Over a month ago, I started tackling the storage closet upstairs. I removed the wire shelves, patched the walls, painted, and made a simple tower to hold all the computer and network gear. The next step was building cabinets.
Cabinets aren’t usually a great choice for a closet since you lose the space where the doors have to swing open, but I wanted to go for it here because we always leave the door to that closet open. The computers generate a lot of heat and there isn’t any cooling system in place other than the open door.
I really don’t like projects that require me to go in and out of the house 100 times so I decided to build the cabinets in the garage. I designed them so I could assemble and paint everything in the garage, and then disassemble it to the point where it would fit through the doorways.
This is the first time I’ve really tried to make cabinets. There were a ton of mistakes but in the end, it looks pretty good and it will meet our needs. It’s difficult to take a picture of a closet, but here is one attempt:
As I mentioned, there were a lot of snags in the project. These were the biggest ones:
- The cabinets are built out of 3/4″ plywood with poplar along the edges. I completely miscalculated how much poplar I needed which meant a second trip down to Crosscut. It’s about 30-40 minutes each way and Saturday is the only day they are open when I’m not at work.
- Despite measuring a dozen times and carefully planning it all out, the cabinets were too deep and covered up the light switch. I was able to cut out a bit of the face frame so you can reach in to hit the switch. It’s ridiculous but it’s really isn’t that big of a deal. It will just make me feel dumb forever.
- I didn’t think to use special cabinet door hinges until the complete end of the project. I spent hours upon hours getting the doors to align and making sure they all closed smoothly with a fairly consistent gap between them. At the end, it dawned on me that cabinet hinges have an adjustment built in so that you can fine tune after everything is assembled. Why didn’t I think of that before?
These are all good lessons learned because I think there are a couple more projects like this coming along.