Step 14: In addition to the pallet I pulled apart at the start of this project I had some wood left over from and earlier pallet I dismantled, which was of ideal size for the hutch. What concerned me however was that it was rough, dark, and just didn’t look suitable, and was tempted to go out and buy something. But, a nagging thought said to plane it down a bit first, and when I did I was so excited to see beautiful grain and colour hiding underneath. It took a while with the Jack plane, but I got there in the end, and it was definitely worth the trouble!
Step 15: The next job was to prepare the table to receive the hutch. I clamped the rail that would go across the bottom of the hutch, connecting the sides, and then marked out the cuts that would be needed.
Step 16: After cutting I did a test fit, and it was near perfection. Tight enough that it doesn’t fall out, but not too tight that it causes any difficulty or damage. Just a light tap with the mallet is all that is needed.
Step 17: I clamped up some wood so that I could clamp each side in place and screw it home. I used quite long screws in the bottom, around 3″ long. Each side is screwed directly into the rail discussed in the previous two steps. I think next time I’ll go to the trouble of proper jointing, but I think for this purpose screwing is perfectly fine. However …
Step 18: … screwing did leave some rather unsightly screw heads visible. So, I went through all the shavings from having planed the wood down and picked out two that were good enough to cover up the screws. When I apply the finish I’ll carefully sand the edges down so that they’re not so visible, and once stained they should be unnoticeable to anyone not looking for them.
Step 19: Next up I framed the top of the hutch, the back piece went in first, and it is screwed and glued from behind into those blocks you see in the corner, which themselves are then screwed into the sides. The top, which was chamfered front and sides, was then screwed down.
Step 20: The hutch was laid flat on the floor to measure up for the mirrored door, and a shelf inserted at the inside bottom location of the door. However, my wife has decided that she wants a pair of doors instead, so the work I started on the door has been stopped and now I have to figure out what changes I’m going to make next. I might just remove that shelf and move it higher up, just depends on what kind of small mirror I find in the bargain shops nearby. I’m thinking I might put a mirror in one door and a pegboard for notes and letters in the other door. Anyway, to keep it safe until next week when I continue the project I’ve brought it inside for a trial fit and trial use.
Next:sort out what kind and size of doors I’m going to fit, and whether or not the shelf needs to be relocated, or simply fit another shelf (which might be better anyway!). Lastly of course the unit will have to be sanded and stained.