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ShopCam HiLites for 12/16/00
Coming Together

Saturday, I sleep in and get to the jobsite late, completely optimistic the cabinets will just pop into place. Yeah...right!

We set the height of the base cabinets so the tops would just slide under the existing chair rail. As you can see from this notch in the bottom, it didn't quite work out that way. Next time, I'll remember to take my measurements all around the room and not just in one place.

To locate the cuts, The top is slid against the molding and a sharp putty knife is used to mark the molding. The plumb cut is measured off the top edge, roughed out with a back saw and then trued with a sharp chisel.

Getting all the pieces together can often be like assembling a Chinese puzzle. We figure out a way to do it which doesn't require removal of the existing crown moldings. Let's hope it works.

After the chair rail is cut and notched, the top is screwed to the bottom of the upper unit. At this point, the backs are only roughly screwed into place. To make sure the vertical positioning is equal, a couple shelves are installed, as we first did in the shop, and the back get's it's final screws. A final check for square is also performed at this stage of the process.

Then we lifted the unit onto the base cabinet to locate the position of the notch in the crown molding, and scribe the right edge of the unit. the notch in the crown molding was roughed out with Mr. D.'s reciprocating saw.

I have to hand it to Mr. D. - he is in good shape and proved an excellent assistant during this phase of the installation. Without his help, the upper units would have been split in half at the design phase or else I would have needed to hire someone to help me. Fortunately, neither was necessary...:)

To scribe the left unit, it's left on the auxiliary platform and carefully located parallel to the front of the base cabinet (photo at right). Then the offsets are measured for setting the scriber.

I should have taken a few good picts of this process but there was other stuff on my mind. Considering how long it took us to get this far in the installation, picture-taking fell off even the back burner. Sorry folks.

Basically, the rest of the installation went as follows. After cutting the scribes, the bottom and back were screwed on as before. Another notch was cut in the crown molding and then we slipped in the fireplace surround. So far so good.

The problems arose trying to lift the left-hand unit into place. Ideally, we should have been able to lift the upper section behind the notch in the crown molding and just rotate it into position on the base cabinet. As it turned out, the scribe was too tight and every time one of us got ahead of the other, the unit jammed in the opening. Not good!

It was late, we were tired. To avoid hemorrhaging a disk, we took the unit back down and cut an extra 1/8" off the end scribe. We got it in OK but there is that 1/8" gap in the upper left hand corner...:(

In retrospect, there were several options which would have avoided this problem. I should have stopped the process and waited 'til the next day when clearer heads and stronger backs could prevail.

At least the smile on Mr. D.'s face shows he isn't too concerned about the gap. The rest of the installation will continue on Monday - see you then!

If you have any questions or comments about Mr. D's Walnut Wall Unit, please post them at the Info Exchange.

Jim Mattson

Onward to the Next Installment

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