A new addition to our cabinets also includes the pantry. This is especially exciting for Jim and I because there was no pantry in the former kitchen and also no pantry in our previous apartment. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a real pantry since the townhouse I lived in during college (and it’s debatable about how “real” a pantry that was). Our new pantry is huge. It is actually two pantries next to each other. Both are floor to ceiling and go back two feet. That is a lot of storage space. We are pumped.
Due to the size of our super pantry, it called for a different method of installation. For the wall cabinets and base cabinets, we (and when I say we, I really mean Jim) pre-assembled them. Unfortunately, when dealing with a wall to ceiling pantry, there is no way to assemble the pantry and then move it into place (we even did some Pythagorean theory work to double check). Therefore, we needed to assemble the pantries in place.
Before assembly began, Jim realized we needed to make some adjustments to the height of the cabinets. Since we added the 1 by 2’s in order to bring the cabinets up to tile height (see here), the cabinet was taller. Also, as previously mentioned, we plan on adding molding around the tops of our cabinets and need them to come down from the ceiling about 1 ¼ inches. With the added height for the molding and the 1 by 2’s – the pantry was too tall to fit in place! The solution was to decrease the toe kick by about ¾ of an inch. Jim measured out a straight line to cut for each part of the cabinet. We expected this to add a little time onto the project but probably only 15 minutes or so but then the saw decided to stop holding a charge.
There were 6 pieces to cut. We got through the first three pieces without much incident. We were worried about shredding the wood, so we put tape along the line to hold everything intact. This worked well. We started cutting into the 4th piece when the saw stopped. The battery needed to charge. We decided to let the battery charge while we took a break for lunch. After lunch we tried again and didn’t even finish cutting the 4th piece before it needed to be charged again. Jim finished the 4th piece with a handsaw, but the cut wasn’t as good as with the electrical saw. Needless to say, we were a little frustrated. We needed to do something while the battery charged, so we decided to continue putting up the under cabinet lighting (more on that later). After that was finished, we started building the pantry with the parts that were already cut. We started with the corner pantry (always start in the corner)! We were able to get three sides of each pantry done before we needed the last two pieces. Luckily, the saw was charged enough and the cutting was complete.
Here’s a shot of the beginning process of the pantry assembly:
The first pantry came together relatively easily. Jim found the studs in the wall using the computer diagram of stud locations he created. The pantry was secure. We followed the same procedure for the second pantry, but things did not go so smoothly. The top two wood slabs did not fit exactly into place. When we pushed the side boards together, they were able to hold steady, but not just sitting still. Since we need to screw on the fourth board (to close off the pantry) while these slabs are in place, this quickly became a problem. It took us about two hours to get the pantry together -the first one took about 15 minutes.
We had to restart about 6 times. It is hard to explain what we were doing and why we were having so much trouble. Each part of the pantry has a section where it attaches to another part of the pantry. It is not just a normal screw or nail. They need to be lined up perfectly in order to secure the boards in place. With the wood pieces ever so slightly warped, it was almost impossible to line up both sides of the pantry. After a lot of struggling, we finally got the pantry assembled. Our hands were torn up with blisters and scrapes from pushing and pulling – but at least it was done. We were completely drained. We are lucky neither of us destroyed the pantry during the process – not because of the pushing and pulling but from throwing it to the ground and stomping on it.
Now – look how beautiful it looks:
Ahh…it will be worth it eventually. Eventually being when I can’t remember how horrible it was putting the pantry together.
As earlier mentioned, we also worked on the under cabinet lighting in the kitchen. We are installing lights under some of the cabinets, so when we are working at the countertop, we will have extra lighting if we need it. This required pre-planning with Jim and my dad during the wiring of the kitchen. It also required cutting out some holes in the cabinets before hanging them into place. Overall, the wiring works out well.
Jim started working on these Thursday evening. It required hiding of wires while also attaching the correct wires. I could explain all the steps, but instead – I’ll show you the pictures.
Now we have beautiful lights under our beautiful cabinets!