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First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?

 
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:20 AM   #1
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First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


First built in I have ever had to do of any decent size. I have done book shelves and window seats but a customer wanted a 10' entertainment center.

Took me a total of 65 man hours to complete! is that normal?
here are some pictures.

Any criticism or tips of how you would of done it differently is welcome.

Birch finish ply boxes, poplar face frames, hardboard backs, mdf tops and shelves in lower cabinets, finish ply shelves in upper cabinets with poplar edge.







Last edited by mastersplinter; 08-16-2014 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:31 AM   #2
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


I'm not a big fan of entertainment centers in general, but your craftsmanship looks great.

The whole thing looks great.

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Old 08-16-2014, 10:04 AM   #3
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


65 hours sounds pretty fast to me. Purchse and handle material, break down sheet goods, design, joinery, molding details, finish work and installation, job site maintnenance, coordination with homeowner etc etc.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Looks great from my house.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro M & L View Post
65 hours sounds pretty fast to me. Purchse and handle material, break down sheet goods, design, joinery, molding details, finish work and installation, job site maintnenance, coordination with homeowner etc etc.
The homeowner handed me a picture and said "this is what I want" besides changing a few shelves. Material handling was a bear lugging 4X8X3/4 mdf 50 yards alone(I will never use mdf again in my life). All joinery was done with pocket screws and plugs besides the doors. Moulding details were kind of just decided by me as I was going.

The most time consuming part was routing/sanding kreg plugs flush and the 4 coats of paint that went on it.

I bid it out at a whopping 40 hours thinking I was giving myself plenty of time...

Last edited by mastersplinter; 08-16-2014 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:33 AM   #6
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
I bid it out at a whopping 40 hours thinking I was giving myself plenty of time...
Quote:
I will never use mdf again in my life
Now you know....

I quit using the stuff years ago for the same reason.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mastersplinter View Post

The homeowner handed me a picture and said "this is what I want" besides changing a few shelves. Material handling was a bear lugging 4X8X3/4 mdf 50 yards alone(I will never use mdf again in my life). All joinery was done with pocket screws and plugs besides the doors. Moulding details were kind of just decided by me as I was going.

The most time consuming part was routing/sanding kreg plugs flush and the 4 coats of paint that went on it.

I bid it out at a whopping 40 hours thinking I was giving myself plenty of time...
When you bid those projects its really easy to underbid. Its fun work to do. You add up the numbers and say to your self I cant charge them 6500 for a bookcase so you short your hours, dont count drive time, and design for free. If you can afford it now and then I say do it for the portfolio but its not the type of project youre going to churn out week after week unless you live in the wealthiest of zip codes.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:36 PM   #8
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


I think it looks great. Did you have fun doing it?
I'm nearing the end of my first large set of built in cabinets and it's been an awesome project. I would have underbid it if it wasn't for the advice of someone who's got more experience as far as knowing how long it will take.

Did you make the doors or order them?
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro M & L View Post
When you bid those projects its really easy to underbid. Its fun work to do. You add up the numbers and say to your self I cant charge them 6500 for a bookcase so you short your hours, dont count drive time, and design for free. If you can afford it now and then I say do it for the portfolio but its not the type of project youre going to churn out week after week unless you live in the wealthiest of zip codes.
That's what my dad and I were talking about last night. I told him I'd have paid a little money out of my personal pocket to get to do the job we got. I was kind of surprised we got it cause 5k seems like a lot to pay for some shelves. But it was great experience, I had an awesome time doing it. I got to be at my house for about 2 weeks between that project and 2 others I was working on. Right after we had a baby so I was able to help my wife. It's been the best/most fun 2 weeks of work I've had in a while.

Other than those few days I had to do a half day at the job site doing crap that wasn't as fun.

We're not in the wealthiest of zip codes though...
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Looks really good! Did you do the detail work on the walls too?

Also, it appears to me to be in a basement. Did you incorporate anything into the bottom of the base to impede moisture wicking?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Looks good..I wouldn't have used mdf for the tops though.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:06 PM   #12
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Creter View Post
Looks really good! Did you do the detail work on the walls too?

