Wardrobe

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I've got a notion to build a couple of wardrobes for our bedroom. As an idea, it has scarcely reached the "half-assed" stage. There's no set design yet. They would be roughly 32W x 24D x 84H. As there's no way to carry objects that size through the house, I would need to make two boxes for each unit, to be stacked on top of each other on site. That would probably necessitate installing the face frame on site as well.
My question involves materials. The wardrobes would be tall, well above eye-level, and would be located in two corners of the room. As such, the only surfaces that would show would be the doors, the face frame and one side of each unit.
I've taken an awful long time to get decent results finishing much smaller projects. I haven't got the time or gumption to take on the finishing of something as big as this. So I'm considering prefinished plywood, or possibly even melamine for the basic boxes, with a prefinished ply panel on the visible side. Is melamine a nighmare for a relative novice?
As for the doors, I'm not sure what to do yet. We have a couple of similar wardrobes that have "faux" panel doors made of flat 3/4" ply with 2"x1/4" strips appliqued on to simulate vertical 3-panel doors. (I didn't build them).
I did build some simple panel doors for another project, but they were a good bit smaller. I could conceivably use thin prefinished ply with solid frames. Either way I would somehow need to finish the face frames and door frames (and perhaps some molding at the top and bottom)for a reasonable match, and without getting any of the finish on the prefinished material. Presumably I'd finish those pieces before installing them. I'm wondering if a deliberate contrast might be easier for me to accomplish than a "match".
I'm asking for basic pointers, pros and cons, pitfalls a weekend warrior like me is likely to stumble into, etc. My goal is to make something functional and decent-looking in a reasonable amount of time.
As always, thanks in advance.
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Greg Guarino wrote:

1. You should be able to move an object that size through normal interior doors. Moving might fail, though, if you have tight corners such as a stairway.
2. You raise some interesting questions. If it were me, I'd scour the web for wardrobe plans. No sense trying to be a pioneer or re-invent the wheels. I've gotten some terrific ideas from looking at what others have done.
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On 9/12/2012 6:03 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Yup. That's what I've got.

Sounds like a good idea.
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On 9/13/2012 8:23 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

...
The suggestion is to have it short enough it'll clear any obstruction in the fully upright uncomfortable position...
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On 9/13/2012 1:03 PM, Mike Marlow wrote: ...

Well, if OP says he has an obstruction in the path, then I presume he knows his home better than I.
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On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 18:40:43 -0400, Mike Marlow wrote:

Or, if the wood itself looks good (walnut, maple, or cherry plywood), just some wipe-on poly or shellac wiped on with a pad is hard to mess up.
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Greg Guarino wrote:

If you reduce the height to less than 80" I would think you could get them through the house (assuming standard door height). If you are worried about the weight, roll them on dowels or lengths of PVC pipe. __________________

Melamine isn't much different than ply. Both tend to chip when crosscut, the mel in any direction. Both need something applied to visible edges.
One can mitigate the chipping by joining with tongues into dados; IOW, hide it. I use 1/2" wide tongues with 1/8" shoulders into 3/8" deep dados or rabbets.
The iron on tape for mel board is easy to apply. ___________________

You are going to make two boxes, stacked so make doors for each box. That would be simpler than trying to make 84" doors. Just make one box high enough to hang whatever you want to hang. _____________

Masking tape and reasonable care keep finish off of adjacent areas. _________________

We have two large walk in closets, his and hers. Mostly, they are for hanging but I made a wardrobe with shelves for each. They are about the size of yours but are about 24" shorter.
I used eastern red cedar for the cases...easy to work, relatively inexpensive and smells good. And, no reason to finish it (especially inside). I used butternut for the face frames and doors as I had it but there is no reason I couldn't have used the cedar. Had I used cedar I would have probably used an acrylic sealer like Seal-Krete on the outside of doors/FF just to help them shed finger oils and dust.
Using lumber, you have to glue up the boards to make the panels. I don't find that much more time consuming than messing with ply wood and its ugly edges. One can also make solid, overlay doors, much easier than frame & panel and they look fine.
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dadiOH wrote:

Another easy way to finish sheet goods is with wallpaper. Can't do that on mel but can on particle board. Outside, an applied molding can make it look like a panel.
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On 9/13/2012 7:47 AM, dadiOH wrote:

My Dad used to make shelf units with what I'll call "full" dadoes, meaning that if the shelf was 3/4" thick, the dado would be 3/4" also. Could you explain, for the uninitiated, the advantage of making a thinner "tongue"? Does it leave the uprights stronger? Or is it cosmetic in some way?
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Greg Guarino wrote:

1. Double shoulders let you know absolutely when the tongue is completely within the dado and helps assure that the part is perpendicular to its mate. A tongue with a single shoulder can work in a similar way but doesn't assure the perpendicular part.
2. Double shoulders and a thinner tongue can give you a bit of a fudge factor if the tongue is slightly undersize. If the dado is the same width, any mismatch is glaringly obvious. If a thin tongue is a bit undersize the shoulders hide that unfortunate fact.
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On 9/14/2012 8:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Excellent explanation. Thanks.
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On 9/14/2012 8:20 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

3. More surface area for glue ... every little bit helps.
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"Greg Guarino" wrote in message
I've got a notion to build a couple of wardrobes for our bedroom. As an idea, it has scarcely reached the "half-assed" stage. There's no set design yet. They would be roughly 32W x 24D x 84H. As there's no way to carry objects that size through the house, I would need to make two boxes for each unit, to be stacked on top of each other on site. That would probably necessitate installing the face frame on site as well.
Greg.. This brings back memories. Building kitchen cabinets for our new house. Same dimensions as your cabinet. Ceiling height was 84 inches. Got it into the kitchen OK. Went to stand it up. No go. Forgot the top to bottom diagonal was more than 84 inches. Cut height down and made a toe kick section to slide under. Lesson learned. this was in 1970. I still have a lot to learn and this site is great learning from the experts. WW
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On 9/13/2012 11:40 AM, WW wrote:

I'm probably better at geometry than I am at woodworking. My ceiling is 8'. I figure to make the wardrobes well short of that.
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email.me:

This is where making a mock up might come in handy. If you take two pieces of cardboard, one to represent the base and one to represent the largest side, and move it through the area you'll get a feel for how it will fit.
If size is still a concern, there's all kinds of "knock down" style fasteners that will allow you to finish the project in the shop, disassemble it and reassemble in the house.
Puckdropper
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On Sep 13, 5:59pm, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

There's something I hadn't thought of. Any pointers to a source?
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Sorry for the name confusion, more than one person in our family uses this computer
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I've only seen them in catalogs (and other flat-pack furniture), but it's worth checking Lee Valley.
Puckdropper
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2012 18:13:22 -0700 (PDT), Amy Guarino

Do an item search for "knock". http://www.leevalley.com/en/hardware/Search.aspx?action=n
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On 9/13/2012 8:13 PM, Amy Guarino wrote:

These are, above and beyond the pale, the coolest thing going these days ... if you can find/afford them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaN-Emvizq8

http://swissinvis.com /
The latter will give you North America contact info.
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