I, too, and pleased with the direction this thread is going. You are right.
There are many intricacies in doing this project, and I don't want to mess
it up. And thank you for not beating me up too badly.
First of all, I assume you are only going to be working weekends on
this. I don't know how much free time you have, but it seems a huge
stretch to have this done by the end of summer, if you've never done
anything like this before. To give you some perspective, I am not a
masterwoodworker by any means, I guess I am intermediate, and it took
me about 2.5 months to do a single 4' wide by 7' high unit. It had a
plywood carcass, a pocket screw face frame, and solid wood raised panel
doors and drawer fronts.
The guys advice to make a few shop cabinets is a good one. That's what
I did, and it helped tremendously. It's also a lot less stressful
because it's just for the shop.
I'd recommend making the unit only 7' high. You aren't going to be
reaching up in that last foot anyway. I also recommend making a bottom
unit (maybe 32" high), then put the top unit on top. Makes it a lot
easier to install and carry into the room. You can get some good design
ideas out of books. I do mine this way, and IMO it looks better than
one monolithic piece. You could even do the project in stages, making
the bottom part first, so you could get some storage right away.
Also, I want to repeat that unless you want to make woodworking your
life long hobby, you probably won't save any money doing this by
yourself. Particularly if you have to spend about $1500 (minimum) on
tools. At bare mimimum, you'll need a good contractors saw for cutting
the plywood, a router, router table (you can build yourself), router
bits for making the doors/edges, a Kreg jig would be nice for the face
frames, decent drill, biscuit cutter, also you'll need a good random
orbital sander. A compressor and brad nail gun would also be nice
(another $200 or so).
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