Impetus for getting the shed together

There’s one project that I did that really motivated me to get my space up to standards – the pantry.

Our house was built in the early 70s, and then about 10 years ago expanded. Even so, the counter and cabinet space is sparse in our kitchen. My wife wanted some additional storage space, and I was itching for my first project, so I volunteered. The only way to gain experience is to do something, and I can’t tell you how much I learned by doing this project, unlike just reading. Because my space was still a disaster (see the next post), I had to do this project at my parents house, in their garage.

(Thank you very much for letting me take over that space for several weeks.)

The house is about three miles away, and with three kids, I didn’t get much opportunity to work on it each day. It was once or twice a week, if I was lucky. It took way longer that I thought, and it’s still in process (get used to that).

I went with 3/4″ white birch plywood for the case, and 1″ thick poplar for the face. The middle shelves are dadoed on the outside verticals, as is the middle vertical on the top and bottom pieces. The middle shelf is supported by L-brackets on the middle vertical (as doing a dado there would compromise the structural integrity), as is the toe kick to the bottom shelf. The back is a 1/4″ matching white birch, set into the case with a rabbet, glue and staples.

Case in unspecified condition, at the work site

Making the frame


Final destination


Since I took that pic a couple of months ago, as of today I’m 75% done banding the edges. I also need to fit the final two shelves, and of course make the doors. I had attempted to do the doors a while back, but sheer frustration had set in and we decided to cut losses and get it home.

It’s hard to describe all I learned during this project. I learned I needed a space of my own to do projects. I learned I need a better way to do dadoes. I learned my straight-edge sucks when used at full length. I learned I need to take my time a bit more. I learned I didn’t have the right tools, experience or knowledge to take on this project when I did. It’s not square. It’s not as good as I could do even today. But as long as the doors go on and it looks good, I’ll be happy with it.

I knew I had to transform the shed, and it would begin in earnest…

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