Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mr. Petch, We Have Good News

I was being a bit of a fuss-budget yesterday so I put myself down for a nap for few hours. When I woke up I had a juice box and some cookies, and I felt much better. After my nap I went out to the garage and inspected the crazy cabinet I built on Sunday. It was pretty hosed up.

I did a number of things wrong, starting with trying to assemble it in the bathroom. I assembled the larger corner cabinet in there and it went fine, but the space became even more limited once that cabinet was standing in the corner. I then tried to rush the assembly because the Super Bowl was coming on. That never works out.

Ultimately though, the problem had to do with the fact that the sides and the face frame were out of whack. The right side was 13-inches wide and square. The left side however, was 13-inches wide at the bottom and 13.25 inches wide at the top. It had a slight taper to it. I didn’t catch this because I was in a hurry to get it together. Then, when I attached the sides to the back, the right side was not sitting firmly on the ground. I think there might have been a nail or a small piece of wood under it when I glued and screwed it to the back. This made the whole thing list to one side. Because I was working in such cramped conditions I didn’t notice this at first either.

Finally, the face frame had a little bump out at one joint. One of the cuts may not have been square or maybe a little saw dust got in there. I noticed this but I was hoping I could pull it square once I started the assembly. Anyone of these things by themselves was bad but when you put them altogether I ended up with what amounted to a gangly, awkward teenager of a cabinet. If it could have spoken would have done so with a squeaky, adolescent voice.

After my nap I debated whether I could save it or not. The best thing going for it was that it is a built-in cabinet so most of it won’t be seen. I had pulled the face frame off a few minutes after I put it together on Sunday and wiped all the glue off. A few minutes with a hand planer took care of the extra quarter inch on the left side.

At the top and bottom the right side was not flush with the back and left side. It was lifted up 3/8-inch above the other parts. Because this is a built-in and will have a base molding around the bottom, and some trim under the counter, I was able to trim the bottom and top with a jig saw to even things out. If it comes out a little short I can shim it before I apply the base molding and no one will ever know.

I put an extra piece of 1X1 behind the slight bump-out on the face frame and then glued, brad, and clamped it in to place. The bump-out was very slight, so it should be fine once the glue sets and I remove the clamp. All in all it was a complete waste of time to try and rush through the assembly, but in the end I was able to save the cabinet. It’s still resting in the clamps, but by tomorrow it should be fine. A big sigh of relief here at The Petch House.

1 comment:

Chris Emery said...

I don't know about that "fuss-budget" thing. I agree with you 100%. If you deal with a salesperson and a specialist in a niche field, they should make sure you have everything you need and then triple-check. For goodness sake, it was a choice of two valves. I'd be steamed up about that too. I reckon that's pretty shoddy service.