Sunday, September 16, 2007

We have a winner

After extensive googling by both me and Steve, it has come down to spending $20 each bracket, which comes to a whopping $320.00 for pantry brackets.

These are Eastlake style brackets, which are more plain and austere in design than more ornate Victorians. Its closer to the period in which our home was built and we like the style too.

We just can't seem to do things on the cheap can we? I was telling my Dad about the predicament and I said, "Probably no one would notice if we used more Victorian styled brackets..." He said, "Yes, except for two people." He knows us well.

We always console ourselves by citing the fact that we do all the labor and so that saves us alot of expense enabling us to buy what we really want.

I had to laugh because when we bought all the oak for the shelves, one of the employees at Owl Lumber suggested we use veneer plywood for the shelving, which is alot cheaper and does not involve gluing up boards etc... He had no idea who he was talking to. We, who build to last 100 years. The truth is that real wood is much more repairable than plywood, which is one major plus to us. Plus, we are wood nuts. Anyone who has read this blog at all can see that is true.

From the photo, it looks like a pretty good quality casting-cleaner and better than many I've seen. In my searching for brackets, I've seen some really nice ones that cost hundreds of dollars a piece-real antiques and quite lovely. Don't worry, I won't go there. That's a bit much for a pantry after all.

So, while I appreciate your suggestion Gary, Steve has other woodworking projects to do and we are just going to have to bust the budget this time. Sparky, if you have any ideas now is the time to speak up because we need to get these ordered.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sticking Points

It is inevitable that one gets stuck on occasion. Sometimes you are waiting on materials or perhaps you sprain your ankle- things happen.
In this case, we've run into a bit of a problem with our pantry project. Nothing disastrous, but just one of those things that you have to problem-solve.

It started when we decided to put the microwave in the pantry. After all, who wants to look at a microwave in a more period style kitchen? Plus, they are space hogs and only used (by us) to heat up leftovers or Steve's coffee, which he likes super hot.

We had ordered the same brackets that we used for the upstairs pantry from Vandyke's. We liked the design and the price was right. But then we realized that to fit the microwave on our shelving, the shelves would need to be deeper and subsequently the brackets larger. Fortunately Vandyke's takes returns.

To be exact, we need brackets that are 11"- 13" for the shelf support and about 9" for the wall mounted part. Not easy to find as we have found. Or rather, not easy to find in a style we consider appropriate for the style of our home. In fact, I have found a definite shortage of arts and crafts style iron brackets on the market. Most are Victorian in design- you lucky Victorian homeowners!

We found two options during our rather extensive googling. One was an iron bracket in an Eastlake style from This company says they may get more in October, but they will not give out a phone number- a red flag in my book. Not to mention how difficult it was to get a straight answer via email.

The other is solid brass and twice the price ($40/pair). The more I look, the more appealing these become.

Then, I found these from our friends over at Rejuvenation. They are $29 each and we need 16 of them!

Eastlake is not the most period appropriate for us of course, but for some reason we feel better about that style than more flowery Victorian.

Other than this issue with the brackets, things are moving along with the pantry. Here you see the cabinet grade 3/4" birch plywood we got for a steal at Owl Lumber because it was off size and they wanted to get rid of it. It's a shame to cover it up. In case anyone is wondering, we had to open up the wall to add more 2x4s and decided to add plywood for more support. We also added an outlet for the microwave.

Steve has been faithfully going to the wood shop and gluing up the shelves. They are now ready for me (the helper) to sand and stain them.

The plans are on the wall. This pantry has been planned out in great detail. When it comes to storage in our small home, we do not mess about.
I am very excited to finally have a place for my beloved Dyson vacuum cleaner and to be able to finally unpack the kitchen contents still stored in boxes in the basement.
And that is my way overdue pantry update!