26 December 2007

Christmas Vacation Update

I didn't want to post until we got our project done, but since it's taking so long, I thought I should put an update in here.

Saturday, we cleaned house, then we decided to start a project.

You see we have these extra cabinets in the kitchen. They were added by the previous owners. They are white and don't really match the oak kitchen cabinets. And they are made of mdf and chip board. Really, none of that constitutes the real problem that they have been. Lacking space for a pantry, we have been storing our food- canned goods, cereal and the like in these cabinets. Now, here's the real problem- the door openings are only 10 inches wide, and the shelf is 2 feet deep. I buy canned goods, put them in the pantry, and often, they disappear when I need them. I have things that were stored in the pantry since we moved in 6 years ago. So, the project is to remove the thingamabobs the doors hit, then install full extension drawers to hold all the food, that way I can pull the drawer out and get all the way to the back.

Here's what the bottom cabinet looked like before we started:

Ok. So, Saturday. We bought the drawer slides, 2 eight foot 1"x4"s of poplar, and a 2'x4' panel of mdf for the bottom. We started by attempting to remove the dividers (thingamabobs). They were screwed in in little pockets. The problem with this is that they aren't regular screws. They use a square head. After searching high and low for a square bit, we tried a combination bit used for decking, a flat bit, turned diagonal, and a triangle bit, all to no avail. So I made a trip to the hardware store and bought three sizes of square bits, which cost about $1 a piece. Corwin used the smallest to get them out, but the middle was really the correct size. It was really hard to see in there, let alone get a screwdriver in there, so I don't really blame him, and besides, it worked!

Then we set about making the first drawer. The opening was now 24" wide and 24" deep. We purchased 22" drawer slides, unfortunately they didn't carry 23" ones. So, I measured the drawers wide enough for the opening minus the slides, and 22" deep, the same length as the slides. Corwin cut the pieces on the table saw. We used simple butt joints with a groove for the bottom to sit in. It all fit together perfectly.

We glued and screwed the drawer together. Then I realized a problem. In measuring, I didn't account for the drawer sliders sitting in their plastic mounting bracket. I had to subtract more from the sides of the drawer. So, before the glue dried, we knocked off the back. I measured and drew some lines. Corwin cut some more off the sides and bottom. We put it back together, glued and screwed. Then put it in for another trial fit. We had forgotten something else. we didn't leave room for the divider to be put back in. Well, it was bedtime, so we put it all away for another day.

Sunday was church. We didn't work on the project that day. There were several beautiful Christmas songs performed by the talented people in our ward. There was a lovely violin, flute, piano trio played by some of the young adults. A brother in the ward sang a touching rendition of O Holy Night. And we had one speaker talk about Christmas and giving.

Monday morning we allowed our children to open their gifts from my parents and siblings. We planned on traveling to Corwin's parents' home that day, so we didn't want them to have to wait until after Christmas to open them. My mother crocheted lace to the tops of several pairs of socks for each of my girls. She also made a wall hanging with hooks to hold necklaces. Later that day, we drove the two hours to Corwin's parents' home. Even though it had snowed earlier that day, by noon the roads were clear and dry. We met Corwin's youngest sister's family there as well. We stayed the night and combined efforts to fill stockings. Christmas morning, we allowed the children to open their gifts that were there, decreasing the commotion that would come later. Corwin's other sister and her family came a few hours later. The family was complete with 2 grandparents, 6 parents, and 8 children. The children had fun together, played together, and on occasion argued with each other. We opened the gifts then ate a large luncheon. We had a good time together. We drove home later that night where we gave our children their gifts from us, roller skates for the older two and a ride on toy for Emily. I think Emily was a little disappointed that she didn't get skates as well, for she tried the others' on and actually did quite well walking across the living room floor in them.

Unfortunately, the girls haven't been able to try the skates outdoors yet. It's been snowing off and on here, so the roads have either been snow coated or really wet.

Back to the project. We continued working on it today. I talked Corwin into ripping the dividers from 3/4" down to 1/4", so they wouldn't be so bulky. We knocked the back off the drawer again and cut it down another 1/4". It's perfect now. Oh, and Corwin sanded the sides so they wouldn't fit so tight either. Now, it's perfect.

We went back to the store and got the rest of the sliders, and more wood. Measured and cut, I messed up the measuring on one board, Corwin messed up the cutting on another. I made another trip for more wood. We got it all cut, then I found my calculations were wrong, and the bottoms are actually 1" too short. So, we're saving the trip to the hardware store for tomorrow.

We actually finished the upper cabinets today. Corwin reinforced the top of the cabinet, then removed the front door divider, which he ripped to 1/4" like the others.

I measured, and he cut a shelf for the right side of the cabinet. I measured and marked where the shelf brackets should go. He drilled the holes, installed the brackets, and set the shelf in place. I measured, glued, clamped, and screwed the divider in place on one of the doors. That was it. It's done now. I did the same for the other two doors and dividers on the lower cabinet as well.

Here's a picture of a door glued and clamped:

after which, I put a few screws in:

And the bottom doors done:

No comments: