Friday, February 27, 2015


When I think of the shelves I first installed in my van last year -- a rickety construction of plywood held together with L-brackets and improperly-sized screws -- my first reaction is to wince inwardly. My second one is to feel slightly proud of how far I've come with my woodworking.

Since returning to Florida, I dove into my new-found woodworking hobby with gusto: I built my own kitchen table from scratch, and constructed a planter box of my own design for my mother as a gift. Once I got started with my van design 2.0, I built my bed frame -- the one you saw in a previous post -- and began building my cabinets. Behold:

It's a simple enough design; some plywood, 1x4's, and a face frame. Here's a few progression shots to give you an idea of how I built them:

On my second cabinet's face frame, I neglected to follow the golden rule of woodworking: "Measure twice, cut once." I cut my 1x3's an inch too short, so I had to rip a scrap piece of 1x4 down to size and then *correctly* make my final cuts. I am pleased with the result; such a failure in the past would have sent me back to the store for more wood. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gleaned from so many YouTube channels and web sites I've visited.

For the counter top, I toyed with the idea of using plywood and finishing the edges with laminate. Instead, I opted to go with a top made of 1x6 boards.

The doors, oddly enough, were the hardest thing to get just right. The way they look and contrast nicely with the rest of the stain is pure happenstance, for which I am immeasurably grateful. The insets on the doors are not stained - I only applied some wood conditioner and a wax finish.

The next thing I need to do is install my entertainment unit. So far, much of that work has been me sitting on the bed in the van, staring at the wall opposite me, and visualizing different designs that would work with the current counters. I already know that this one is going to be a pain until I can get out of my head and put my hands to work.

Until next time...

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