Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Corner Cupboard


My girlfriend and I have a bad habit of throwing all our mail onto our dining room table, and a few other spots that we would rather not have the mail.  I had thought about making a mailbox to hang on the wall and then decided to build a corner table instead.


We have a vacant corner in our house near the garage.  It's a great place to put our mail and other stuff since it's the last thing we'll see before leaving the house, and the first thing we'll see when coming home.  While looking online for corner table ideas I found Ana White's corner cupboard.


I love her build, and you can see it here.  I decided to recreate it in SketchUp.


As always, I tend to make my projects different, but I'm not sure how in this case.  But let's start! I bought the wood I would needed.  I'll be using a few large pieces of .25" thick plywood, which I had the hardware store cut down from a big 4-foot by 8-foot sheet.


Next I measured and drew in all the cut lines.  This was harder than usual since I had so many diagonal cuts to make.


I decided to make the diagonal cuts with my jig saw rather than my circular saw.  If I mess up a little with the jig saw, cutting is slow enough that I can correct the path of my cut.  The same would not apply for a circular saw.


After a while all my diagonal cuts were done.


I then sanded all the cuts with my belt sander.  


Next I needed to mark the positions for all those diagonal shelves I just cut.


Normally I would connect the shelves to the back using pocket holes & screws.  I decided to simply drill holes and use normal screws for this project.


Then I connected the shelves to the backs.


Once that was done, I connected the front sides to the shelves.


And I have the beginnings of a corner shelf!


Next I cut the width of those thin plywood sheets.  Since these are straight cuts, I used my circular saw.


Then I attached those sheets to the back.  At first I used a few brads to keep the sheet in place.


Then I used screws to firmly attach it to the back of each shelf.


It's looking great so far, although there is excess material on both sides of the plywood that needs to be trimmed...but I'll get to that in a bit.


Next I added some trim on the top and bottom, as well as small trim for the middle shelf.


Then I added some extra trim along the sides to help cover up the trimming of the backing.


After a few hours this thing is looking pretty good.


I've noticed that when standing, the whole unit leans to the front - which was confirmed by my level.  So I added a few pieces to the bottom front to correct the imbalance.


Next  I decided to start working on the doors, but before I do, I needed to put a piece of trim separating the 2 halves that will have doors.


Next I cut the wood needed for the door frames.


These frames were assembled using pocket holes & screws.



Then I used some more thin plywood as a backer.


So far they fit ok, but I'm a little worried about some of the spaces around the door, plus it's not perfectly level with the face frame of the whole unit.


I put the hinges on the doors...


...and attached them to the unit.  I also attached the door knobs...


...and then I turned the whole thing upside down to install the magnetic clasps, which will keep the doors closed.


The spaces still bother me, so I decided to add some more thin plywood trim.


The trim was attached with glue and brad nails.


The trim above and down the center definitely helped close some gaps on the top of the doors and in the middle.


For the side trim I had to be more creative.  I measured out the plywood trim and cut away an area for the hinges.


Once the trim was in place, the gap on all sides of the door were fixed.


Then I decided to add some small trim to the top.


From the beginning of this project I felt the shelves were a bit small, so for the shelf above the doors I decided to make an extension.  I cut another shelf to the same size as the others.  I sanded the edges with my belt sander.


Then I made some pocket holes...


...and attached the shelf with pocket screws.


For added support I took a leftover piece of wood and added it underneath the extended shelf.


With construction complete I brought the cupboard inside and placed it where it's home will be.


It fits perfectly!


The extended shelf doesn't even get in the way, so no one will snag themselves on it.


After a while of admiring it in the corner, I brought it back into the workshop and removed the doors.  Then I began sanding.


Normally I use my router to pretty up the edges of everything, but for this piece I simply rounded all the corners and edges with my sanders.


Next step was applying wood filler to all the spots that needed it.


When the filler dried I sanded.  Flipping the unit upside down is helpful in getting all those bottom edges.


After quite a while sanding, flipping, sanding and cleaning it was time to prep for staining.




Then I applied the stain.




When the stain had fully dried I began sanding to make it look rustic.


Then I reattached the knobs and hinges to the doors...


...and attached them to the body.


Looking good!  I'm just about done!


Next I gave it a good cleaning...


...followed by a few light coats of polyurethane to protect it and give it a bit of a luster.


When the poly dried I brought it inside.  I'm done!!!


This corner cupboard fits perfectly in the space!


And it's a good location being right by the door to the garage.


I threw a few items on it, but later my girlfriend will decorate and organize it better.


Thanks for reading!