Building a Victorian alcove cupboard (part 2)

Nov 18, 2015 |

With the bottom half complete (see part one), and looking pretty dam good, I’ve been keen to get this job finished. This involves knocking up a set of shelves to sit on top of the cupboard unit. My strategy is to build them as a separate unit, slide them on top, and add a few finishing touches to make them look fitted. First stop – as always – wood. Here’s a tip – when you buy your wood and then find that it doesn’t fit in the car – don’t then use your car as a workbench to cut the wood to size. This can, I am told, run the risk of leaving a rather obvious and nasty scratch on the passenger door. And if this does happen, blame it on an overnight drunk. I built these shelves out of one sheet of mdf which I (ahem) cut to size, and two long planks hauled back from the shop down the road. I also bought a strip of decorative edging to finish off the top.
Construction was pretty straightforward. I cut the planks to size with a hand saw and attached it all together using a combo of wood glue and wood screws. Because the sides would not be showing I was able to screw in from the side (see pics below).
Once the frame was finished I primed it and finished with white eggshell. I also painted the sheet of mdf which I used as a back-board to add rigidity. I tacked the mdf round the edge of the frame, and then put a few more screws through the mdf into each shelf to add strength.
For a finishing touch I added a bit of decorative edging to the top and some pine stripwood down the sides – see the pictures below. So with the unit complete all I needed to do was slot it into position, simple? No. My measurements were pretty exact and, due to the alcove being a bit narrower at the back than the front (dam you Victorian houses and your wonky walls), it took some negotiation with a rubber mallet to nestle it into final position. But – thank goodness – we got there. Final lick of paint and job done:

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