I took a sketchup class a few weeks ago and I have been practicing for 15 to 45 minutes everyday. I was able to make this little mock-up of my dining room:
I think, based on this, Sandra thinks I know way more than I do. She suggests that I make the sketchup plans for the next set of cabinets. I agree to try and I secretly start to panic. I have this affliction, where if someone has the confidence in my ability to do something I TRY super hard to make it happen, even if I am completely out of my element. Due to my affliction, there is a four day lag in the design process. I spent day one watching every sketchup video I could. I spent day two trying to account for that stupid intake vent and coming up with some pretty involved designs.
I spent day three awaiting Sandra’s approval of the cut list I sent her. She told me that she could not visualize my design from my cut list, which come to think of it, I wouldn’t be able to either. She tells me that she will go ahead and draw up my cabinet design because she would have to do it later anyway. I ask if she is sure and she assures me that it’s not really a big deal. BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. I think she realized that I was in over my head and she handled it in the most wonderful way. THANK GOODNESS!
I head to Home Depot to pickup my lumber for the next phase. Check this out:
This is the entire middle set of cabinet carcasses on one sheet of plywood! The downside is that I have to have someone cut pretty precise cuts to ensure that this works. I find a HD guy and he is up for the challenge. I must say, due to the weight of the 3/4″ plywood, the cuts look great! My backer board, not so much.
I understand not guaranteeing accurate cuts but this is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous! I know that they clearly state “cut lumber is not returnable” and “that they cannot guarantee the accuracy of their cuts” so I have to just eat the cost of this, lucky that I have a scrap stash with the size I need (which if I had checked BEFORE I went to HD, I would not be eating $20.00 of cost!) Hopefully I can use my new scrap on a future project.
Building, checking for square
The cabinets are built, but the bump out is not as pronounced as I visualized it being.
I panic thinking I will have to rebuild the carcasses two inches bigger! I just barely squeezed everything onto one sheet of plywood so it would be two sheets- crapola! So that is what would have happened B.S. (before Sandra) but W.S. (with Sandra) on a HELP ME call, she advises that I just need to get a cleat to place alongside the back of the carcass. Whew! Mike and I decide to see how we like it bumped out two inches for a few days, before I proceed. Good thing because I end up sidelined with the crud.
We like the 2′ bump so I just need to attach the backer board to the carcasses and then another trip to HD for the 2 x 4 and more poplar. When I was getting the carcass cut last week, another HD employee grabbed the 1×4 poplar for me, I didn’t double check it and guess what?
It WAS WARPED, WAAAAAA!
Seriously if I wasn’t already making a trip back to HD anyway, this would be SUPER annoying (but also my own fault, you must check, double check and triple check.) This is why, although I think the “fax over your cut list” so it’s ready when you get there service, sounds AWESOME, I would be worried I’d end up with even bigger problems.
One good thing about “sold by the linear foot” lumber, is that it is easily returnable and this is defective to boot. I HATE conflict and anytime there is a possibility of someone questioning me about a return, it makes me break out in a cold sweat.
- Repeat from last week, I am learning– double and triple check everything– square, measurements, cuts, and boards for straightness (is that even proper grammar?)
- There is always a work around for the problems that you encounter along the way. A pro usually knows the least expensive route, thank you Sandra! Sometimes you need to think outside the box or even let things sit for a few days while you think through your options.
- This is not cooking. You do not get a nice ingredient list up front, come home and 1 hour later have a delicious result. You will make multiple trips to the store. Just accept this. If you get lucky and don’t make multiple trips, don’t jinx yourself by telling me.
- Design is an evolving process. We worked through at least 4 or 5 different designs on the middle set of cabinets. I was so locked into the original design being three cabinets that I completely missed the ease of just creating two cabinets, problem solved.
- This takes time, a lot of time and it is helpful to spell out your schedule so that your S.O. doesn’t think:
- That you are spending every waking hour on this (so why aren’t you working on it??)
- Think you are making no/slow progress or something in between (so why aren’t you working on it??)
It also helps to stick to that schedule, I tend to err on the side of wanting to spend every waking moment doing a project and the schedule helps me to reach a stopping point and actually stop.
I close shop on the weekends or when there is an incoming snowstorm. It is family time. It is darn tempting to do “just a few more things” but I resist temptation.
6. Set realistic goals. I really wanted to have the face frame on the cabinets by this diary update and I was driving myself crazy to make that deadline. Sandra assured me that she thought I had made acceptable progress and not to stress myself out. Done.
Keep reading: Part 3.