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Old 07-09-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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Building a cabinet ... a weird one...


Hello, I could really use some advice.

I have to construct a cabinet that will conceal plumbing and a water heater.

Basically it can have no back and no floor.

I have most of the framing completed. I joined 2, 1x3's together (glue, nail gun, clamped and sanded) for the stud pieces.

The wall piece is lag screwed into the studs and all the other pieces are bracketed together.

I also used threaded inserts and stainless lag bolts to level the front leg and 4 along the front bottom.

This cabinet is a little shy of 4 feet all together. 35 inches will have to support a concrete counter. So it has to be strong.

I have 3/4 inch plywood (birch) to use on the exposed side and over the top to add further support for the counter.

My question is will this be strong enough to support a 35x25 inch concrete counter, 1.5 inches thick?

My second question is do I need to have a center support?

I have pictures below and the last one shows a 1x2 as a center support. Would a 1x2 be enough?


Cabinet framed. Will have 3/4 side and top.

Building a cabinet ... a weird one...-cabnomid.jpg

Building a cabinet ... a weird one...-cabnomid2.jpg

Building a cabinet ... a weird one...-cabsideview.jpg

Do I need this middle support?
Building a cabinet ... a weird one...-cabwmid.jpg

Thanks for pondering this with me. It is my first cabinet project and I want to do it as well as I can.

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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Building a cabinet ... a weird one...


What's your plan for accessing the water heater once the cabinet is built?

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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What's your plan for accessing the water heater once the cabinet is built?
Ditto, I'd add the 2 support legs but then you ain't gonna get the heater out. I wouldn't span more than 16" with that load.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #4
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What's your plan for accessing the water heater once the cabinet is built?
I was planning on installng some cabinet doors. Out of the 3/4" plywood.
My plan was to have the doors be flush with the frame. Put some stops to prevent overclosing.

The left side is also attached to the wall stud. The rear right, and the top back.

That is the thing. It needs to be accessable. One day that water heater will need to be replaced. Yet the center is where all that water heater stuff happens. The cut off, the drain valve. A board right there is just in the way.

The bottom piece is removable for that reason.

I can't go closer to the brick because of other issues.

I guess I could go with a lighter counter?

A concrete counter would weight roughly 120-150 lbs.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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Building a cabinet ... a weird one...


Last April our hot water heater had catastrophic failure - it spilled gallons and gallons of water before we discovered the problem and shut off the water. Because of our experience, I would be reluctant to put any barrier in front of a cutoff. Make sure your doors will open freely and will not be obstructed.

Plumbers? What does code say?
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:38 PM   #6
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Last April our hot water heater had catastrophic failure - it spilled gallons and gallons of water before we discovered the problem and shut off the water. Because of our experience, I would be reluctant to put any barrier in front of a cutoff. Make sure your doors will open freely and will not be obstructed.

Plumbers? What does code say?
That is how I feel too. So much so that I had the primary water cut off placed above the counter for easy access. My plumber told me it was required to have a seperate one going to the heater, although it is the same supply.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:47 AM   #8
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Building a cabinet ... a weird one...


All that pipe with elbows hooked to the relief valve is certainly not a good thing. should be just a straight pipe.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:15 AM   #9
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I'm not sure why they did the drain pipe that way. I guess it is so that it drains outside and not into the pan (which will also drain outside).

I have been standing on the frame and it has not made any uncomfortable noises or moved. So if it can hold me in one area then I'm thinking a weight distributed counter will hold up.

I also plan to add one more stud piece from a ceiling stud to the counter frame and a couple more cross studs in the left corner. This should give it a little more strength.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:05 AM   #10
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Building a cabinet ... a weird one...


If you can stand on it, I would not worry about the weight of the counter top. In my state only the MAIN water shut off valve has to be seen. Doors on each side of the 2x center support would be the way to go. However, I would have used PT lumber on the concrete.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:11 PM   #11
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If you can stand on it, I would not worry about the weight of the counter top. In my state only the MAIN water shut off valve has to be seen. Doors on each side of the 2x center support would be the way to go. However, I would have used PT lumber on the concrete.
Thanks Mop,

I have added not 1 but 2 additional studs from ceiling supports down to the frame. Thus the early testing of the frame, by me standing on it to reach the ceiling.

I hear you about the pt lumber and I did consider it. My compromise was to lift the bottom via threaded inserts and stainless steel lags. That gives me a 1/4" + in case of damage. Also, the floor is not even so this was a solution. I remember opening cabinet doors and standing on the toe kick to reach.

I'm still working on it. I just discovered that one of my walls is over 1" off level so I'm like . Of course this throws a wrench into my cabinet plans.

I paid that guy. He is long gone and I'm stuck with a crooked wall.

"If you want something done right, do it yourself." However, what if you have no idea what you are doing?

One board at a time.

Last edited by drillbit; 07-13-2009 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:06 PM   #12
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Building a cabinet ... a weird one...


Okay,

Crooked wall is fixed.

Cabinet is covered with birch plywood sides and doors (as soon as I figure out how hinges work).

I can sit on it and I'm sure it would support a concrete counter. However, I have an opportunity to get custom thick gauge stainless steel counters with hat channels and a high profile edge for around 100 bucks more then the concrete attempt will cost.

I'm going with the stainless counter. It's too good of a deal.

I will post a pic when installed and doors hung.

I think it will look nice, weigh less, be removable should it need to be and offer the same properties that concrete would except that no sealing is required.

I'm going for industrial chic so hey, they are both gray.

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