Coffee Cabinet

The TV tray just wasn’t cutting it as a place to display the new Keurig coffee maker in her hair salon.  My stylist needed a free-standing cabinet built specifically for the trendy beverage dispenser.  She asked me if I could manage the job, and I said yes.

What follows is a brief overview of how I completed the project.

Here were the guidelines:

  • Basic dimensions of 30″h x 21″w x 15″d
  • Drawer for storing Keurig K-Cups
  • Door to hide anything stored below
  • Painted black to match existing furniture

What I envisioned had a lip around the top, an upward tapered profile along the front edge of the top, and legs to raise it off the floor.  After examining my drawing, she put the kibosh on the lip and the legs.  She wanted more of a simple box.  No problem.  It actually was less design and construction work for me.  She wasn’t sure about the tapered edge, but I talked her into keeping it.

Coffee Cabinet Drawing 1

Since the whole thing would be painted black (and to help cut down on material cost) I chose 3/4″ poplar for the face frame and top and 3/4″ MDF for the sides of the case, the door, and drawer front.  The drawer and drawer dividers used various types of plywood.

Coffee Cabinet Face Frame Drawing

Coffee Cabinet Case Drawing

To speed up construction, I assembled the project with pocket screws, starting with the face frame.  I adjusted the top rail down to 2″ wide so all of the parts of the face frame were the same width.  I increased the drawer opening from 3 1/2″ to 4″  to ensure enough room for the undermount drawer slide and to help balance the dimensions of the door and drawer front.

I added the sides and bottom to the face frame, checking to make sure everything stayed square.  No problems.  My plan originally called for a solid “shelf” for the bottom of the drawer opening.  With the drawer slide , I no longer needed it.  I only had to add a support strip across the back of the case to hold the track. ( Note:  I glued strips of poplar to the bottom edge of the MDF sides to help prevent wear damage.)

Next I built the drawer box.  There needed to be 6 sections.  I marked out the front and back of the drawer panels.  Since the slots only needed to be 1/8″ I cut them using my table saw crosscut sled.  After setting the correct height and lining up the marks it was easy.  I assembled the drawer and added the 1/8″ plywood dividers to the slots.  Once I installed the drawer slide hardware and added the drawer, I only had a little adjusting to center it.

From that point I could add the drawer front, door, top, and handles.  The drawer front was easy.  The door was a little more of a challenge.  I used concealed hinges that required me to drill holes with a forstner bit, but the template helped everything line up fine.  Once I sat the top on, I knew I needed a design change.  The door and drawer front were simple MDF slabs.  The tapered edge I originally wanted just did not look right.  I did three sample edges with some leftover MDF, and the only profile that looked correct was a square edge.  So I left it that way and attached the top.  After drilling holes for the handles, I had the construction completed.

I disassembled it for painting.  I didn’t like my first paint job, so I stripped it and painted it a second time.  I used Krylon gloss black (brush on, not spray-paint), and I didn’t really like how it went on, and it stayed sticky even after it had plenty of time to dry.  Next time I’ll try another brand.

When I delivered the cabinet, she loved it.  Overall I was also happy with the result.  The only thing I would change besides the paint would be to move the door handle from the center position closer to the top.  It’s not bad, but seems a little off-balance somehow.

Coffee Cabinet 1

Coffee Cabinet From Profile

Coffee Cabinet 4

Coffee Cabinet Divided Drawer Detail

Coffee Cabinet 2

Coffee Cabinet From The Front

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