Base Cabinets in Studio

Getting home I knew I had several things to work on in preparation for Christmas, but my cabinet project looms over me like a monkey on my back.  I kind of want to get it done so I can get back to working on arts and crafts.  Plus installing these cabinets will free up garage space and I can get the Jeep out of the cold and rain where it sits slowly rusting away.

Today I was able to install the three base cabinets in the auxiliary office area of my studio.  It took me a leisurely hour and a half.  Of course this is where learned if I did a good job framing the new walls, because I would be able to tell if things were out of square or not plumb as soon as I put in the base cabinets.  Turns out I did about a “C” job for my first go at framing AND drywalling.  For whatever reason my floor (I made myself) under the cabinets was out of level so I had to shim like crazy.  This is opposed to the floor in the studio above where I installed cabinets previously…I didn’t have to shim anything from what I remember.  Oh well.  Also my wall was a little out of plumb and the corners aren’t the most square.

Once the first cabinet was leveled I added yet another block behind the wall to provide a secure mounting point for the base cabinet.  In hind sight I should have shifted my studs so that there would be one behind each cabinet.  Oh well.  Adding blocks was easy because the back of the wall is still exposed….(eventually I’ll build a bookcase so I left off the drywall…that’s why I still have access).  With the block added I drilled and screwed the cabinet in place using some #10 2-1/2″ black oxide cabinet screws; following the Shenandoah Cabinet installation guide.

I then laid down more shims so the middle 12″ drawer cabinet would be at the same height as the first cabinet, and it would be level.  Once in place I flushed up the face frames and clamped them together; the face frames of the two cabinets.  I then drilled some countersunk pilot holes and fastened the face frames together, all flush and even.  Next I added another mounting block and fastened the cabinet to the wall, screwing through the upper back hardwood mounting rail.

Upon inserting the final cabinet I realized I forgot to center the cabinets on the wall.  No big deal but the gap on the left side was a little bigger than the right…so I quickly disconnected  and centered the cabinets…no big deal.  I laid some shims down and inserted the last 18″ cabinet.  Everything checked out level and looked good so I fastened the face frames and mounted the unit to the wall, including one “no-no” screw running through the side of the cabinet into the wall (“no-no” cause there is no hardwood mounting rail on the sides of the cabinets).  It’ll be fine…cabinet’s not going anywhere.

I trimmed out the gaps on either side of the cabinet assembly with some 1/2″ trim that came with the cabinet order.  I glued and pinned in place the toe kick too. Finally I hoisted the premade laminate countertop up to see how bad it fit.  I had the counter made under the premise I’d frame the area to fit the countertop at exactly forty eight inches wide.  Well I messed up a measurement and ended up with about 48-1/2″ wide.  Plus the corners aren’t square.  Long story short I either need to live with it or get that countertop remade at about $100.  We’ll see.  The wife says it looks fine.  I’m not worried either way.

Probably back to art tomorrow but then at some point I’ll install the sink base and last wall cabinet.

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