How to Build a custom linen storage for bathroom - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-20-2011, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Wink How to Build a custom linen storage for bathroom

Good morning -

I am a complete novice. I have some basic tools and limited knowledge but I am good at math. I am going to purchase an inexpensive table saw. I have a basic handheld router and a handheld power saw - I call it a Skil saw but that is the model not the name LOL...

I have designed a linen storage unit for my bathroom remodel and have some basic questions. I will likely need more assistance than this but I need to start somewhere. The image is below. This is rough as I am new to Sketchup.

I plan to use a dado and rabbet box but I am unsure how to attach the back - I want a back for strength even though it will be against a wall.

I also would like it to look nice so I want to add a front frame out of solid wood. What is a typical installation of this frame - say for example I wanted it to be 2" wide x 1/2" thick and I used 1/2" plywood for the sides of my storage unit. Do I place the 2" frame segment along the edge of the plywood?
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-20-2011, 02:40 PM
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There are several ways of doing it but I'm not clear what exactly you're asking with respect to the edge banding. If you make the band the same thickness as your ply, you can glue it directly to the ply edge and it will be as wide a band as you want (as an extension of the ply but the same thickness as the ply).

Will this be installed in a "nook" or open wall space? As for the back, I'd probably glue and screw it to the carcass. I'd probably also screw the whole thing into the wall, personally.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-20-2011, 03:50 PM
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I read his framing question as wanting to add face framing the outer frame and shelves?
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-20-2011, 04:18 PM
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bathroom linen cabinet

I used 1/2" plywood for the sides, 1/4" for the back, set in a rabbet and 3/4 x 2" hardwood for the face frame. The center shelf is fixed and structural. The doors are 3/4" hardwood frames with 1/4" panels, using 5/8" offset pocket hinges. It's about 7 ft tall, screwed to both walls into the corner. The plywood sides were glued and nailed to the top center and bottom in rabbets and a dado for the center shelf.
I had to match the finish from the base cabinet(smaller door), which explains the mitered vs cope and stick door construction.
Simple enough but the rabbets and dado may present a challenge if you don't have a router or a dado head for your "inexpensive" table saw...... don't cheap out on the table saw, you'll be sorry. That's a whole 'nother topic if you search the forum here. bill
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-20-2011 at 04:26 PM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-20-2011, 08:15 PM
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I would start with 3/4" for the cabinet. Using 1/2" doesn't give much strength to a dado or rabbet joint. It's also more prone to warp after all is done.

Using dadoes for dividers and shelving, and rabbets for the standing ends. I would use 3/4" solid wood for a face frame, and that can be just glued and clamped to the front edges of the cabinet. For installing a back, the ends, and top and bottom are rabbeted for the depth of the back and any extra you want in case the edges have to be scribed to fit the wall. The rest of the interior pieces are cut to the depth of the rabbet.

The 1/4" back should fit the rabbet snugly and doesn't get glued in place, but rather, can be stapled to the rabbet, and all the fixed interior members. The back will square the cabinet.

There are other factors that may have a bearing on your cabinet and its construction and assembly, like which ends are visible, and if it's a finished wood look, or if it will be painted.

You could forgo a face frame and just make a frameless cabinet. There's many more details, and as you get to certain stages you can get more tips.








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post #6 of 15 Old 10-21-2011, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great advice!

To answer some of the questions -

I am not going to use plywood edge banding - but rather a solid wood frame on top of the box - as in the photo's posted by woodnthings. I will be staining and urethaning.

The cabinet is going in a corner of the bathroom so two sides will be against a wall. Overall cabinet is 8' x 40" x 14" deep

Depth is an issue as the tub is adjacent - 14" will leave enough room to open the tall bottom door.

Thanks Cabinetman for the advice on thickness - 3/4" plywood will be sturdier for dado's and rabbets.

The face frame will be solid wood - I was thinking 2" x 1/2" fir for all frame pieces except around the drawers - 1" x 1/2". However - I could use 3/4".

As for the table saw - well - I wasn't going to get the cheapest one, but a $200 one. I'm sure the $500 ones are much better. If the $200 ones are really that awful then maybe I should reconsider?


Thanks -
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-21-2011, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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One more thing. I have a router - not a plunge router though. But I don't have a 'router head'. I'm not sure what that is even - I will have to look it up.

I was going to try and set up fences where needed but maybe that will just be a headache.... Want this to be fun as well as a nice cabinet when complete.

Although - when you're green - everything is a challenge the first time.


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post #8 of 15 Old 10-21-2011, 05:41 PM
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I apologize in advance if this is a lame suggestion, but it sounds like you are just setting up your shop. What about also designing some shop cabinets that will require the same techniques? That way you get to practice on stuff for your cave before making something for the bathroom that everyone will see, every day.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-22-2011, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve. No apology necessary. Yes it's true - I don't have a shop. However I do want to get the bathroom remodel done and truth be told - no garage to have a shop in, so I will be using a room in the basement - normally a bedroom - to perform this task.

I guess that does sound pretty lame, but you do what you gotta do.



I will go slow - and although I am inexperienced - I think it should turn out okay. I will post photos of my progress. In case there are major blunders. LOL. Hope not.

