The finished unit in all it's glory (minus the handle which came after this photo). Also there's a link to a GIF in the last photo description to see this bad boy in action!
Here it is safely tucked away next to the fridge (and with a handle!)
I recorded some rough measurements
made a list of materials and tools (I didn't even own a drill at this point)
more lists. As it's a free standing unit, I had a touch of concern that it may tip if pulled out too far and was considering buying a drawer slide to attach it to. I never purchased it and it was never needed. The unit stands up by itself.
decided on a rough estimate for the top shelves to leave space at the bottom (more on this later)
two long planks of treated pine and some plywood boards
cut to measure by the friendly guy at the hardware store. I received 8 shelf size pieces (an extra piece just in case) and two long side pieces
then the board was cut to fit the back and a smaller piece that'll sit on the front
loaded up with wood now
Here is everything is after 2 trips and roughly 5 hours roaming the hardware store. I enjoyed it a little too much
Let the building begin! I glued two of the shelf pieces together. This will form the base. I joined the two pieces for two reasons. One was so the base would be completely solid. The second was to give me more wood to for the screws to hold the castors in as the castors would be bearing all the weight.
Once the base was glued, I placed everything roughly into position to get a feel for how it will all fit together. Nothing is glued yet
I glued the outside frame together and used screws as well to connect the pieces. I don't have clamps or a proper place to do my construction so I cheated a little. I used four 90 degree brackets and forced them into the corners and screwed them into position well before the glue dried or the screws were in. I figured these would help me force it to be relatively square (and it worked!)
Before building this, we used the space next to the fridge to store plastic bags. We use them often to take lunches to work etc. This new unit will take up this free space so I decided to create a kind of bucket at the base instead of shelves so we can stuff the bags in there. I glued it on and nailed it in with finishing nails. You can also see where I drilled the wood screws on the side. All of the pine was both glued and screwed to make sure it was solidly constructed.
Here it is from the back. It turned out to be a bit dumb to glue this before the shelves. This was because the shelves were maybe 1mm smaller than the space in the middle so I had to put the whole frame on its side and sit on it to force the sides together slightly as I glued and screwed it in. The front panel ended up warping so I had to rip one side off later and reglue it down.
Slowly installing the shelves! This was the hardest part as it was difficult to make sure they were level. I only had the tiled space in my apartment and the floor itself wasn't even perfectly level! I used the level first to find the best piece of floor in my apartment, then used it to keep the shelves flat.
Here the shelves are done and the dowel is glued in. I drilled holes in both sides then pushed the dowel through. I cut off the excess and sanded down the edges.
Time to glue the back on. I then used a million finishing nails to hold the backing to the sides, top and shelves. I really didn't want this backing to sag off.
Tada, construction is done! Now for a tonne of sanding!
All sanding was done with a cork block and sand paper because I don't own a power sander. The worst part was the excess wood from the back and front board. I had to sand this bastard down myself.
She's now sanded and dusted and ready for some paint!
1 layer of undercoat and 2 coats of 50% grey pail mixed into a semi-gloss white base. It came out exactly as I'd pictured it!
four huge castors installed with wood screws and washers. I chose these large ones deliberately. There was 9cm of wood trim around the base of the wall where this unit lives. So these 10cm castors gave it the perfect clearance to avoid unneccessary damage (You're welcome landlord!)
With a simple handle installed it's completed and ready to go.
The castors work perfectly. Check out the GIF here: i.imgur.com/rhncit0.gifv