Tag Archives: bracing

Kitchen Cabinet Saga, the conclusion

Tis the summer and as you can imagine, there is a lot of running around. With birthdays and cottage trips and just general summer stuff going on it does put limitations on the amount of stuff you can get done around the property. It also means you have less time to blog about it as well.

In any event, we can now proudly say that our kitchen cabinet is fully complete. We installed the sliding shelves a couple of days ago and I have to say, it’s all working really nicely. But that is the end of the story. I shall rewind a bit and talk about some of the trials we went through making those shelves.

I should start off by saying that the sliding shelves are the only part I didn’t create virtually first using Sketchup. I decided that the method I used for the drawers worked well so I would just do the same thing for the shelves. However, had I worked on the virtual versions before building, I may have been able to foresee some cosmetic anomalies that could have been avoided.

Here is the first one after being installed.


See anything wrong? It’s difficult to see, as the picture isn’t completely clear. I created the edging using real lumber this time, not plywood. That made the dado cuts a little neater. I happened to be in Ottawa again a few weeks ago so we were able to do the dado cuts using my Dad’s table saw. We did the edging first and then the bottoms.

In retrospect, I would have done the bottoms first and then the edging. The reason for this is that when I put it together, it didn’t fit exactly perfectly. Either the cut on the bottom was too wide, or the grooves on the edging weren’t deep enough (or maybe both). Had we done the bottom first, we could have done one piece of edging and tested it on the bottom piece. It would then be a simple case of adjusting the depth of the cut to make sure the edging fit nicely. Fortunately, the ugly gaps are all underneath so you don’t see them.

The other thing I should have done is made the front edging piece, which was half the height of the sides and back pieces, run the full width to cover the ends of the two side pieces. The way it is now, you can see the dado cut into the side pieces so there are little holes at the exposed ends of the side edging. This wasn’t a problem with the drawers as we put the facing on those, so everything was covered.

One other thing that bugged me is the edging didn’t go on square, like it did for the drawers. Again, had we tested this when we were doing the dado cuts, we could have avoided this issue. I’ll put that on the list of lessons learned for next time.

Here is a picture of the shelf pulled out.


For the shelf sliders, we bought locking ones, which means when you pull them out they snap into position.

Here is shelf number two after it was installed.


And finally, we started putting real kitchen stuff in the cabinet.


As you can see, we put all of our small appliances in there. Having the plugs at the back and the locking shelf sliders means we can actually use those appliances right on the shelf which helps reduce ‘space rage’ when you’re working in the kitchen.

All-in-all, the cabinet turned out great and very functional. It is super sturdy and will last for a long time. Probably longer than the trailer. 😛


For a very brief moment I experienced a moment of peace as I had completed a major project and had nothing immediately pending. I’ve also managed to catch up with a lot of my work stuff as well so I was feeling pretty good.

But these things never last very long as we still have quite a list of things to accomplish.

I noticed by the end of the cabinet making that the blade on my miter saw was making rough cuts. I was still using the blade it came with, so I decided a new blade was in order. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the new blade, but it is a finishing blade made by Freud. Holy cow does it cut nicely!


The piece of wood in that picture is a little dirty, but the smoothness of the cut can be seen pretty well.

I used this to good advantage while finishing another project that still needed to be done: roof bracing. Yes, we still had some of the temporary bracing up for the roof posts so it was about time to get rid of those and put in the more permanent stuff.

I made some big X’s to brace between the posts holding up the center beam. Here is a picture of one of the new ones.


Using the miter saw, I cut out the center bits with repeated cuts so the two pieces would socket together. It worked really well too. Here is another one I made for the opposite end of the structure.


If the wood looks a little different between those two pictures, it’s because this second one I did much earlier in the spring and I didn’t plane the wood first. I decided after doing the first one that planing the wood would make it a bit easier to make accurate measurements. It’s tough to do that on rough cut lumber when one end is 15.2cm (6″) and the other is 14.5cm (do the math you imperialists!!!).

I put up three of those big X’s in the spots between the slide-outs. We are now extra secured.

It is great to finish projects. The sense of satisfaction is really worth it.


Just remember, you won’t ever get that sense of satisfaction if you never try anything. We still have a big to-do list 🙂


Trailer rebuilding: gluing the tiles, part 2 (and so much more)

Today was a great day, for many reasons. First of all, it was warm. Really warm. We’re not talking 45C (113F), but for November up here, 18C (64F) and full sunshine is unseasonably warm.

Also today, we had a helper. Ian (yes, yet another Ian – I know too many now) and his wife and daughter had just moved into the area back in August and are interested in the whole Earthship/sustainable living movement. Ian has a fair amount of construction experience and volunteered his time today to come help us out. As a result, we were able to accomplish quite a bit.

First of all, I finished gluing all of the tiles. Here is the final result.


If everything goes as planned (which is often not the case, but we can always aim for that) I will grout the tiles tomorrow and we will be on our way to getting the wood stove back inside and up and running.

While I was working on the tiles, Ian was using some of the panel off-cuts to fill in the long strips above the slide-outs. Here you can see it filled in above the kitchen slide-out.


This next one shows the strip filled in above the dining table slide-out. We also used our last full panel to start covering the ceiling in the slide-out.


More panels are on order and should be arriving this Friday.

After that, Ian and I moved outside and worked on the permanent bracing for the roof that I hadn’t managed to get to yet. We were putting in the 45 degree angled supports.


This went so much faster with the two of us. Also, with Ian being very familiar with tools of all sorts, there isn’t any need to explain anything; we just went right at it. We had all but two of the supports in before Kat arrived with lunch.


Here you can see the 45s we put on the opposite side as well.


After lunch we pulled off some more of the temporary bracing, as it was no longer needed and then wrapped the back with a big-ass tarp. I have my friend Gerry to thank for the the BA tarp. It was more than adequate to wrap the entire 40′ (12.2m) from one end of the roof to the other.


You can also see all of the remains of the kitchen parts we pulled out sitting back there.

As you may be aware, after the time changes, it gets dark really early now. After we wrapped the back wall, we did some clean up and took Ian back home. He and his wife are renting this little house right on the Madawaska river. It’s surrounded by white pines so there is this awesome carpet of pine needles around the property.

They also have their own private beach to watch the sunsets.


If I was going to rent a place, that would be the kind of place I would love.