Corner cabinet - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-30-2020, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Corner cabinet

The master bedroom in our house has a corner that's 36" x 36" between the bathroom door and an outside window. I've been dinking around with sketchup, trying to come up with a design for a cabinet that's to store comforters, pillows, etc, and then bookshelves up above. I was thinking of using frame & panel joinery. Attached are some screenshots of my idea.





I have two main questions.

(1) Proportions. I'm looking for insight/opinions on practical and aesthetic considerations regarding the proportions, both of the overall design and the components.

--The frames are all 1.5" x 3/4" oak
--The panels are all 3/8" oak veneer plywood
--The shelves are 1/2" oak veneer plywood

Are these sensible dimensions for the design? Will the frames look too thin?

--The floor space occupied by the cabinet is L-shaped. The outside length (along the wall) is 36". The depth is 18".
--The first level of cabinets is 18" off the ground. This is enough space to slide a laundry hamper underneath. It also is tall enough to vacuum.
--The first level of cabinets is 18" tall. Again, big enough to fit a folded comforter.
--The second level of cabinets is 12" tall. Better for sheets, towels, etc.
--Then there's an open space that's 24" tall. This could serve as a countertop, and I think would be tall enough to put a TV if a future homeowner wanted it.
--Above that are two 12" tall x 8" deep bookshelves.

Do folks think these are usable spaces? Are there preferred sizes/proportions that would be better?

The doors: Obviously, in a corner cabinet doors are awkward. I wasn't really sure what to do. I was thinking they should be surface mounted (not flush like they're pictured in the sketch), and be hinged in the inside corner. Access to the back recesses of the cabinets will be awkward, but we're planning to use it for bulky, big things anyhow.

Are there better strategies for a cabinet like this?

Thanks for everyone's opinions.
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Last edited by Dylan JC Buffum; 09-30-2020 at 04:23 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-30-2020, 10:39 PM
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Over all, I think it is an interesting design. The following are my observations and opinions:
- I find the upper panels bothersome. They make the top appear visually too heavy and draw attention away from the base. I would try eliminating them and leaving the ends open.
- I am also bothered by the vertical "leg" at the inside corner. I think if the shelves are firmly attached at the corner to make them "one piece", they should be strong enough to support themselves without the leg.
- I think the doors are fine hinged the way you show them. I would be concerned about the handles banging into one another and limiting the swing. You could offset the handles so they miss one another, or eliminate them and use (what do you call them) door catches that you press and they spring open.

- Play with the idea of making the doors one piece "L" shaped hinged only on left or right. Corner joint could be either dovetailed or box joint and would be plenty strong for this.

- Try lowering the whole unit closer to the floor by shortening the legs.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 06:07 AM
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Is your bathroom door going to be closed all of the time? If not make a sketch with the door open and see what difference that makes.


Of course if the door opens into the bathroom no problem. Your sketch makes it look like the door opens into the bedroom.



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post #4 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yomanbill View Post
Over all, I think it is an interesting design. The following are my observations and opinions:
- I find the upper panels bothersome. They make the top appear visually too heavy and draw attention away from the base. I would try eliminating them and leaving the ends open.
- I am also bothered by the vertical "leg" at the inside corner. I think if the shelves are firmly attached at the corner to make them "one piece", they should be strong enough to support themselves without the leg.
- I think the doors are fine hinged the way you show them. I would be concerned about the handles banging into one another and limiting the swing. You could offset the handles so they miss one another, or eliminate them and use (what do you call them) door catches that you press and they spring open.

- Play with the idea of making the doors one piece "L" shaped hinged only on left or right. Corner joint could be either dovetailed or box joint and would be plenty strong for this.

- Try lowering the whole unit closer to the floor by shortening the legs.
Oh, I really like your suggestion of a single L-shaped door. I might hinge the two parts rather than using a fixed joint. I'll have to think about it. As to handles, whatever I use will be pretty small and low-profile.

The panels on the top shelves are there so that bookends are not needed. Perhaps as I do my rough assembly, I'll decide to omit them.

I waffled on the inside leg. I agree it's probably not needed for strength in the top shelves. I'll think about omitting it.

Why do you think it should be lowered? Is the space below too big, or is the top of the closed cabinet too high? Or some other reason?
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan JC Buffum View Post

I waffled on the inside leg. I agree it's probably not needed for strength in the top shelves. I'll think about omitting it.

Why do you think it should be lowered? Is the space below too big, or is the top of the closed cabinet too high? Or some other reason?

Perhaps you could leave the upper part of the leg to tie the two shelves together. Just try removing the part from the bottom shelf down.


To my eye, it just looks a bit too tall. Suggest you try lowering it some in the drawing.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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(1) The door does open into the bedroom, but we do keep it closed. Obviously, I'll make sure there's clearance. But for aesthetic purposes, it should be fine.

(2) The height is floor to ceiling. It's basically an installation. I'll compare it to some dressers to see how tall they tend to be, and put the top of the closed cabinets around that height.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 12:49 PM
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I like the aesthetics of the design, other than the inside middle leg. The tall look of the bookcase is unusual and stylish. I also like the top panels as an artistic element. There are so many things you can do with those panels from simple contrasting wood, to marquetry or inlay, to a modern design, such as "river panels (??)."

Considering the tall bookcase, what will go on the cabinet surfaces, filling the space underneath the bookshelf? Empty space for an architectural look? A lamp? A tall vase with dry flowers? Very very tall books? Knowing what you plan to put there may help you figure out the height you want.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 02:05 PM
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Just to be clear, my comment regarding height has to do with the height from the floor to the bottom of the lower cabinet. Based on the drawing, I think it might look better if it was lower. Maybe not. Just suggesting that you try it in the drawing.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-01-2020, 04:04 PM
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I think 1.5" for the uprights will make it too spindly. try 2.75.

the distance between openings should fit the usage - something that "looks good" but doesn't fill it's purpose is .....
I like the suggestion of the two doors being in fact just one door. a piano hinge will provide enough support.
if the book shelves are supposed to be useful, you'll need to be rather tall....
if you can't work around eliminating the center post, consider using just one - not the L-glue up as shown
why extend it past the top shelf so far?


and lastly - this will be a big chunk to move around - what's the plan for going thru doors?
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-02-2020, 10:39 AM
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2 piece build? consider how to stand it up, if it fits floor to ceiling... and how to get it into the room, doorways etc. Diagonal dimensions are longer and may prove problematic.
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