The 11th hour has come and gone, and now it is but a minute to midnight (figuratively).

I really didn’t plan on spending so much of my birthday in the shed, but getting ready for my daughter’s Christmas has been the driving motivation since I started a month ago.  Guess I should have started 2 months ago!  So it is now a given – the kitchen will not be completely finished in time.  That is not a surprise – for a long time I have been fully expecting that, but it was an interesting matter of just how close I would get.

The first kitchen I made (not a dissimilar general look) took about a weekend.  (10-12 hours).  This one has taken a little longer – in the order of 30 hours (very roughly) to date, and I’d expect there is another 6-8 hours of work to go.

Lots of detail in this one, no plans, and the design created on the fly (and modified on the fly as well to deal with various challenges, and time constraints).

No photos tonight – all will be in the Christmas day reveal.

Anyone else been making things for Christmas? (Toys or otherwise).

11th Hour

Been a hard slog for the past few weeks – work has a massive deadline approaching in the new year (like Jan 2!). There is a lot of bitsy stuff associated with buying a new place which has been eating time, and although I need to get the place ready as well, that part will have to wait another week or so. At the same time, I have been scraping together every minute I can find to finish the kitchen project in time for Christmas. The problem has been that a lot of the time I can find has been late at night, and I just can’t fire up the big machines. So progress has not been as fast as I’d want. Now, well, we are right on Xmas and I still have a little way to go. But every day a lot closer, and today was no exception.

11th hour-1

Sink rear view

Just before gluing on the back to the sink unit, I took one last photo. You can see the dovetail drawers, the laminated sink, and the tambour, which includes an access point. It has also been a great opportunity to put the Festool CXS though its paces in an environment it was designed for – internal cabinetry. That right angle adapter has been brilliant, as has it size, and the interchangeable heads. While checking the link, also noticed it is still on special. Anyone stuck for last minute Xmas present ideas?

11th hour-2

Sink front view

From the front, and things are changing minute by minute. After getting some kitchenware to go with the new units, I found that the one drawer was not enough, so came up with a plan to use the second drawer I had made (and abandoned because I had forgotten about the sink). So that was a much better outcome.

11th hour-3

Setting up

It has been a while since I used the Torque Workcentre – haven’t needed it for the current project, until now. The very first job I did on the TWC was to create stove elements for another couple of toy kitchens I was making at the time, and today was the day to get it dusty again (as in its own dust, not thrown from other machines!) With a hole underneath for each element, and a cove bit mounted, the router was plunged and locked. I then rotated the workpiece under the router, creating each circle. A bit nervewracking – I could ill-afford any errors, but the result speaks for itself.

11th hour-4

Stove elements

So that was then attached to the base. Not sure where I got the form from- probably my parents’ old stove which was electric (as is quite the norm in power). Doesn’t matter the source. This way users can clearly see where the stove is, and yet the top is flush if some play activity needs a larger area.

11th hour-5

Backing up

I decided that the units needed something visual to stop the eye looking at, and then past the units. So a barrier was needed at the back to provide this visual stop. Using a combination of bandsaw and spindle sander made it easy to create this form. The top was not as flat as it should, so I needed to correct that. Rather than trying to do so for the entire top, I decided to flatten only the area that was actually important.

Clamping down a straight edge, the HNT shoulder plane one again proved how useful it is. I find it great for tidying up drawers (in situ), and for tasks such as this.

11th hour-6

Dominoed on

To ensure the security of the backing, I used dominos.

11th hour-7

Track cut

So that worked a treat, and the backs got secured in place.

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An offcut of Jarrah was my next victim. I needed a bunch of wheels, so punching then out all at one from the single piece was the order of the day.

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With the aid of my woodburner, this set of wheels became the much needed knobs. Stove controls, oven controls, dishwasher, taps. I like the idea that wooden wheels can be repurposed this way.

11th hour-10


The project is coming down to final details – the value-add. Little features like the knobs, taps, shelves, drawer dividers etc. And in this case, a swing arm / sprayer for the dishwasher. If I had more time, more ideas would present themselves that could really bring the unit to life.

So the final push tomorrow, just in time for Christmas. I need a couple of doors, a couple of wooden hinges, and then sanding, sanding, sanding. I’ll apply a finish later – that would definitely take time.

Next time I hope to be presenting the completed units, with a closer look at details.

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