Ken-Skill Cabinet Project
The previous owner of my Ken-Skill built a cabinet inside by adding a facing to the original shelf. This was done to house the TV. The wood and hardware they used did not match the rest of the inside and with the light stain it really stood out. It was very simple construction, basically a piece of plywood with three holes cut out of it with two covered with doors. It was not very secure. Fortunately they didn't drill a lot of holes into the trailer.
I built a new cabinet front with a face frame of straight-grain fir and doors made the way the originals were out of 1/4" plywood with a 1x2 reinforcing frames on the backs. There are three doors with the center one being wider than the other two to accommodate my new portable flat panel TV. It's an Audiovox D1210 AC/DC unit with built in DVD player, removable speakers and wireless headsets.
The finish on the cabinet took some experimentation to get a look I liked. I think I spent more money on stains and finishes than the rest of the cabinet. I had lots of sample wood to practice on. At first I was going to just use amber shellac since it is a traditional finish and very easy to use, but the color was not deep enough to match the rest of the interior. Next I got some water based stain in a good color. I used wood conditioner on the wood first as it was supposed to keep the stain from looking blotchy. It didn't work as advertised and not only made it blotchy and raised the grain on the wood a lot. I never even got to putting on the clear top coat. Time to hit the hardware store again.
Next I got some oil-based gel stain since I knew for sure it would not make the wood blotchy. This stain was much easier to work with, the downside being that it takes a long time to dry. The color wasn't dark enough so it took two coats of stain. For the top coat, I ended up using the amber shellac after all. I put three coats on the outside and a couple coats on the unstained inside. it gives the wood a very nice glow.
For hardware, I found vintage hinges and latches that would go with the existing hardware in the trailer. I couldn't find exact matches but the ones I found are great looking. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for more on the hardware.
The new cabinet works great with the new TV and I'm very happy with the results. Below is the process of creating the cabinet.
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