Posted by John on November 13th, 2013
This is part 10 in our series on building a custom TV stand. There won’t be a part 12, I promise. Maybe a wrap up post, but that’s it. We’re almost, almost done. The cabinet is pretty much all built. I just have to attach the doors and install it. In today’s video I show you the cabinet assembly including shelf pins, sanding and painting.
There’s a lot of info in this post and video so I’ll give you the highlights in case you miss any of them…
Shelf pins: I use a Rockler jig that makes it super easy to add holes for shelf pins. It’s much easier to add these holes before the cabinet is assembled. The drill bit tends to split the wood somewhat so adding them to a cabinet that’s already been painted may require some touch ups.
Sanding: I use a random orbital sander from Porter Cable. I start with a 100 grit sandpaper and then finish with a 220 grit. I intentionally avoid hitting the edge of the doors and face frame with the sander and instead give them a quick swipe with a piece of sandpaper over a block of wood.
Painting: My all time favorite cabinet painting method is two coats of a sprayed on primer followed by two coats of a finish spray paint. For a more custom yet clean brushed on look, brush on the last two coats of a cabinet grade paint like Satin Impervo from Benjamin Moore instead of spraying them. For this cabinet, since I wanted to tie it into our existing trim, I rolled on regular semi-gloss latex paint. The doors, countertop and the face frame, however, did get two coats of spray paint first though. Rolling or brushing on 3-4 coats of regular paint store latex paint tends to get less than ideal results with more prominent brush marks and a goopy texture. That sort of approach is fine for inside the cabinet, but for outside parts that get handled a lot, use the better paints.
Assembly: The advantage of using grooves and dado’s totally pays off when it’s time to assemble the cabinet. I used minimal brad nails since I don’t want to do much touching up and I’d like the cabinet construction not to be extremely obvious. Pocket screws were also used strategically with the goal of keeping them out of sight.
I hope the video is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.
This post contains affiliate links.
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,built-in, carpentry, wood working
Posted by John on November 7th, 2013
So our Custom Media Cabinet is nearly complete. I’m hoping to get it painted and then assembled this weekend. Instead of putting it together and then painting it, I’m going to try painting most of it first and then gluing it up. It was a major PIA to paint our built-in once it was finished. Especially the interior of the cabinet. Hoping to avoid that aggravation. Anyway, in today’s post, I’m going to show you how to DIY cabinet doors.
Back when we made our built-in, I threw together a video on YouTube showing our readers how to build inset shaker style cabinet doors. That video was up on YouTube for a couple months and got over 12,000 views! I took it down to make some changes and re-uploaded it a few weeks ago. There’s really no sense in making another video on shaker style inset cabinet doors, obviously, so I’m just going to re-share the original video.
Shaker style doors are fairly straight forward to make. Making them inset instead of overlay just screams custom and in the video I show you how I go about getting that result.
Oh, and head’s up… Sherwin Williams is having a 40% off sale this weekend, so you can be sure we’ll be heading over there.
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,built-ins, cabinets, carpentry, shaker, woodworking
Posted by John on November 4th, 2013
Happy Tuesday! Instead of hitting you with the next installment in our TV stand build, I wanted to do a few posts here and there on some other unrelated home improvement projects. Wasn’t originally my intention of doing 8 furniture posts in a row, but that’s just kind of how it worked out. I haven’t worked on it lately anyway, since Lisa and I were in Florida this past weekend for a destination wedding. It was on Captiva Island. Awesome time. I’m literally covered in bug bites, but it was a blast.
If you’ve been following our blog for a while now, you may remember that we installed a reverse osmosis system under our kitchen sink around a year ago (actually last September). I wanted to do a follow up with our readers to let everyone know how it was going. Were we using it? Did we still like it? This was actually the second water filtration system we added to our house, with the other being the filter on the fridge.
Well, I wanted to let you know that we love it. Big time. We use it ALL THE TIME. It tastes great.
We quickly got sick of our in-fridge filter some time ago, but we’ve been solid fans of the reverse osmosis system from day 1. If you drink a lot of bottled water, then I’d jump to get one of these systems.
We use the water for everything… tea, coffee, pasta and of course plain ol’ drinking water.
