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Shabby wardrobes!

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Mailee21/07/2011 02:14:13
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Yesterday I made a start on my next project. It is a full bedroom suite in MRMDF in a shabby chick style. So far I have got two of the wardrobe frames up to a dry fit stage.
As you can tell the bedroom has a pitched roof and I have to accomodate this in the design. This will be one set of robes on one wall which will have a pair of drawer units fitted inside. I have also got the carcases for these in a dry fit.

On the other side of the room will be a full wall of robes with over bed storage, dressing table and three sets of drawers. A small er shelf unit will be on the third wall. The doors will be quite ornate and the whole lot will have a creamy white shabby chick look when it is complete. I have arranged to build and fit this unit first so the customer can have some storage while the rest is built. Will keep you posted on my progress.
Oddjob21/07/2011 10:35:19
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Hi Mailee
 
Looks like another challenging project - you are a busy man!
Three simple questions for you.
 
1. Why MRMDF and not just MDF - I am guessing that the MR variety is more expensive - if so, why do you need to use it for an indoor project?
2. It looks like you are using 18mm board. Are the butt joints with biscuits or screwed - or perhaps another way?
 
Keep up the good work.
 
Richard
 

Mailee21/07/2011 20:46:25
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Hi Richard. yes I am busy at the moment I am glad to say. This will be a challenging project as it is a full bedroom suite including a bed headboard! Also the doors will be pretty ornate. I always use MRMDF for my painted furniture as it is so much easier to finish and doesn't 'fluff up' as much as the usual stuff. It is of course more expensive but I am getting a good discount on it for buying in bulk. With the AC laquer I use I only need to give it two coats of primer to seal the edges and then it is ready for top coating so saves a lot of time.
As for your second question, It is 18mm board and is connected together with biscuits. This is due to the fact that I will have to dismantle them to deliver and fit them due to the difficult access up the stairs. Once on site I shall then assemble and glue all the joints. The smaller units like the drawer units will be assembled before hand as these will be much easier for the access. For all of the smaller built up units I cut dados and rebates for the joints and pin and glue them. There is one exception to this though and that is the shelf in the second set of robes which is held in place with cam lock fasteners as I didn't want any screw visible on the open side. I reversed the cam locks so they wouldn't be seen from below. I hope this has clarified things a little for you. All the best. Mailee.
Oddjob22/07/2011 17:40:43
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Thanks Mailee for a very thorough answer. I look forward to seeing further WIP and the finished product - especially the doors.
 
Richard
Mailee22/07/2011 19:52:34
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Thanks Richard. yes I too am looking forward to the doors as they are a bit of a challenge for me this time. I will keep you all posted of course. I got started on the drawer boxes today. I had a morning cutting dovetails.


Once they were all cut I put them into a glue up and started to make some trims for the drawer units but had a slight accident :shock:

Oh well I should have checked the guide fence was tight before I started I suppose. :roll:
When the drawer boxes were dry I put the runners on and gave them a trial fit.

By the end of the day I had both the drawer units fitted with the drawers.

I shall add the trims to the units tomorrow and then concentrate on the rest of the wardrobes.
Ron Davis22/07/2011 21:15:04
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Hi Mailee, looks like a challenge!
 
The dovetailer ou are using looka shop built one, do you have any more photo's of it?
 
And where is that shabby chick you referred to!
 
Ron
Mailee22/07/2011 21:57:45
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I am afraid the shabby Chick is away at the moment Ron, LOL. The jig I am using is the Dakota dovetail jig from Rutlands. All it consists of is a thick ally plate with the tails and pins template and it comes complete with two bearing guided cutters. You then have to mount this onto a thick MDF base which is easy to make. I added the clamp to it rather than use seperate clamps. It can be used with a hand held router or a table mounted router. It can only cut through dovetails of even spacing but that is fine for my needs. Here is the shot of it:

I have used one or two dovetail jigs in the past and have to say that this is by far the easiest to set up and use, it is simplicity in itself. I can highly recommend it for making quick accurate dovetails. HTH.
BillW23/07/2011 17:08:24
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Oops.
 
