Picture 3 is the space where the wall and pantry used to be, all the way back to the rear wall. As you can see, the floors were also rotten and had to be removed. For the first 3 years I lived with no floor in the back 1/3 of the house, just an open hole into the basement that I had to hope the dogs never fell into.
After the original pantry and built-in were torn out, along with everything else for about 15 feet behind it to the rear wall of the house, the process of slowly reconstructing new walls was the next task. The space in the farthest corner, which used to be a tiny downstairs bathroom, is becoming a small breakfast nook, and the space where the pantry used to be is now the laundry room. I will save those stories for later. This post is about the dining-room built-in cabinet. In the above picture of the original built-in, it is on the left of the wall with the doorway to the pantry to the right. I have put the new built-in on the right. Right behind it is the laundry room.
It took several weeks of planning to get the measurements for the space itself. I already knew how to put up interior walls, but in this case, I wasn't putting up a wall as such, with drywall, but was used 3/4" oak plywood to make the walls, floor and ceiling of the built-in cabinet. I used the same to make the shelves. The difficulty here was in the planning of measurements, getting the wood into the tight spaces, and cutting heavy 8x4 sheets of plywood with my little table saw.
Then last fall I tackled the main side trim, which I mostly used from reclaimed trim from the excavated doors in the house. In this picture you can see that I've framed the sides and top with these pieces. Part of this process was buying a router, and learning how to make the decorative grooves in the top horizontal piece. This matches the pattern from the rest of the house, but I didn't have another piece long enough for the top of the built-in. The plinth blocks, the blocks of wood at the bottom sides, as well as the vertical pieces, and the top corner blocks were all reclaimed from other areas of the house, cut to size, sanded and re-stained. This was all reasonably easy, just tedious, and it took about a week.
Another big challenge was what I call the "inside trim," distinguishing the solid oak pieces that line the inside opening of the cabinet, from the reclaimed exterior framing trim I put up the previous year. This was also far more complicated than I expected, partly because I didn't even think about These pieces. Since I used plywood shelving, I had to put up a decorative molding on the exposed side. That was reasonably simple. But all around the rest of the cabinet I put a 1.5x3/4" trim. I also had to make the base of the cabinet, which were several 3x3/4" boards making small boxes on the floor. All of this took about a week. Staining wasn't as time-consuming. I resanded the entire finished piece, used a wood-conditioner product, and my own color mixture using oil-based stain, all of which took about a day. Installing the cabinet door was a pain, and eventually the door will have to be remade. The euro-style flush hinges were larger than the stile, so when I bore out the hole for the hinge, I went all the way through the thin area of the raised panel.
Right now this room is basically my tool storage room. The family who bought the house in the 1970s made this room into their kitchen. Originally, the room was the dining room. I am in the process of making it back into a dining room. It still looks mostly like my tool storage room, but finally, after 4 years, it's slowly starting to look like the beginnings of a dining room. Over the last several years I have received fancy kitchen display items from my family for Christmas, but I have had no place to put them, so they have all been put in a box. Now I finally have a place to put them.