The last few weeks (give or take) have been pretty good – in the shop the road and trails. The rain hasn’t got me down and my Strava is starting to feel the love. It’s nice to be getting out, here and away, and you can never go home like they say, but if you do bring your bike, reconnect with some old friends and great places and run yourself down riding and working.
There were quite a few hours in the shop getting this little bank of cabinets ready and one of my bigger solid countertop projects so far. The goal was to take the unused space in the kitchen, build in a ton of storage, a recycling station and a large countertop for eating, socializing and just about anything a small family could throw at it. I’d eventually knock this wall out to join the adjacent dining room.
We decided to match the style of the existing face frames in the kitchen, so white lacquered plywood boxes with an applied face frame and edge grain maple top. This was the process:
I’ve been doing the solid tops for a while and given it’s size, this one went better than I could hope. The lumber was clear and the color pretty consistent. I didn’t want pieces that would stick out – and I lucked out, I only remember a few knots as I ripped up these boards. Not bad for 100 or so board feet. After a bit of color and grain matching the final piece turned out great.
I did my dry run and shipped everything to site. Went for a bike then got to work. Demo and framing. Shifting electrical boxes and hanging around in the attic. A little board, mud and tape.
I chose to build the counter in two sections, to help with the install and save my back. The kitchen side roughed out around 34″ deep x 110″ wide and was heavy. The dining room side with the eating bar ended up almost 14″ deep by 120″ wide. I notched and cut them on site once the cabinets were in. I was able to keep the tops aligned with four tenons joining the two pieces. A little action with the card scraper and it finished out nice.
We waxed and oiled the top and I added the doors, drawer fronts and hardware. I’ll be back in a bit to trim everything out and hit the trails a few more time before summer holidays. Tough life.
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