On a side note - read the thread made by that poor gentleman who injured his hand on the table saw yesterday. I know safety is important but that brings it to a whole new level. Thanks for the great posts on safety - especially the video on how to avoid kickbacks - extremely informative and excellent knowledge to spread around. Perhaps you should incorporate a safety area - maybe there already is one I haven't looked through everything yet - but for all us newbies - that kind of advice is worth its weight in platinum.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-27-2011, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Question Advice on Dado set and proper use

Hi again -

I'm not sure if you prefer I start a new thread each time I want to ask something new. Some sites prefer you keep one thread to follow how a project is going. Let me know.

Anyhow - before you chastise me... remember I am green - don't have a lot of cash to spare and if that isn't bad enough - this is only my second project ever.

The first one was a knife cabinet for my husband and I only had a circular saw to build it with. All things considered - it turned out okay. Not great - but okay.

I didn't have a table saw, and I know everyone has suggested I buy a good quality one, but this is what I could afford.

Skil 10" table saw - $200
Mibro Industrial 8" stacking dado blade set - $49

I am trying to learn about how to use dado blades safely and install the blades properly. I am a bit concerned though as the "extremely" limited set of instructions that came with the set states this under Product Care -

"Do NOT use with miter saws, portable circular saws or portable table saws."

So - since this could be considered a "portable" table saw - do you think its safe to use this dado blade with this table saw?

I have read a little this morning and it appears that Freud? is the preferred set of dado blades - but they are about $200 a set.

Also - I need some help understanding how to set the blades up. Like I said the instructions are .....well limited in that it appears they seem to think that everyone who buys a set of dado blades knows how to use them..... so your advice would be appreciated.

Also - I saw a video this morning with a cool set of board pushers for safely pushing the board through the dado blade when cutting. They had a plastic handle and what looks like a foam base with grooves for grabbing the wood. Anyone know where I can get some of those? The guy noted they came with a planer he bought. I have access to Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace, True Value and Western Building center. So I'm sure I can find something like it here without having to shop online.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Here are some photos -
the existing linen cabinet -
the location of the new linen cabinet - which will be where the plant is
and some photos of the dado blade set.

Judy
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-27-2011, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Better photo of product care

Here is a better photo.
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 08:07 AM
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I have got here great design ideas.
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 08:41 AM
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Huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragonremodeling View Post
I have got here great design ideas.
Do you mean that You have great ideas? Then show them.....

Or do you mean that you got great ideas from here? .... therefore thanks for the inspiration?

Hard to tell what you meant.....

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 09:20 AM
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If you are planning to buy a table saw, and do dadoes, I am thinking there might be another way. Any dadoes done on a table saw, can be done with a handheld router and a DIY guide that you can make.
Doing dadoes on a table saw isn't as easy as it sounds. If all you have is the saw, with it's own table top, it will be too small to dado long sections of substrate. A few quirks of using a stack dado is that you have to hold the stock down, and against the fence, which for some sizes is a feat of strength all by itself.

On the table saw, you can't see what you are doing, as the machining is happening underneath the stock. If you pick up a router, at least 1.5 HP or greater, you can do dadoes and rabbets on most any size substrate, or in any wood. A table saw is great to have, but with your limited space, I'm thinking a router would be easier. I do all my dadoes and rabbets with a router.

Here is some details for a guide you can make for use with a router.








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post #15 of 15 Old 11-08-2011, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Nearly complete using both table saw and router

Hi there -

Thanks Cabinetman - my son and I created a fence for the router to make the dado cuts in the 8 ft sides of this cabinet. We measured from the edge of the router base to the edge of the 3/4" straight bit - which for my router turned out to be 2 5/8" - and then we measured that distance from the edge of the dado we wanted to cut and clamped a scrap piece of trim board to it. This allowed us to cut the dado with the router in the 8 ft board where I needed it.

Even though the table saw had enough length to cut some of the dados where I needed them on these long 8 foot sides where we could use the fence - it was very difficult. We ended up using my son's dresser as a table saw extension as they were both about the same height - which helped - but it sure wasn't easy. Nevertheless we managed to get them cut. After a dry fit - amazingly - all the dado's and rabbets fit together perfectly!

Now - here's your laugh for the day....since I couldn't afford to buy all the same type of wood I have a mixture of birch veneer, oak veneer, douglas fir and something I think is called SBS? Anyhow - before I started this project I had just finished staining and urethaning a new solid cherry exterior door for our house and did a bunch of research on how to keep the cherry from blotching. I ended up using a washcoat cut down to 5% solids by volume and it turned out great so I used the same washcoat for the birch veneer plywood and - wala - no blotching. I am using a cherry color gel stain from HD and once I have all the staining complete I will put on a couple coats of urethane and start assembling.

The only other thing that will be interesting is getting the linen closet in the bathroom - you see it will fit but the existing vanity needs moved first and it will require a bit of holding your lips right to maneuver it into place. I thought about building it in place but my hubby thinks we can build it first and then put it in place.

Here's a link on how to make the washcoat. It's super easy. I just used the 5% solution by volume.

http://www.finishwiz.com/washcoatsolids.htm

And here's some photos of the cherry door I finished. First - the old door - which was douglas fir and was damaged by tenants - who for some reason tried to kick it in - so we ended up getting a new one by the same company so we could get the same style.

For the new door - I sanded it first with 150 grit, then applied the 5% washcoat, then sanded it again with 220 grit and then stained it with a cherry color gel stain and three coats of urethane - which overall took 5 weeks to complete as I could only work on it on the weekends and only do half the door at a go. But it was worth it.

Looks nice huh.

Judy
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