Making a useable kitchen cabinet to fit into a difficult space.
Having successfully installed our new fold away desk we decided my time would be well spent making something else. It was at last time to make a cabinet to hide all of our animals stuff… food, brushes, leads and obligatory poo bags. Also we needed a place to hide the endless pile of recycling, which during lockdown was formidable with all the Amazon deliveries.
Problem: the only available wall space in the kitchen that would not get in the way was below our picture rails and blackboard. We knew it had to be there since by default, since as a low traffic area it had grown to house piles of doggie chow bags, cat food boxes and a bin liner full of recycling…which a kind friend suggested was an abstract sculpture resembling Jabba the Hut.
This shape had to be a strange trapezoid. Where we had created an opening from the kitchen dinner to the rear lounge many years ago we had a door way at an angle.. so a simple rectangular shape was not an option since it would restrict the door form opening. Also since this was a ‘traffic’ area we needed it to be as shallow as possible, as deep as necessary.
I worked out the angle of the open door, and then used this to create a sketch for the maximum dimensions. Also I took one huge 12kg bag of Max the Dog’s preferred doggie chow, to work out the volume that I needed to hide this away.
Max the Dog, who believes he is perfectly sized for a lap dog
Again we made it out of joinery grade birch ply. This has the advantage that inside the cabinets can be simply varnished, which looks smarter, and the varnish is easier to use to create a first class finish, with all the corners and crannies inside a cabinet. We used Rustin’s acrylic matt varnish for this.
The large bag of Max’s doggie chow refused to stay in an appropriate shape in the trapezoid shaped cabinet to allow the door to close, so we made a removable container, which would take a whole 12kg bag. The design for this was based on my tool box. Max got very excited as I poured the whole bag of chow out, and then back, into this new container repeatedly to check it would all fit as I finished the construction. He thought it was perhaps his birthday and a feast was coming.
Again we wanted it to be minimal on the outside, similar to the fold up desk, so we used push to open tip on catches, with high power rare earth magnets to hold the doors shut. Also we had to move a socket from behind onto the side of the cabinet. This had the unexpected advantage of moving it to a more useful position! The shelves were made from thinner ply, 12mm, to maximize inside space. The shelves are of course fully adjustable, with Kreg shelf pins.
Inevitably we realized that the top of the cabinet would become another work surface, despite best intentions of keeping life clutter free. We did not want to buy another piece of marble to match the kitchen because of cost. So, we had an offcut of 18mm birch ply left over which we templated and cut to fit. To finish this so it is relatively hard wearing we had a half tin of tough floor paint also in the basement left from paining the kitchen floor.
Life is now better organized….. and Max now sits gazing wistfully at the cabinet holding his doggie chow when he thinks its time for a snack, rather than trying to chew through the sack of Lily’s Kitchen that used to flop there like Jabba the hut.
We bought all the materials from P O Joyce Timber Supplies on Church Lane East Finchley, who we have used for years. They helpfully cut the pieces to the sizes we requested, which made life easier.