Our washer and dryer are located in the basement. Today, my wife asked me to take a load of clothes downstairs and put them in the washer, a job she despises. “OK, I’ll do it” was my reply. I take the basket of clothes downstairs and get the washer going and then I walk over to my workshop area and admire my new tool cabinet. The task my wife hates is no big deal for me because I can take in the view of my shop and my current project, a new tool cabinet, nearing completion in all it’s cherry and curly maple glory.
These last couple of weeks has been exciting; it always is as a project nears completion. And that is where I am; nearly there, nearly complete. The tool cabinet itself is finished, but I have a few more things related to the cabinet which I want to finish before I can officially move on.
Since my last update on the tool cabinet, I have completed the following…
FIRST – There was a small gap between the top of the tool cabinet and the stairs. Small, but I knew it was there and it bugged me.
I added shims between the casters and the cabinet case, effectively raising the cabinet and closing the gap, but I purposely added larger shims than need be. I wanted the cabinet too tall so I could roll it in place and scribe a line creating a perfect match with the slope of the stair case.
I grabbed a few pieces of scrap plywood and created a track which would allow me to line up the track edge (and router bit cutting edge) with my scribe line and after multiple passes with my router, I got the perfect angle which matches the stairs. This worked really well, even though working with the cabinet on my shop floor is not ideal. I have two sets of Becksvoort designed saw horses. I need the last in the set he designed which is about 1 1/2′ tall; would have been perfect.
SECOND – Create the little cove moulding needed to separate the upper and lower cabinet drawers. See the SketchUp images below…
This little piece of moulding is meant to visually break the symmetrical look of the lower drawers with the upper off-center drawers. I make this cove moulding at the router table.
This operation went well except for the burn marks. I’m using an old bit. Never tried to sharpen a router bit before. This moulding was added to the cabinet using glue and clamps.
THIRD – The drawers need a guide to keep them from tipping down when being pulled out. This is easy in theory, but getting them attached properly was a challenge.
FOURTH – The only thing left to do: add the top, attach the back and start sanding. Sanding is a little no fun. I do like the look of wood sanded to a dull, dusty look. Once I added the top and back, I started sanding at 150 grit, moved to 180 and 220.
I power sanded using 150 grit and everything else was accomplished by hand. I removed dust using a tac cloth and then applied finish.
I colored some shellac with golden brown TransTint and used that as a first coat of finish on the drawer fronts. I then sanded most of this away allowing the curl in the maple to maintain some of the color (popping the grain). I then began a process of adding satin wipe-on Minwax polyurethane. I got three coats on the drawer fronts and the face frame sanding with 320 grit paper between coats.
I am totally humbled by how well this project turned out. I have some more work to do like finish the false wall to the right of the cabinet which I’ll do before I move to my next project. I need to add some organizers to the drawers; I envision some slender strips of wood to do this. I suspect all this work will take a couple more weeks or so.
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