Sunday, September 07, 2008

Meet The Players

I officially started the cabinets today. When finished, they will be roughly 8-feet tall and 8-feet wide, and they will have doors and drawers on both sides, so I think they are really going to take a long time build. As I said the other day, I’m trying to build them with materials on-hand.

The reason to use material on-hand is 2 fold. First, I want to save money. Clear, finish grade lumber is expensive. Prices of clear, heart redwood have gone through the roof over the past decade. Also, most of it is second growth now, which is not nearly as good as the old-growth stuff. Then, when you get in to curly and burl redwood, the prices go up even more. And as we all know, I am One Cheap Bastard.

Second, I just want to use up wood. I still have a lot leftover from the two story addition I dismantled, but there is also other stuff lying around that I’ve either collected, was given, or bought as salvage. Some of it I got specifically for this project, but other stuff I got just because the opportunity arrived. Also, by using all redwood – no plywood or lesser woods for secondary parts of the cabinets – they will look more original to the house. That’s the hope, anyway.

This is the basic design of the dining room side. The uppers will be 2 large cabinets with double, glass front doors. The total size of the uppers is 18-inches deep by 50-inches tall. The middle, open section will be for display/serving. It will be 18-inches deep and 18-inches high. A single door at the back to pass dirty dishes to the butler’s pantry. The lower cabinets are 36-inches tall by 22-inches deep. Based on the witness marks in the paint on the butler’s pantry beadboard, this is the identical size of the original cabinets that once stood here.

This is 17-foot lengths 1X6 T&G redwood flooring that I pulled out of the original kitchen. It is in really bad shape and most of this will be waste. I want to use this for carcasses of the bottom cabinets. I will cut out as many decent 3-foot lengths as I can and then glue up panels. This will be the interior of the lower cabinets, so a few dings here and there won’t be the end of the world. I’ll also use this to make small trim pieces on the router.

These are interesting. They were in a garbage can filled with water in my neighbors backyard. He didn’t remember where he got them or exactly how long they had been in the garbage can. He was going to take them to the dump so I snagged them. They are 2-feet long, 6-inches wide, and only 3/8ths-inch thick. They are T&G and all clear, heart redwood. I’ve seen things like this used for the backs of medicine cabinets, but I’m not sure if that is what they were designed for. They are new material, but old growth lumber. I’m thinking about using them to line the butler’s pantry side of the middle section. Also, maybe use them to line the inside of the lowers if the flooring looks worse than I remember.

This is a random collection of curly and burl redwood I’ve collected of the past few years. This is solely for the face frames and drawer fronts of the dining rooms side. Next weekend I hope to go over to my friends house and use his band saw to start to mill this in to usable lumber. I’ll then run it through my planer and table saw to get it to usable dimensions.

These are drawers that came out of one of the 1920s kitchens in the now dismantled two story addition. There are a few more lying around besides these. I want to cut them down to use as the 3, double-sided drawers. The dining room side will get burl redwood drawer fronts. The butler’s pantry side will be painted, so any clear redwood will do.

These are essentially shingle scraps. I bought about 12 bundles of redwood shingles off my old boss when I had to do the repairs to the exterior when I removed the 2 story addition. These were milled back in the 40s or 50s, when his house was built, and they were still out in the barn. I had to cut the shingles down to make the octagon shingles to match the second story of the house. I was left with more than 800 of these little 6X6 squares of wood.

It seemed a shame to throw them away. I thought maybe they could be used to make little bird houses or something. I considered contacting a boy scout troop to see if they wanted them for a project, but that never happened. I won’t go in to it now, but I will be using these in the middle section. Think coffered ceiling, but smaller, with less detail, and vertical instead of horizontal. The idea may not work at all, so we’ll see.

These are 1X12 boards that I bought as salvage a few years ago. It is just beautiful wood. There are 18 of them that run from about 5-feet long to about 7-feet long. I ended up paying about 75 cents a lineal foot for all of it. (KA-Ching!) These came out of the old Daly’s department store in what is now Old Town. Originally, the department store was high-style on the inside with Greek columns and ornamental plaster work. During the 50s it was Eisenhowered and all of the nice stuff was hidden behind plain, sleek new boxes. These boards were used to box in the original columns. These will be used to make the upper carcasses. I will only need 6 of them for that, so the others are going to be used to replace some base board and other, later projects.

Its going to be a big project and I’m very nervous about it. I have a bad habit of being impatient and rushing things at the end. I really need to take my time with this. These cabinets, on the dining room side, will be the second biggest piece of woodwork in the house after the main staircase. It is basically a show-piece for the house. I can’t do crappy work.

I was just thinking, that when this is all over, I could host my own show on one of those cable channels. I would call it “One Cheap Bastard”. I can hear the announcer now…

Coming up next on “One Cheap Bastard”, watch as Greg tries to make High Victorian cabinets out of shingle scraps…


Jennifer said...

And we'll be watching with baited breath...
he has the required linear footage of boards... CAN HE CREATE a cabinet?

Can't wait to see the result!

Anonymous said...

I would totally watch that show!!

Jenni said...

I would watch it, too. So far you have 3 viewers. Ratings through the roof. ( maybe they won't make a hole in the roof.)

Glad you are making use of all the scraps.

Greg said...

Ok, I'm going to forward this post to HGTV. Fingers crossed! Of course, I won't work for less than 6 figures...

HPH said...

OCB, can't wait see the finish product. I've got my remote primed and ready.