Holly's Office Cabinet

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Oct 06 2013
Finished project?: 
Rev 1D Design as Sketchup render
Work History: 

My sister Holly and her husband run a business out of their home, which is on the old family farm. Their business is growing nicely, but they've outgrown the home office in the main farmhouse, so they've been working to convert the old milkhouse to be a single-room office. This past summer, she asked me if I might like to try building a built in cabinet for the office, to funciton as a storage center for office supplies. Given how many backed up projects I had at that time, I didn't think it was likely that I would ever get to it, but I told her I'd think about it.

Well, three or four months later and I've really caught up on many of my woodworking projects, so I told Holly I'd like to try it. I've never done any built in furniture before, but I certainly understand the theory. We've now reached the point where I've taken measurements and proposed a design. At this point, I'm going to go ahead and create my online project page, as a repository for design ideas and also project files and photos.


Design Notes: 

2013-10-05 Design Notes: Holly requested a wood finish rather than paint, with a mid-range wood color ( not maple-white, or walnut-dark) and that it fits into the Northwest corner of the office. This, as can be seen from the gallery photos, is an area that is 60" from a door in the wall to the corner, and then 60" over from that corner to a large window in the North wall. After some discussion, I suggested that we just build on one wall, since the corner storage would largely be lost if we built on both walls of such a short area. We'd end up with two 25" cabinets on each wall, with a 25" dead space in the corner, which would take up 50% more space for no extra usable storeage. So I designed along one wall, the West wall. As for the design type, she left it pretty much up to me. Sweet.

2013-10-11 Design notes: As a design influence, I looked at quite a few built-in cabinet designs, but I ended up opting for something similar to what Chris Becksvoort described in his Fine Woodworking article on building a Shaker style built-in from 2011. ("Beautify Your Home with a Shaker Built-In" which is available online with a subscription, Issue #211.)   I modified the design quite a bit to fit the space, but I used the basic construction strategy, including building it from floor to ceiling, and the materials choices (cherry plywood and solid cherry face frames and drawer fronts. One major change I had to make due to the context is that the wall behind the unit is a 50 year old ceramic tile block wall, with limited possibilities for anchoring. So I added anchors to the side wall and ceiling. The Rev 1C design is pretty close to what my sister endded up chosing. Rev 1D replaced the left top cabinet doors with more bookshelves. Rev 1D also added a face frame to the side of the unit, something I had intended all along, but hadn't taken the time to add in the 1C version.

2013-10-16 Design notes: In the model, I placed the side frame. I was going to make it a simple faux, two panel up and down side frame, but I opted instead to match the front panel dimensions, and made it a three panel side frame. The horizontals match the similar eliments on the face frame.

Project Files: 
File Design - rev 1C.skp6.12 MB
File Design - rev 1D.skp7.63 MB