From the Archives: 5/26/2011
One of the things that drives me nuts about a house is any "Dead" space. As a pack-rat with very little self-control, any space in a house that could be put to storage, but isn't... is just wrong
So this area under the L shaped divider between the living room and the kitchen/dining area was pretty high on my priority list of things that could be made better after hubby and I bought the house.
First step... plan, plan, plan. Then I marked the wall with hubby's help and started the cuts. Two supports had to be removed and placed between doors. The other two fell between without changes. I also added shims to existing supports to firm up some needed support for the fish tank base that sits on the divider.
After finding out that buying new cupboard doors was ridiculously expensive for a hack-through-the-wall project, I decided to use a three panel shoji screen as the doors. Not only was the screen something I picked up on Craigslist for about $20, but it also lends to the vaguely oriental style that hubby and I prefer.
Shown here is one panel removed from the other two. I measured and measured and figured out where to cut so that I would have two doors and enough of the side trim from the middle to create the new top trim for the doors. Each of the three panels could be used to make two doors, but since this project would only need four doors, I saved the third panel for another project.
The sides are grooved so that the thin strips of the panel and fabric are held inside the groove. This made it an additional challenge to cut with my jigsaw since the interior panel would start shaking when I got to it, but I still had a small distance before I was the rest of the way through the side. Once the sides were cut, I cut through the fabric with a knife before using the jig saw to cut the wood strips.
This is one of the center pieces from the unused portion of screen. I used one of these pieces to add to the new ends to sandwich into the groove and hold everything in place. However, since each piece was created with a U on both the cross and the vertical and this piece would go in place where there were no cutouts, I had to nibble out the U until it was almost all the way through the thin wood to fit it over the ends of the full piece. You can see this new end piece holding the vertical supports firmly in place inside the groove. In hind-sight, I probably would have cut the door a little shorter to land exactly on a cross piece instead of making one, but the door holes were already cut at this point, so I did the work to have them the height I needed.
The joint is very similar to the standard joints, though you can see the new end does not have the tongue and groove fit that the original end does.
Everything would probably hold just fine from the pressure or with glue, but I decided that the corners would be stronger with an L bracket to be sure everything held in place.
Like most of my other projects, I am using almost all materials I already have on hand. These cupboard hinges were ones I got at Habitat for Humanity resale with plans for re-doing the cupboards in Aurora. We never got to it, but they come in handy now, even if it means some creative planning to get them to work.
I was originally worried that the spring-close style hinge would be too strong for my light weight panel doors, but it works out very well. They are very easy to open, but the spring close holds them firmly closed without needing any kind of latch.
They look nice from the outside, too. Even though they are meant to be hung the opposite way with a semi-recessed door.
I kept the L shape on the right side open deeper than the other cupboards since I often have a stockpile of a few types of cans that stack well and can fill back into the space a ways. I added a back to the L where you can see the deepest support in this picture. It is nice and deep, but is a little less than one arms length, so I can still reach everything.
Like the other materials, the shelves were all ones that I had waiting in the shed from a free listing on Craigslist. The cuts around the many supports made it quite a challenge to get them fully fitting and put in though.
When I first started planning things, I wasn't sure if it would fit all my cans, but it ended up being a lot more room than I thought it would be. I stock up when there is an exceptional sale, so having extra room is a must.