Weekend Project

Justin Newcombe's tips on outdoor DIY projects

Weekend project: Crafty solution

By Justin Newcombe

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With a thousand projects on the go, it's good to have somewhere to store things, writes Justin Newcombe.

Justin Newcombe with his finished craft desk. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Justin Newcombe with his finished craft desk. Photo / Steven McNicholl

When you start making things it can become a bit obsessive and one project is not enough. You start getting itchy hands and want to move on to something else. I know I pretty much have something on the go all the time and my wife is the same.

As a result there's a tendency to have a few leftover materials, a bunch of unfinished stuff you're currently working on and stuff you've collected which you will definitely use on an interesting-yet-undesignated project in the future.

It all needs somewhere to wait. As well as the materials required there's the equipment. At the moment Anna uses her ironing board and the kitchen table as working surfaces but even by my subterranean standards this is beginning to get a bit out of hand. Time for a craft cabinet.

Step 1

Measure out and plan the caddy. Make sure you include space for everything. My unit has a space for an ironing board, a small drawer for tools and equipment and six large drawers which are big enough for a sewing machine.

Step 2

Measure and cut all your timber. I've used pre-cut strips of MDF for the body and drawers but I used pine board for the drawer faces. The pre-cut lengths of timber are easy to transport and really speed up the build. If you are looking for another type of finish, Bunnings can cut it all to size while you wait.

Step 3

Mark out partitions on the main parts of the frame and attach a 90-degree elbow to support the partition.

Step 4

Assemble, glue and screw the body of the unit. I screwed the boards to the elbows but also screwed the boards themselves together. You may want to leave an overhang like a small eave on the top of the cabinet so it sits flush with the drawers. Because of the way I'm finishing my cabinet I'm not going to bother.

Step 5

Insert, glue and screw the partitions.

Step 6

Attach the backing panel. I've used 4mm marine ply because I had it, but you could use 6mm MDF. Run a bead of glue around the body of the unit then screw the backing sheet to the top panel of the cabinet. Square the sides with the backing sheet then insert a few screws and check the compartments for the drawers are all square. When you're satisfied completely, attach the backing sheet.

Step 7

Paint the cabinet with three coats of acrylic paint.

Step 8

Attach the casters, using bolts not screws. Because of the length, attache three sets with one in the middle.

Step 9

Measure, mark out and install the tracks for the drawer rollers on to the cabinet walls. Read the manufacturer's directions before you start.

Step 10

Measure and cut the bottoms for the drawers, attach rollers to each side and inset them into the tracks.

Step 11

Cut and measure the sides and back of the drawers then using small plastic panel brackets glue and attach the sides and back to the bottom section.

Step 12

Measure and cut drawer faces . The face usually sits proud outside cabinet. Using glue, panel brackets and screws attach faces to the drawers.

Step 13

Screw on the top: I used a piece of demolition timber.

- NZ Herald

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