Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Demolition Derby

Hey, remember this project? My dad and I are trying to make this, a $25 gun rack I bought from a friend's grandparents...

...into something like this, which will hold my dishes and be a generally adorable addition to my dining room:

Structurally, the biggest part of this project requires deepening the bottom half of the cabinet and replacing the existing drawers with cabinet doors—essentially, we're building a new exterior around the old bottom half and replacing the bottom and the interior shelf. And what has to happen before a new exterior? The old parts have to go!

Like so:

Some of the demolition was satisfying Hulk-smashy hammer work, but the point wasn't to destroy the entire cabinet—I needed to clear out the innards but leave the frame intact and the gun-rest portion pristine. (Well, as pristine as the amazingly crusty piece of fabric inside allows.) My desire to ironically hang my teacups above the rifle rests is, after all, pretty much the point of this entire project.

 So there was some of this:

And a lot of this:

The shelves weren't made of solid boards—they were balsa wood, held apart by other balsa wood glued in as spacers. Sneaky, yet inexplicable!

To preserve the surface of the cabinet, I hammered all the existing nails out from the inside and picked out a few staples, and also nearly ended up at Kaiser for a tetanus shot, saved by the grace of God and the squishy soles of my construction-inappropriate footwear. ("Hey, why is that board stuck to my shoe?")

But at the end of the afternoon, I had it: a cleaned-out cabinet bottom, ready for its new frame, and no nails in my feet. I'm calling it a victory.

Next up: In which I learn to use the power saw!


Sarah said...

This is such a weird project Liz, but also something I can totally see you doing.
Also: Do you mean china cabinet like, CHINA china? Or just a place to store your dishes? Only because, if you have nice china at our age, I am impressed. I only got a real set of dishes last year.

Liz said...

Ha! "Weird, but something I can see you doing" sounds about right.

I mean about half CHINA china and about half other stuff. My everyday dishes are a mix of old Isaac Mizrahi for Target (ooh la la!) and a set of mismatched bowls that I inherited when my roommates and I moved out of our apartment in 2005. But my aunts are really into a) antiques, and b) dishes in particular, so there was some WELL, YOU'RE TWELVE NOW, BETTER PICK A CHINA PATTERN action going on. So I have some stuff. But it's not like I'm setting a complete table for twelve or anything.