A Tale of Two Cabinets

Last night I got the second of two cabinet carcasses screwed to the wall and the ceiling. This took much longer than expected; indeed, I’d thought I would be done by Friday night, and I was finishing up at midnight on Monday. Well, as usual, I learned some stuff, and I’m writing it down here.

First off, there is a plug high on wall, supposedly behind the cabinets, but in the end, it was a few inches too low. It probably would have been usable, but in the end, it wasn’t too much work to move it, and I’m glad I did. Nothing makes a sky look like a wall more than a plug in a cloud. Next time I should design the cabinets as I’m designing the rest of the room. Then I might not have made this error.


Once the plug was fixed, and after scanning a book about installing kitchen cabinets at Rona, I screwed a ledger board to the wall at the proper height, and tried the first cabinet. Now, the cabinets were designed to accommodate between a quarter and a half an inch of variance in the ceiling. Initially, I tried it with the quarter inch, but it turns out I needed every bit of that half inch, and could have used another 1/16th! (I should fire the guy who framed the ceiling; oh wait, that was me and I didn’t get paid).

So then I moved that ledger board down a little ways, and shortened the temporary legs that I’d created to hold the fronts of the cabinets, and asked my able assistant to help me hoist the first cabinet in place again. Once level, I screwed a whole bunch of screws into the joists above and the studs behind. I think it should hold, but I’m going to add a couple of lag bolts as well.

Then I went to remove the ledger board, and discovered that you really want to think about unscrewing these things when you put them up. To miss a knot in the wood, I’d drilled and screwed down into the ledger board, effectively capturing the screw against the bottom of the cabinet!

Finally, I coaxed that screw out, and went on to the second cabinet. And now, you see why it took three full evenings to put up two cabinets!

With all that I’d learned on the first cabinet, the second went much faster. I’m pleased with my decision not to make cabinets three and four until after these first two were installed: who knows how much space is left between the second cabinet and the south wall? Anyway, here are those first two carcases in place. It’s interesting to see the layout space starting to take shape. So far, it doesn’t dominate the room as I’d feared it might.

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