Thursday, December 25, 2014

Space-saving Shoe Cabinet

Finally I can post about the project I've been working on lately - it was a Christmas gift, so I couldn't broadcast the pictures and ruin the surprise!

My mom asked me to build a shoe shelf for by her back door... but on legs to keep the shoes out of reach of her puppy. I didn't like the way that looked in my head, so I suggested something that would close instead of something on legs. She was up for whatever, gave me the measurement limits and chose a color... and I was free to decide the rest.

I looked around on and immediately found plans for a cool shoe cabinet that fit the bill! I love that it is only about 6" wide and sits flush against the wall. I also love that it provides a flat surface on top for decorations, mail, keys, whatever! It's so narrow that it wouldn't be in the way, even in an entryway as small as mine! (As evidenced here - I set it up at our house before we headed out to take it to NY and was tempted to keep it! It even matches my living room!)

I altered the plans to make it 36" wide instead of 48" to fit her space, and was ready to get to work! Once I got the frame and drawers built, I realized I might be in over my head - figuring out how to drill the holes for the dowels and make everything fit was confusing me... I stalled out but spent the time painting the pieces, since I figured the drawers and inside of the frame would be difficult to paint once it was together.

Avoidance is only a temporary fix, though, and eventually I had to deal with the fact that I didn't really know what I was doing for the next step. So I spent time re-reading the plans and comments on the website. I didn't find anyone else having too much trouble with the dowels, so I thought maybe I was just making it harder than it needed to be (no.....) and decided to just give it a try. I won't lie and say I was successful right away. I actually screwed up, slammed the garage door, and stewed overnight one night - I was sure I had screwed it up beyond repair. But in the fresher light of day, in the mostly dark garage, I was able to fix it and finally had working tilting drawers!

Mom measured her baseboards and I added legs to the front of the cabinet tall enough to clear them. Without legs on the back and with a cleat inside to attach the cabinet to the wall, the whole cabinet sits flush against the wall, assuming the wall is straight. LOVE this feature! Luckily for me, the legs were 3.5" tall, which is the width of a 2x4 which meant I could support the back with a piece of scrap once the legs were on. Now it could stand up in the garage while I worked on the last details. Love when things work out.

Speaking of things working out, I started on a project for Brad while I was waiting for the wood filler to dry (so much wood filler...) and saw this - here's the back of the shoe cabinet, the miter saw table, and the workbench  Apparently this is just how tall I build stuff now...

A couple of straps on the backs of the drawers (to keep them from opening too far), a couple of handles, cabinet locks, and touch-up paint, and I was (finally) done!

That is, until I got to NY and had to adjust the cabinet locks and touch up the paint. My family had a great time teasing me about obsessing so much about tiny details, but HELLO. The blog is called Obsessive Constructive for a reason... why are we surprised?!

Here it is installed! They're happy with the look, dad's happy with the low-profile against the wall, and I'm happy it's finally done. It was a challenge to build, but since it was my first build with moving parts, I'm proud to have been able to eventually make it work!

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