2019 Semester in Sustainable Design/Build - Built Ins

December 3, 2019
By Madi Visser, Semester Program Teaching Assistant


Over the week before Thanksgiving I teamed up with Sawyer to build a kitchenette. Since we don’t have a ton of time left, we focused on a single massive cabinet that will take up a decent corner of the common space. It will consist of an 18-inch drawer and two armoire doors to a few shelves on top.

The main challenge was to use the space between the door and the corner of the wall (roughly 12 inches) to its fullest potential, without blocking the door. As part of the kitchenette master plan by Sawyer and me, the cabinet should also connect to the refrigerator. The solution was a cabinet with an angled front face, spanning five feet wide, six ft high, going  from 12 inches deep on the left to 24 inches deep on the right. This makes the entrance to the room seem more natural than just seeing the side of a refrigerator, and there is enough storage in the armoire to hold all of the plates, pots, and cooking tools. Mac helped us problem solve through the challenge of a drawer with an angled front face. Andy suggested that the cabinet be constructed with Rabbet joints to add rigidity. We got a lot of practice using the hand router to make the grooves. He also helped Sawyer biscuit-join pieces together for the back of the cabinet. 
When we laid out how deep that drawer would be, we thought it might be too disproportionate, so I decided to apply the golden ratio to the proportions of the two chambers. After a few minutes of figuring out how to do this, I got the exact number that we initially planned to use. I guess it’s good to have that natural judgement, but I was happy to double check my inner Fibonacci. Even when a deadline approaches, best practices always save time in fine woodworking!