Well you learn something every day, I had never heard of "Shabby Chic" (the wife had of course) .
 
I like the look of the dovetail jig and as you say sometimes the more simple devices are the best.
 
I can't wait to see how you give her the Shabby Chic finish.
 
Bill.
Mailee23/07/2011 19:49:33
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1048 forum posts
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I had to admit Bill neither had I until earlier on this year! It seems to be quite popular with the ladies. Anyway I got cracking on with the wardrobes today and got both drawer units with a coat of primer on.

I tested the fit in the wardrobe carcass to be sure they fitted well.

Then it was time to make a start on the drawer fronts. Now Richard these are a bit intricate as they also carry the theme that will be on the doors. After cutting the rails and stiles I cut the top rails to section on the bandsaw. Then slotted them on the router table.

I then cut out the 6mm panels and had another dry fit to make sure everything was well,

Then I removed the panels to rout a detail around three of the sides.

Then it was back to the 6mm to make some mouldings for the top rail.

Finally I made a dry fit with everything in place to see how it looked.

I need to round over the edges next before finally gluing them up and fitting them. This will be for next week as I am having a break tomorrow.
Ron Davis24/07/2011 20:42:46
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1618 forum posts
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A day off! does SWMBO know about this? Seriously I reckon you desrve a break. I will look at Rutlands web site as the dovetailer looks ok
 
Thanks Mailee for the respnse
Ron
Mailee25/07/2011 18:57:46
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1048 forum posts
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No she doesn't Ron she is away at the moment. No problem with the info on the dovetail jig, it is a great jig. Well I spent most of the day building up the drawer fronts and sanding them and the carcasses. I ended up the day by priming all of the fronts. Not looking too bad really.

I did have a late start today though as I have been to put a deposit on a van. :D
Tomorrow I am out delivering a shelf for a customer and measuring up two sets of drawers for two other customers so I shall have a later start again tomorrow. I hope to have a trial fit of the drawer fronts tomorrow and start sanding the carcasses ready for priming. Will have to see what I have time to do.
Ashley Short25/07/2011 21:03:43
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HI mailee i cant wait to see this fitted, what finish will you use and how will you apply it , what van are you getting
Ashley
Mailee25/07/2011 23:10:18
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1048 forum posts
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Hi Ashley, Yes your not alone there, I am looking forward to seeing it finished and in place. I then have a full wall of them to build on the other side of the room and a small shelf unit all the same. I am going to use an AC laquer in an off white colour which will be spray applied. I must then rub through some areas to give it the shabby chick look. I have just put a deposit on a 2002 T280 Transit van. Just a short wheelbase one with a semi high roof but it will be enough room for my requirements.
fatboy26/07/2011 01:22:50
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good to see your keeping busy mailee, will you be doing any of the on purpose denting with chains or any crackle glaze bits? when i had to do a shabby chic dresser i put several coats of matt emulsion in various colours on the high wear areas and used a green scourer to rub back through the layers for an aged effect and a bit o wax to simulate finger grease,
Mailee26/07/2011 19:27:41
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1048 forum posts
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Yes Fatboy I will be laying on a darker undercoat so I can scuff through the colour. I won't be dooing any denting with chains or crackle finish though. It will just be a scufing through the high wear areas.
After making a late start today (Pricing up more jobs) I got on with sanding the drawer fronts down. It took some doing as yu can imagine with all the fiddly bits. I finally got them mounted on the drawer boxes temporarily.

I also tried the drawer units in the carcass to make sure there was enough room for the handles behind the doors.

I am glad to say that my measurements were correct and they fitted perfectly with enough room for the handles behind the doors. I did manage to make a start on the doors by cutting all of the pieces ready for working on. I thought it was a good idea to start these at this stage while the carcass was built up. Hope to get on well with it tomorrow.

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