Is there a trick...Finished mudroom update, P2.
Maybe I misread something in your question, but this is the prime place for a built-in. Build it in place piece by piece. You already have 3 walls. They can also act as the walls of your cabinet. Start by replacing the baseboard with 2x4 or 2x6 to support the floor of the cabinet. As described above, scribe a sheet of plywood to form the cabinet floor and drop it into place on top of the 2x4 base. Then, nail or screw a 1x2 ledger strip into the studs to support the top. Install partitions where needed fastening to the base and ledger strip. Add face frame. Drop in scribed top. Add doors and finish. Basically, do it the way the uncaring trim carpenter did, but do it better.
(05-20-2022, 08:45 AM)FS7 Wrote: I assume not, but I thought I would ask. My current project is a cabinet storage bench for our mudroom. Our builder offered an "arrival center" which was completely and utterly pathetic, built on site by a trim carpenter who didn't care. The room has doorways on both sides - one to the house (door long since removed) and one to the garage. The room is 63 inches wide and about 24 inches deep on that side, so I wanted to do a 63" bench seat on top of a 63"x20"x18" cabinet. Obviously, the bigger the piece, the bigger the problem. My current plan is to remove the door casing, quarter round, and baseboard trim on both sides, which should give me 63 inches of clearance and let it slide in. I might need to remove one door hinge (that 3/8" protrusion might be a problem). This isn't a problem since the casing and trim are pretty beat up anyway.

I don't see any way around this, but I thought I would ask in case I'm somehow missing something. With the door casing the opening is only about 62", so I'm assuming removal is required.

After reading all the posts I see one thing missing. The bench can fit between the walls by taping a thin piece of metal or vinyl  to protect the walls on each side.Then tilt the bench top in and scribe one end. Cut and fit this end. Measure exact width at the front of the bench, tilt the bench in and scribe and cut. Now make a spreader 1/2" longer than the width of the room, eg 64", The spreader has a 1x4 screwed on vertically. Lay the bench in the opening, put spreader above the bench and on the sheet metal or whatever you use for wall protection. Place another 1x4 against the opposite wall . Pull the spreader down and the wall will lengthen letting the bench drop in. Keep the protection pieces just above the bench. 
(05-20-2022, 05:28 PM)iclark Wrote: ^^^ this

Doing it in 2 halves let you fit each half to the actual shape of the walls.

Then, when it is time to install you put both outer ends down on the cabinet with the center of the counter elevated. When you push the center down into place, you might dent the dry wall a little bit but almost certainly not enough for you to care about it (since it is just where the board pushes against it).

Some youtube projects showing fitting into niches (whole-room seems a bit harder, but these might be helpful):


FIRST THING I WOULD DO: Measure wall at floor and at cabinet top height then measure space at same levels at door. Then check if corners are square and wals are plumb.


Cardboard full-sized template would be good idea
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Wild Turkey
We may see the writing on the wall, but all we do is criticize the handwriting.
(joined 10/1999)
(05-22-2022, 07:42 PM)Wild Turkey Wrote: FIRST THING I WOULD DO: Measure wall at floor and at cabinet top height then measure space at same levels at door. Then check if corners are square and wals are plumb.


Cardboard full-sized template would be good idea

I've measured the best I can. It seems to be within about a sixteenth of 63" top and bottom. That can't possibly be right though since there is essentially zero chance, based on my history in this house, that the corners or square or the walls are plumb.
I'm almost done with this. I started working on this a few days ago and I just have to install the shelf brackets, paint the shelf, and install it. The bench seat / cabinet went in somewhat OK, but the floor wasn't at all level (no surprise). This made the back (painted beadboard and pine dimensional lumber) sit off the wall, parallelogram style. I tried to scribe it as best I could, but as mentioned before there are no square, level, or plumb walls or floors in this house. There never are. There are gaps that have been caulked (some almost laughably large). But it's good enough. I have a healthy respect for trim carpentry, because usually we as woodworkers strive for perfection (square, plumb, level) while trim carpenters assume nothing is and work around it.
Not mentioned before, but the filler pieces should be on both ends - assuming the walls on both sides are perpendicular to the back of the piece. Once the piece is installed, scribe the filler pieces against the wall, then when they are installed, they'll fit perfectly between the wall and the piece.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
[Image: 20220724-095424.jpg]
This is replacing a "builder special," which looked exactly like this:
[Image: 12597123_948805605201124_1821678417_o.jpg]
No knobs, no shelf, no hooks, no nothing. There was a base of scrap 2x material (wasted space) attached with about 450 18 gauge brads. The beadboard was glued on to the wall. The "trim" was PVC. It was garbage, to say the least. In fact while nearly identical the one in the picture here is actually slightly fancier than what we had.

The bench and cabinet are goncalo alves. The inside is just sande plywood. The door panels are mahogany ply (matches well enough, and I didn't want to do raised panels on something this small). I had to remove the door casing on the left and actually remove some of the jamb material. Not the focus of the job, obviously, but I now have an (admittedly very low priority) job of reprofiling that section of trim. Putty should get it done. I'm not worried, but it's also not urgent. I tried to scribe it but the wall was wavy (it always is) so to fit the gaps in a one-piece span like this I would've had to damage the drywall. 

For the back, I did that all in one piece (except the shelf) and that was a mistake. That area was a parallelogram, much more so than I expected, and the bottom right side sat flush with the bench while the left was about 3/8" off (over a span of 63 inches). I ended up pulling it out, trimming at an angle (both the left side and the right side) multiple times, and then fitting it back until I got to a place where I was happy with it. There's a large gap on the right side filled with caulk (widening as it goes up). The left side is trimmed, being narrower at the top than the bottom. The bottom is trimmed slightly also. But I'm pretty good with caulk and paint, so it ended up looking nice. At least it's ten times better than what was there.

The wood itself came out great. For the bench top, I used two coats of hardwax oil (both Polyx and Fiddes) applied with a roller. I don't wipe off the excess like they tell you. Then I sand to 220 (the finish will be rough) and roll on another coat. After that dries, it should be very smooth - almost perfect. The final coat is sanding with a 500 grit bowling ball pad and then hand rubbing a small amount of oil on with a paper towel. I've done this a few times now and it comes out perfectly smooth and uniform. I often use Watco on pieces where I want more of the wood texture to come through, but for stuff like this that will see more abuse a more protective layer is preferred. Looks like wood, but feels like glass.
Looks far too nice for a mudroom.  Nice work.
That's a huge step up over what you had.  Congrats.  

Full size templates, as someone recommended, are the way to go for a perfect fit.  


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