Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 2

Continued from “Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 1

It’s been almost a month since I first started tearing up the old plaster in in my office closet. As expected, I’m nowhere near done. I knew I would only get the chance to work on this project periodically as I found time. If this project took place in a room that is used daily, I’d be a little more anxious to get it done but it’s a closet in the office that I’m converting to a pantry. My grocery storage has always been chaotic so it can remain that way a little bit longer as I work it all out. I’ll get there eventually.

Step shelf frames

The frames of the diagonal step shelves that I will have to duplicate for the new shelves

The plaster was a bear to take down. That stuff is heavy and quite a mess. I took out a little at a time, bagging it as I went and then to avoid the bags from getting too heavy, I’d top them up with as much as that old fluffy blown-in insulation that was taking up space in that void. Thankfully it wasn’t completely full. That would have been a nightmare. Part of me was a little concerned that I might have been dealing with asbestos but after doing my research I decided that I was fairly certain it was cellulose insulation and posed no healthy problems. Regardless, working with that was just as messy as the plaster dust. It didn’t pack down in the bags well either. I guess that’s kind of the point for insulation like that.

Anyway, eventually I had all the plaster, all of the insulation and every last rusty nail pulled from the old frame and I was left with as close to a blank slate as I could hope for. Being able to see how the diagonal risers are fastened to the rest of the house’s frame sort of answers some questions on how I will have to proceed and taking my time as I have has allowed me to sort of put together a game plan of tasks and to figure out what order those tasks need to be performed.

Newly claimed space

The extra space now that the old insulation and debris has been cleared away. I will build step shelves up most of the way back.

The main point of this project was to create new storage space in a closet where it was previously impossible. To do that, I intend to duplicate the step shelves as far up those diagonal stringers as I can and after careful deliberation I decided that building those step shelves is the next logical step. I’ll have to take some solid measurements and make sure that I not only put the little boxes together solidly enough to hold weight, but I’ll also need to fasten them to the framing adjacent to the stringers for some additional strength. I don’t want those diagonal pieces to take all the weight. You just can’t be too safe when it comes to that kind of thing.

I haven’t yet determined how many 2x4s I’ll need to get that part of the project done but in anticipation of having to make a lot of cuts in the near future, I did get out this weekend and do a little tool shopping. As much as I started off eyeballing the priciest miter saws and stands, I had to be careful. I don’t do this kind of thing for a living. I don’t need to have the absolute best. Thankfully, common sense won the battle (this time) and I ended up coming home with a much less expensive, yet still seemingly solid Ryobi 10 inch sliding compound miter saw. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? I also got a compatible stand as there isn’t nearly enough space on my workbench to operate it.

I didn’t even power it up yet but it’s all set up in my workroom ready for it’s first job. By the time I post again on this topic, I’ll hopefully have gotten through that step. I’m not sure if I’ll get time this week but sometimes I find time that I didn’t know I had so we’ll see.

Until next time.

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