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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys! First post on here. I have done many many aspects of construction while working for a remodel company as well as a framing company. I have also done many side jobs while i worked a desk job the last 8 years, and am currently running my own construction company.

I have done some finish work over the years, but not a lot. I have a friend who wants some wood lockers in their garage for their 3 boys. I attached a picture of what they are looking for and am looking for your thoughts on a few things, like wood selection and construction. I am thinking veneered plywood in alder with alder trim on the front. The dimensions will be 36" deep, 48" wide, and 90" tall.

The design they want won't have doors on the bottom. It will be an open cubby up top and one at the bottom, and not sure yet if they want crown on top, and most likely no bead board on the back.

How would you build this?
1. Would you dato the front pieces of trim to slip over the plywood, or would you just glue and face nail without dato-ing a channel?
2. What type of wood? Solid or plywood veneer? A painter i know who will be helping me finish says he loves using alder and then Benite before stain and finish. The only reason i am thinking plywood veneer is to save on cost. Is this a mistake?

Appreciate the input and look forward to learning from those of you will more experience than me!

Adam
 

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Here are some I did that are open on the bottom. I used all plywood exept for the face frames.
Everything was built on site, so it was pretty well just pieced together. 3/4 plywood between uprights and then uprights nailed into plywood.
I did build the upper cubbies as one unit then set on top.
1x4 used inside openings with a base cap inside of the 1x4
By the way, welcome to CT
(sorry pic not real sharp)
Lockers.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Don! That looks really nice, great job!
Did you just nail your face frames directly into the ply without cutting a dato?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks great MGB! Are your three vertical supports resting on top of the solid wood piece? How did you secure the three vertical pieces?
 

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Glue & face nail should be just fine.

I'd be more concerned about the Alder face frames holding up to 3 boys in a garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks! My common sense would think i need to make sure my plywood is the same wood species to keep the stain and finish the same. Correct?
 

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Ok thanks! My common sense would think i need to make sure my plywood is the same wood species to keep the stain and finish the same. Correct?
Not necessarily. Contrast can be very cool looking.

That's a personal preference thing...

I opt for contrast & wild grain.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Come on!! ;) Give me a little more than that. Tell me what you would do. I know everyone would do it different, but im just looking for a little guidance. I really like to do things well and want them turn out great. Im anal like that and will spend hours researching and learning.
 

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Looks great MGB! Are your three vertical supports resting on top of the solid wood piece? How did you secure the three vertical pieces?
Actually that whole thing was built as one unit in place, with a backer. Then slid into place.

The oak ply bench was cut into everything. Not the easiest way but it worked out in the end.

All the shelves/gables are just two layers 5/8" mdf.
 

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Come on!! ;) Give me a little more than that. Tell me what you would do. I know everyone would do it different, but im just looking for a little guidance. I really like to do things well and want them turn out great. Im anal like that and will spend hours researching and learning.
How good are you at staining? Can you spray stain?

There are a couple basic issues here. One is most plywood isn't really stain grade. Expect to pay $80 and up for actual good cabinet quality stain grade plywood. The second issue is you can expect the plywood and face frames to take up stain differently. Getting a match on final stain between the two usually takes some experience.

The face frame is an important design element - it's what will grab people's attention. If you want strong graining, use oak or other wood with strong graining. If you want almost no graining, use something like birch. There are a number of woods that are intermediate in graining (after stain application).

Generally, this piece is going to get a lot of wear and tear, so I'd go with a (not too dark, but darker than the face frame) walnut stain for everything except the face frame, and probably use a red oak face frame stained to a medium tone. Maple would look good too. That's just off the top of my head.

You'll need to play around with the scraps to work out your finishing schedule for the face frame and carcass, so be sure to have plenty of them:whistling
 

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36" Deep is an absolute cavern. For reference, the initial "inspiration" image is likely in the range of 14" Deep uppers on a 20" Deep base (not including wood top).

And if you're not using a drawer at the base, it will be incredibly difficult to access anything.

Just my 2 cents. I'm very encouraging of people stepping outside of their comfort zones, so I hope that didn't sound negative. Well, it was negative, but more in the vein of helpful intervention.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How good are you at staining? Can you spray stain?

There are a couple basic issues here. One is most plywood isn't really stain grade. Expect to pay $80 and up for actual good cabinet quality stain grade plywood. The second issue is you can expect the plywood and face frames to take up stain differently. Getting a match on final stain between the two usually takes some experience.

The face frame is an important design element - it's what will grab people's attention. If you want strong graining, use oak or other wood with strong graining. If you want almost no graining, use something like birch. There are a number of woods that are intermediate in graining (after stain application).

Generally, this piece is going to get a lot of wear and tear, so I'd go with a (not too dark, but darker than the face frame) walnut stain for everything except the face frame, and probably use a red oak face frame stained to a medium tone. Maple would look good too. That's just off the top of my head.

You'll need to play around with the scraps to work out your finishing schedule for the face frame and carcass, so be sure to have plenty of them:whistling
Ive never sprayed stain, only ever wiped it on. The guy I'm going to have put lacquer on has sprayed the stain. Is there an advantage to that?

I called on plywood and you are correct, cabinet grade plywood runs $80-100, while shop grade runs around $40. My friends are well off, so money isn't the issue. They just might not want to spend the money since these are going in their garage and not inside in their mud room.

Appreciate your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
36" Deep is an absolute cavern. For reference, the initial "inspiration" image is likely in the range of 14" Deep uppers on a 20" Deep base (not including wood top).

And if you're not using a drawer at the base, it will be incredibly difficult to access anything.

Just my 2 cents. I'm very encouraging of people stepping outside of their comfort zones, so I hope that didn't sound negative. Well, it was negative, but more in the vein of helpful intervention.

Good luck.
Yes i agree that 36 is deep, but that's what they are wanting. Going 36 vs 24 will just about double material price since i'll have so much waste. I will put together a bid for a 36" and 24" and they may decide 24" is best.

Appreciate your input, and i didn't take it negative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey i have one more question. The original design idea i was going to use was to build separate lockers, much like cabinets and then butt them together. THe purpose was so that i could transport the different lockers in my truck. The 3 lockers for their boys will be 10.5 feet long when it's all said and done. Im finding as i'm pricing out material that it's VERY expensive. The alternative is to build the lockers as one unit and the one locker in the middle will share its sides with the lockers on the sides. Here is my question. If i do that, i'll have to dado the two sides for the shelves and after each dado goes in 1/4" that will leave just a 1/4 inch of the plywood wall left where the shelves go into the datto. Does that make sense? Is that a recipe for disaster not only in terms of transport, but just in durability? Thanks in advance!
 

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10 1/2 ft long, 36" deep, what? 6ft tall? What could possibly be the problem? :)

You say the money is no problem then you want to save a couple sheets of ply to save a buck? I'm just repeating what you said to give you the confidence to hit him with the real number.

Your two sided operation concern ishould be put to bed. With a face frame on one side and a back on the other, you are bomber.

Even though you are dumping this thing into a garage, do yourself a favor and break it up into manageable sections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
HAHA! A couple sheets at $90 adds up even for them. They want 5 lockers total. The price just for material with face frames was $2500!! That's before my labor to build, stain and hire a painter to spray the finish.

Only reason i ask was i tend to overbuild and in this case just wanted to make sure if there were a way to build it just as strong and spend less. I am new to this type of carpentry so don't always know how strong things will be. I'll stick with the original plan and build them all separate and attach on site.
 
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