A friend asked us to build her some cubbies that were similar to something she found online, BUT they needed to be bigger, bolder and better. In case you just came across us, custom is what we do!
Courtney just had a baby (Zac), and with a new-born, storage and organization were important to her, but also safety and functionality. She sent me a listing from Pottery Barn, that she almost purchased, but she looked at the dimensions and said, “John can make it bigger and better!”
I redrew the cubbies full scale in Sketch Up, sent her the PDF proofs. One things I’ve always been conscious of is not wasting money on excess materials, and also avoiding trips back to the store because I was being stingy and didn’t get enough. So I drew out the materials I knew I’d need, and see if they’d fit onto the material sheet. I used 3/4″ plywood, and plotted out all the different piece. On my Delta Unisaw Saw (has a 52″ fence), I was able to chop up the large 4×8 sheet into the components.
For the most part when I design and build something, I like to use the Kreg pocket hole jig as a primary form of joinery. They are hidden, effective, and work better than pegs/plugs in my opinion. Additionally, Lots of furniture these days are design to hide the hardware too. I picked up a corner pinching jig too recently, that helps in keeping the edges parallel when using the Kreg.
If you looked at it upside down you’d see a lot of the joinery, but from above you cant tell. To hide the edges of the plywood, I took the iron-on veneer that’s readily available and covered all the edges of cubbies.
To finish, I used Behr premium semi gloss paint primer in one (3 coats).