J here for my first posting!
A few weeks ago, we re-did a hutch my dad made when I was little, and I “inherited” when L and I got married. As L mentioned, she was spending her time sanding, priming, and painting while I did most of the fabrication and assembly. Stealing an idea from Alton Brown’s show Good Eats, the “software” I used was:
- four 8′ pieces of 1×3 poplar,
- a 2 foot by 4 foot piece of 1/8″ MDF and
- one 6′ piece of 1×6 pine.
The “hardware” was:
- a tablesaw (with both regular and dado blades)
- a pocket screw set from Kreg
- an electric screwdriver (“heavy-duty” battery driven one worked for me)
- a small compressor
- and a small finish nail gun…And lots of energy 🙂
The trim was very simple. Using the 1×3 poplar, I wrapped the trim around the corner using a simple butt joint; meaning, the front piece of trim sticks out past the edge of the furniture and the side pieces of trim butt up against it. Once nailed and glued on, I spent lots of time filling any gaps you could see in the joint and sanding it, which makes it look almost like one piece of wood once its painted. Then I made the new rectangular legs out of 3 pieces of 1×3 (for an almost square 3″ leg).
Drawer fronts. This was extremely simple (even more simple than the trim). For each drawer I cut two pieces out of the 1×6: One was the dimensions wanted the drawer front to be (what it looked like from the outside), and the other was the dimensions of the inside of the drawer. After nailing one to the other (from the inside, smaller piece so you wouldn’t see the nail heads), we attached the existing drawer body to the new drawer front (again with the nailgun), and off we went!
Door fronts. This took the most amount of time, but I was surprised at how quickly it came together. Started out by cutting all the pieces of wood for the door frames from the 1×3 poplar. Again, the corners were going to be simple butt joints (no complicated, mitered cuts for this project!), and the face of the door was going to be MDF. I used a stacked dado blade on the table saw to make a “channel” on the inside edge of each piece of the frame. Once all the wood was cut and dry fitted, I got onto the actual assembly, bringing us to my new favorite piece of equipment/technique. Pocket screws. You may laugh, but last weekend, I found out that pocket screws are one of my great loves (besides my lovely wife L and our stinky dog Maggie). Using the nifty pocket screw set from Kreg, I was able to put the door front frame together in no time — giving L plenty of time to ham it up for the camera.
After that, it was easy to plop the MDF in the center of the door and staple it into place. After a bunch more sanding, painting, and a coat or two of polyurathane, we were done. I know we’ve posted this picture before, but we’re proud of the results: our new/old hutch!