The lady of the house spied a nice piece at a furniture store - named providore - it looked provincial and would fit our décor - But it was a little bit too tall, and definitely too expensive at @$750.
Disheartened we went to IKEA ant though about hacking one of theirs to get the piece that we wanted. Lo and behold we came across a three drawer bedroom chest that looked like it had the chops, but @ $200 it was still on the expensive side - especially as we were going to hack it (it has come down in price since then and is now about $140).
So on the off chance we went to the AS IS section of IKEA - where all the broken, damaged and demoed pieces end up. And there was our chest of drawers set. for less than a hundred with the only damage being the top which we were going to replace anyway.
Note: I am not a carpenter and did badly in high school woodwork, I made lots of mistakes with this and probably did things wrong - but I made it so that's really all that matters.
Step 1: Going Topless
So first things first - the cracked top had to be removed and a pine board was put on. We went to our local Bunnings and they cut it to size for us for free. We used food safe oil and stain to oil it so we could in the future use it for food preparation.
The old one was just screwed on so it came off the new one was placed on top and well we just ran some pilot holes and screwed it on.
Step 2: Doors
So new challenge for me as I am not a carpenter by any stretch - I got some Tasmanian Oak in a size that looked good. Originally I was going to lap join them together - and used mu router to do it as I don't have a table saw - Bad idea - I'm not too good with my lap joints.
So I borrowed a biscuit cutter and got busy making the frames of the doors.
Measured, measured again, and measured a third time and cut the timber to size. The marked out he centre of the cross frame and transferred to the verticals - matched that mark with the centre point on the biscuit joiner and cut the biscuit trench, glue and clamp together.
So biscuit jointing is a a lot easier than Lap joining and a lot quicker.... so I had them all set in not time - but lots of measuring to make sure..
I thought I did a good job - looked tight and square...
Then I did a test with the hinges on.... oops I forgot to allow for about 2-4 mm for the hinges - it wouldn't close otherwise.
So rather than pulling apart joints I got the jack plane out and spent a wonderful time remembering why I don't like using a jack plane. The beauty of using a hand tool though is that you can be very precise - it just takes a lot of time and effort.
Step 3: Rebating and Test Fitting the Perforated Steel.
So now the doors fit - I got the router out for a second try and rebated the interior of the door frame to fit in the perforated steel.
The rebate bit does a sterling job and now I had precise measurements I could got to the supplier with what I needed....
Finding a perforated steel supplier who does very small sheets in Perth is very hard. We finally found a company that would help me out and for $20 they cut and supplied exactly what I needed. Thanks Perfmet.
Test fit was perfect. So all there was to do was to sand, paint, install the mesh, hang the doors and attach the hardware.
The mesh had to be carefully washed to remove the protecting oil - (mentholated spirits did the trick). And then hit with primer and a light coat of satin black spray paint.
So once painted I popped in the mesh and screwed it into place.
The shelves were just white veneered chipboard cut to size. I used shelving bolts to rest them on. Removed the drawer slides ready for another project.
Hung the door and added the hardware.
Job done and a happy lady of the house... until next weekend when she has another job for me.
IKEA asis - $80
top board - $60
Wood for frames - $20
Hardware @$20 including magnetic closers
Paint - free we has some trim paint from doing the skirting.
Chipboard shelves - $20
Satisfaction - priceless.