Also, it appears to me to be in a basement. Did you incorporate anything into the bottom of the base to impede moisture wicking?
Yes I drove every screw/shot every nail and filled over 2000 nailholes in the 1/2 mile of trim that went into this 1600 square foot basement
here is another shot





the basement has a French drain/sump. that being said, I usually spray both sides of baseboard installed in basements with a coat of gaurdz. waterproof's it pretty well an trim comes out looking like a sheet of glass.

Last edited by mastersplinter; 08-16-2014 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:11 PM   #13
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
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Looks good..I wouldn't have used mdf for the tops though.
what would you of used for the tops? iam new to the built ins so iam always looking for new ways of approaching these things. I do coat all mdf with gaurdz to be able to take a coat of paint. as well as waterproof.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:18 PM   #14
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


that newel post is missing something up top....
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:30 AM   #15
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mastersplinter View Post

what would you of used for the tops? iam new to the built ins so iam always looking for new ways of approaching these things. I do coat all mdf with gaurdz to be able to take a coat of paint. as well as waterproof.
For paint grade:
Depends what they want to pay for. Low budget gets birch/maple 3/4 ply top with 5/4 x 1 1/4"-2" maple band. (Depending on what trim is under nosing).
High end gets solid 5/4 glued up top.

Stain grade:
5/4 glue up top.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:00 AM   #16
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbear View Post
For paint grade:
Depends what they want to pay for. Low budget gets birch/maple 3/4 ply top with 5/4 x 1 1/4"-2" maple band. (Depending on what trim is under nosing).
High end gets solid 5/4 glued up top.

Stain grade:
5/4 glue up top.
I mainly used the mdf due to being easily routed and this being a paint grade project. the picture I was given had a round over profile on the top and I couldn't figure on how to do that with finish ply and nosing . Obviously I wasn't going to round over a piece of finish ply. What would you do in that situation. I cant imagine applying a piece of round over nosing to the unfinished edge of ply and have it look uniform and decent. Iam assuming in this situation you would do a glue up and round over?

I am currently in the niche market of people not wanting to pay a lot of money for anything and cant figure out how to get out of that niche... Even people getting 1600 square foot basements finished on their already 4000 square foot houses....
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #17
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


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Obviously I wasn't going to round over a piece of finish ply. What would you do in that situation. I cant imagine applying a piece of round over nosing to the unfinished edge of ply and have it look uniform and decent. Iam assuming in this situation you would do a glue up and round over?

Apply solid wood to the front edge & use a flush trim router bit or flush trim v groove bit. Personally, I like the flush/v groove bit when applying edging to plywood. Gives a little forgiveness.

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Old 08-17-2014, 12:46 PM   #18
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Glue up, flush trim, round over.

I agree, 3/4" MDF may sag too much for my taste to use as the tops.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:15 PM   #19
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


What I do is stop the ply top at the start of face frame. I biscuit every couple of inches. I rip the nosing to what i need then i route it (bull nose, ogee, stool, etc), biscuit it.
My rip is determined by the design.
For example: I want to put a cove molding under the edge and go with a 3/4 overhang.
My nosing rip would be 3/4 for FF +3/4 for cove + 3/4 overhang. That leaves a nice solid edge that will take abuse.
This only work for 3/4 top.
If you want a 5/4 nosing then you have to run past FF with ply then account for extra 1/4" in your face frame.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:26 PM   #20
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Re: First Decent Size Built In Thoughts?


Ill try that next time. I did add a center support to the base cabinets to prevent sagging as well as hidden cleats in the ff of the base cabinets centers to prevent sagging on the shelves .

I honestly can't see much practical uses for mdf anymore after this project. I could see using more of it if it was 10 bucks a sheet, but at almost the same price as finish maple ply the cons outweigh the pros (if any). The dust is horrendous, the weight is rediculous, its very difficult to run through a table saw alone due to the flex. Its just not for me. Not to mention what water does to it.

Is the exterior mdf any stiffer?

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