Corner Pantry for my Love


I don’t know about you, but the SWMBO in my life has made me a better woodworker. With a singular focus on form and function, she asks me to make things. She seems naively unaware of the first-time joinery techniques I’ll have to tackle. And therein laid the benefit of her gentle reminders that “a corner pantry would make that area look really nice.”

She had a point. This is what the space looked like on a good day.

P01-Corner Pantry-Starting Mess

But, because I’d never built a piece of furniture before, I procrastinated. I came up with a design, scoured my books for joinery options, carcass-building methods and other basic furniture trade knowledge to complete my assignment.

P17-Corner Pantry-Design P18-Corner Pantry-Design door

My criterion were simple: the pantry had to match the adjacent buffet in look, feel and color.

P02-Corner Pantry-Fit with existing buffet

Apparently that’s pretty important to chicks. In practice that meant having the piece sit about the same height, use frame-and-panel door construction and imitate the floorboard and moulding on the buffet.

P04-Corner Pantry-Base moulding

It also meant using pine panels from a big-box store because their cost was in line with what we were willing to lay out.

Construction
The construction was straight forward. The bottom shelf joined to the sides via through dados and the middle shelf joined with a stopped dado. The two top-level shelves sit on shelf pins in holes drilled 2” apart via a template I created.

P15-Corner Pantry-Adjustable shelf holes

A ¼” plywood back slides into grooves routed into the top and sides. The grooves are stopped on the side bottoms to hold the back in place. The top is affixed to the carcass using ¾” x ¾” maple strips.

P13-Corner Pantry-Top mounting woodware

Baseboard Moulding
I took measurements of the adjacent buffet’s baseboard moulding.

P19-Corner Pantry-Moulding profile

However my attempts failed to mimic it using my inventory of moulding and rabbet planes.

P08-Corner Pantry-Moulding attempt P09-Corner Pantry-Moulding too rough

So instead, I used a roundover bit to create a similar profile.

P10-Corner Pantry-Moulding decorative elements P11-Corner Pantry-Side by side moulding

The top of the baseboard piece was rounded over and the bottom of the moulding piece was chamfered.

Finishing
Much to my surprise, Traditional Pecan stain provided the closest color match to the existing buffet.

P14-Corner Pantry-Staining options

Two coats of spar urethane provide the semi-gloss sheen of its neighbor.

Hardware
I learned that the big-box stores don’t have much in the way of pleasing furniture hardware options. The closest I could find to the buffet’s hardware finish was statuary bronze. So I went to Amazon to track down:

–Non-Mortise Hinge, 11/16″ x 2″ (Pair) (available through Woodcraft)
–Brainerd P22226V-STB-C7 32mm Domed Raised Panel Cabinet Hardware Knob
–Hickory Hardware P657-STB 1-Inch Catch, Statuary Bronze

Mounting door
To make the door installation easy peasy, I cut a guide template ¼” thick, as wide as the thickness of the door (3/4”) and as long as the door.

From there I chose to mount the outer edges of the hinges 2 1/2” from each end, then held each hinge in place to mark the placement of all of the screws with an awl and drill pilot holes.

P12-Corner Pantry-Door mount template

With the guide clamped to the door edge, it was a simple matter of drilling through the template pilot holes for the “door-edge” hinge holes.

Next, I placed a spacer between the guide and inside top of the cabinet to allow for clearance and clamped it to the inside edge of the carcass, flush with the side. Then I drilled the pilot holes for the “cabinet-side” of the hinges. This approach perfectly aligned everything.

At this point, it was ready to be used.

P01-Corner Pantry-Project Picture

Stocking
Once the finish dried, I muscled the pantry into its new home and set about the pleasant task of stocking it.

P01-C-Corner Pantry-Project Picture in situ-Interior

And decorating it.

P16-Corner Pantry-Properly decorated

P01-A1-Corner Pantry-Project Picture

And today, whenever my lady walks past the tidy space, she smiles. She got an organized space and I got new woodworking skills.
© 2015, Brad Chittim, all rights reserved.

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About The Write Biz

By day, I'm a mild-mannered copywriter who harnesses frontal-lobe creativity (right brain) to help B2B marketers generate leads and sales. By night I pick up hand tools to create wooden masterpieces...and give my black lab Bella the "red dot" laser to chase after.
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