Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Shingle Scrap Palace

I think that’ll be the new name for The Petch House: The Shingle Scrap Palace. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

So, my experiment in high-end cabinet making continues. I’ve had some success working on the center section. That is the 18X18 inch section in the middle in the diagram above. The plan was to use up some of the 800+ redwood shingle scraps I had left over from when I did some exterior repairs a few years ago.

This was one of those things that I really had no idea how it was going to work, so I decided to do it first. I didn’t want to plan on it, only to find out 2 months down the road when I go to assemble the damn things that my hair-brained scheme was nothing more than just that: a hair-brained scheme.

The shingle scraps were about 6-inches square so I squared them up to 5.75-inches. They also have a slight taper to them, as shingles are want to do. I thought about using a bunch of little shims, but that seemed like a lot of work. Instead, I doubled them up by stacking two together to off-set the taper. Picture two wedges opposing each other to create a level surface.

This worked well, but not perfect. There was some sanding to do, but it wasn’t too bad. I would have needed to do almost as much sanding anyway because shingles are rough-sawn. Even if they had laid perfectly flat there still would have been the pronounced saw marks to deal with.

These are front and back views of the back section. The opening in the center is for a door. I built the frame with pocket screws, like you would a face frame, and then 1.25 inch bards to attach the shingle scraps.

These are the 2 sides. After the shingle scraps were nailed on to the face-frame I sanded it all down. It didn’t take too long. The one on the right is the first I did and it is already partially sanded in this picture.

The last part was to add the trim. This is not really assembled. The trim is just sitting there right now. I was just curious how it would look. I bought a pair of opposing router bits which are made for this sort of thing. The rails and stiles in this test are 1.5-inches wide. I may try some different sizes of trim before I settle on a final trim. I think it’s going to work, though.

This was the first section I built and I wish I had been more selective with the shingles. The long back section and the other side section all have nice, tight, straight grain shingles scraps and even some curly redwood. I considered making a new side piece to replace this, but I probably won't.


Chaz said...

Damn! You're even cheaper than me, and you STILL make it look nicer!

Jayne said...

Still laughing about "The Shingle Scrap Palace". Too funny!

petite tête de chou said...'re doing all of this yourself (fuck yes!)whoops...sleeping in tubs, on the floor, with the a gorgeous house/home/project...Do you see an end with this project?

Kathy from NJ said...

Greg, you are absolutely amazing. That cabinet will be a showpiece.

Greg said...


When people ask I say I'm 6 years in to a 10 year project. Who knows how accurate that is.

Anonymous said...

i love your reclaiming/resurrecting stuff. it's seeming like the antidote to a lot of bad news these days. thanks and party on.

SmilingJudy said...

OMG! I had no idea what you were thinking when you started talking about building cabinets with shingles. Brilliant! And it looks gorgeous. Great job as usual!