Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 3

Continued from “Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 2

I was correct in assuming when I kicked off this project off nearly a month and a half ago, that it was going to take some time. I knew it was going to take time because I didn’t have a lot of time on any given day to work at it. Plus, it’s probably the biggest home improvement project that I’ve ever attempted to take on without someone else’s valuable expertise guiding the way. I’m just figuring this shit out as I go. Anyway, even spending only a couple hours a day a few times a week, you wouldn’t think a closet remodel would take all that long. It is just a closet after all, right?

plenty of cuts to make

A ton of cuts were required to build the pieces for the step shelf frames.

Well, not exactly. The main point of the project was to reclaim previously wasted space but to make that awkward space work would prove to be tricky. The two previously-existing step shelves, which is what I have now been calling them, gave me ideas on how to expand on their own design. I thought I’d triple-up on that motif by taking measurements of the pieces of the two that were there and then I’d pick up lumber, make a series of cuts and start putting it all together. I was making progress, but this progress was slow.

In the time since my last post on the topic, which was nearly two weeks ago, I’ve managed to build all four of the new step shelves and stack them up behind the two that were there all along. It was a frustrating and tedious job, constantly measuring, tweaking and leveling as I built out each one. Even when I was sure I got everything right in planning, by the time I screwed everything into place, ultimately everything sort of fell out of level to some degree. Oh, and speaking of degrees. When I first measured the angle of the diagonal stringers, my device registered it as about 44 degrees. I figured that must actually be forty-five because that would make more sense. That’s much more universal so my device must be a little off. Well let me tell you this my friend. When it comes to measuring for cuts and hoping for everything coming together nicely, one degree is no insignificant difference. As it turns out, I should have stuck with the forty-four degree measurement. I ended up cutting all my measured pieces a second time to shave off that extra bit. It still wasn’t perfect but it came together much nicer than it have.

three out of the four of the new step shelves

This picture shows three of the four new step shelves with the two original ones below them.

The first step shelf took about two and a half hours, which was about the longest of my sessions in the last two weeks. Each of the subsequent three step shelves took a little less time even though they each required their own session. Four days in eight days got me to the top of that flight of 12×12 shelves. Another session or two allowed me to go through and reinforce things to make it all just a little bit stronger. I even added some extra screws to the original two because of all six of the set, the original two seemed like it could use a little extra. I was sure that I used the existing studs to my advantage and when studs weren’t readily available for additional reinforcement, I added in some more chunks of 2×4 between the studs to use.

Now that I’ve got this part done, I’m still trying to come up with the next logical step, which will probably be to address the ceiling. Because part of the ceiling is finished from where the original closet existed and the rest from the new space is not, I’m going to have to add some furring strips to match up the depths so that when I get to the point of finishing it, I’ll have a uniform level of material to work with. I’ll probably take measurements for that over the weekend as well as measurements for the tops of the step shelves. I think I’m going to use a nicer wood rather than boring old plywood but we’ll see what material is available. I am thinking that I might sand, stain and poly them just to give them a little contrast to what the rest of the pantry will look like.

Stay tuned for the next chapter.


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