We bought the system at Lowes. It’s certainly not cheap, retailing today for just under $150. The filters need to be replaced every six months and they can set you back around $95 per change out. It’s still cheaper than buying bottled water though, at least for us. If you spend around $8 a week on bottled water, then in the first year you’d break even after around 7.5 months. In the second year and thereafter, your entire year’s worth of replacement filters would pay for themselves after just 6 months. It’s like drinking for free half of the year. Granted, I still have to pay for the water from the utility company, but that’s not much at all.
Another advantage has been the lack of empty plastic water bottles around the house. I can’t tell you how quickly our recycling container would fill up with those things.
Installation wasn’t a big deal either. Just about anyone can put one in.
So that’s it. This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, I just wanted to let everyone know how it was going. I’ve always been curious about what a home bloggers project looks like 1 or 2 years after the fact. Thought you might find it useful, especially if you were thinking about picking one up yourself.
Later this week, we dive back into our custom media cabinet and make some doors!
Posted in Plumbing. Tagged in ,plumbing, reverse osmosis, water
Posted by John on October 30th, 2013
Two videos in one week. I’m starting to feel like Steven Spielberg, sans the ability and talent. Although let’s be honest, my scripts are WAY better than the Star Wars prequels. Am I right?
If you’ve been following this build along, so far you’ve seen us come up with the concept design and do the dimension work. Next we made our cut sheets and bought the wood. We started the construction process by building the face frame with pocket screws. In our last post and video, I demonstrated how to use a table saw and hand held circular saw to cut out the plywood pieces. Now it’s time to prep our plywood box for assembly. In today’s video, I’m demonstrating how to make dado cuts.
Whenever I build cabinets, I almost always use grooves and dados for the box portion of the build. I do use pocket screws, but I save those for things like the face frame and attaching the countertop to the cabinet. Why don’t I use pocket screws for the cabinet box instead? Well, I actually think it would be HARDER to use pocket screws for the box. Pocket screws are great when you’re joining the edge of one board to the edge of another, which is why I love them for face frames. All you have to do is make sure the edges are flush together and you’re set. Now think about using pocket screws to attach one piece of plywood to the middle of another. How do you guarantee the pieces will be where they need to be when they come together? Well, you could draw a line on the one piece and line up the second piece over it as you join them. Doesn’t mean they won’t slip or move while you’re doing that though. What if they’re big pieces too? How will you support the weight of the pieces while you join them. Since the answers to these questions seemed to be a bit more work than they’re worth, I skip pocket screws for cabinet boxes.
Instead, I’m using dados and grooves. (I explain what the difference is between a dado and a groove in the video. They are essentially the same thing.) A dado does two things for me. It provides a means of alignment and it serves as a glue joint. If you put a 3/4″ wide groove into a piece of plywood 5″ from the bottom, the plywood piece that gets inserted into it isn’t going anywhere. What I mean by that is it won’t slip down to 4.5″ or up to 6″. It is literally stuck in a groove. If I use wood glue in those joints and throw in a couple of brad nails, I have a pretty strong joint that’s much easier to work with than a pocket screw.
Hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions. In the video, I use a router and a 3/4″ cutting bit. Routers are versatile additions to the workshop and you can pick up a quality model for around $100 new. Dado blades come in kits that start around $90. Dado kits are totally worth it if you’re even building one cabinet. You just have to make sure your table saw can handle them.
Posted in Carpentry,DIY Projects. Tagged in ,built-in, cabinet, carpentry, dados, router, table saw
Posted by John on October 27th, 2013
After a busy week and a half here at home, things are finally getting back to normal. I had a midterm in my night class and things at work got nuts for a bit. Rather than scramble to throw a post together, I thought it would be best just to wait until things cooled off.
In today’s post we pick up right where we left off with our Custom Media Cabinet build. Even though most of our readers are DIYers and probably have some experience using table saws and cutting plywood, I threw together a video to show the basic techniques that I use when cutting plywood. Just as there were some simple tricks we shared to get better results with our face frame, there are some equally beneficial approaches you can use to improve your results at the table saw.
Here are the basics on how to cut plywood:
- Use a pencil or pen to mark the plywood and then line the blade up with your mark being mindful of where the blade will impact the wood
- For cabinet pieces that are identical, they should be run through the saw one right after the other without any adjustments made to the fence to make sure they match
- Use a circular saw for cuts across long plywood boards
- Use a straight edge for more accurate circular saw cuts
- Avoid heavy cantilevered cuts with the circular saw. Instead, make those cuts over a work table with spacers propping up the piece.
If you have any questions on anything you see in the video, don’t hesitate to ask.