Custom built is beautiful…. but it also a pain in the butt. This was Chanae’s starter project; something to keep us busy while filling an awkward under stair gap in her new home.
The project started with Shanty-2-Chic’s Laundry Basket Dresser. The plans were stretched to meet the depth and height requirements of the alcove, and the supplies purchased for what was supposed to be a quick easy and fun project.
Three months later …
The beautiful dresser/cabinet you see below is a frankenstein version of the original plans. Aside from the major modification of dimension and having horizontally opening doors, we also added a shelf and rejigged the base.
I’ll be honest. There were times I didn’t think it would turn out. It didn’t help that the husbands created a multitude of jokes about our efforts and slow progress. To these I told them for every snide remark I would add five pounds onto the structure. Seeing as they were the ones who had to carry it up and out of my basement and up through Chanae’s home, this seemed to work.
This project was an excellent reminder of the due diligence required when following someone else’s plans. Things I was reminded of:
- Always check the measurements! If you go to the site highlighted, you’ll notice the bottom is 6′ (72″) in length, but the shelves only add up to 56″. For some reason, the plans show this as matching up nicely. Reading the comments at the bottom of the plans also usually have excellent suggestions or comments on issues.
- Don’t trust the cutters at Home depot/Lowes/general lumber store. I had a rather unfortunate run-in with an associate at the local HD who cut my 5′ request of expensive pure bond as a 4’…. and then just shrugged. Cue future project.
- Don’t be afraid to reinforce or fix something if it seems off at the beginning (at the beginning). This will only get worse as you go along. I ended up taking apart the entire dresser the day after we finished it to build a base out of 2x2s which I then reassembled everything back onto to increase sturdiness. This improved the strength, the straightness of the doors and just the overall look. I do not believe the side connections in this project are anywhere near strong enough!
All in all, we had a blast. Would I follow these plans again? Probably not. But Chanae’s happy, I’m happy, and the boys are eating their words. Onto the next project!
Side note: this was my first time working with Pure-Bond. 100% Recommended. Pricy, but worth it for those pieces of wood you need to be straight.