Sunday, August 17, 2014

PB Inspired Clara Buffet

PB Inspired Clara Buffet

I love my kitchen, but I had an empty space where the counter ends before the outside wall. As usual I turned to The Design Confidential and found plans for the PB Inspired Clara Buffet. The dimensions were perfect for my space! My write-up over at TDC can be found here.

Build Details

Estimated Cost:

I used oak for almost the entire piece which raised the project cost quite a bit. Lumber totaled just over $200 and the hardware, glass for the top, and finishing supplies added another $150 so roughly $350 total. Still a steep discount compared to the real thing!

Build Pictures:

As with some of my other posts, I'm going to just post a bunch of build pictures and comment on each for you to read (or not!)

We approached this project a little differently and started with the finish (errr...) Anyways, I wanted a fairly modern looking finish so we tested some different stains and ended up choosing a process we were familiar with, which can be see by the middle board in this picture. 

This consisted of a red gel stain, brown glaze, and black glaze with sanding sealer sprayed between each step and lacquer at the end.

Here are all the cut frame pieces with the gel stain applied and first coat of sanding sealer. You can see at this point it's pretty red...kind of nerve racking after having spent all that money on lumber. Have faith, glaze is on the way!
I decided to assemble the door panels and side panels after staining but before glazing. Reason being, the door panels and side panels are held together with pocket screws so we put plugs in where the pocket screws are and had to re-finish those areas.

Below you can see the plugs in place, where we had to sand them flush with the rest of the piece, and finally the re-stained final product. The gel stain was very forgiving in this regard!
If I were to do this project again, I would definitely construct the panels in more of a traditional manner with the panel being secured inside a routered groove in the frame. Live and learn; I'm pretty happy with the results we achieved (after a lot of work to get there)
The panels are all oak plywood which looks gorgeous on the faces but still has plywood-looking edges. As such, I used iron-on edge banding to clean up the look. 

Here one of the shelves is getting it's front edge treated with edge banding. Overall the BandIt Edge Banding worked great and adhered very well. If I made a mistake, I just reheated the area and adjusted as necessary.

The plans for this project call for the use of 4x4's as the legs. That would have worked and been easy, but if I was going to spend the money on hardwood I wanted to mimic the original piece as much as possible. I used 1x6's to re-create the legs as close as I could from looking at PB pictures online.

One struggle I had here was getting the miter exactly 90 degrees, which ended up giving me some trouble during assembly on getting everything square.

First of the assembly steps attaching the side panels to the bottom. This was done using pocket screws on the underside, which worked great.

As you can see, everything has been completely finished at this point so assembly had to be done fairly carefully so as not to damage the finish.

Shelves, middle divider, and the drawer frames all added. At this point, the piece was far more rigid than we thought it would be.

One item to note, the shelves are held in place by pocket screws. This was no problem where 3/4 material mated with 3/4 material, but the outer panels have 1/2" plywood which did not provide enough meat to put screws into. If I were to do it again, I'd use cleats to hold the shelves instead of pocket screws.
Here the drawers and drawer slides have been added. The biggest task here was making sure that everything was level and even on both sides of each drawer. One lesson learned: make sure the surface you're working on is completely level before using it as a reference for parts of your project!
Adding the drawer faces. This was fairly straightforward and just required the use of multiple shims in order to get the spacing even.

Final assembled piece after adding the doors and hardware. Thanks for looking!

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