Before we left on deployment, I heard some people talking about getting a cabinet for the wardroom. I joined in the discussion and offered to help make something. I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to throw something together and if time got short, then I could just do the final touches once we got underway.
After a few conversations about how we should make the cabinets, Chaps and I decided to get to work. Somehow he managed to convince the XO that we should get two days off to build the cabinet and that turned out to be instrumental in getting the project done on time.
The carcase was made out of 3/4″ plywood. You’ll notice that back is cut just a little lower than the sides. We did that to allow wires to come up from inside the cabinet since it would be installed under the TV.
The top was made out of three oak boards ship-lapped together.
Chaps cut out a silhouette of our ship and we glued it to the center of the top. We used a 1×2″ oak board to trim out the front of the cabinet top and a 1/4″ piece of oak was glued to the sides and back in order to hold the bar top epoxy in. The key to bar top epoxy is to apply it in thin layers in order to ensure that it hardens all the way through. The blow torch was used to get all the bubbles out of each layer. I did not realize that oak was as porous as it is until this project. I had to keep using the blow torch for almost an hour on the first coat because bubbles kept pouring out of the wood. The epoxy looked like champagne. It think it took 6-7 coats to finish and came out crystal clear. I probably could have put the epoxy down in thicker layers, but I didn’t want to risk it.
I used some plywood and stain to make cave dwelling silhouettes like the ones found in the Mesa Verde National Park. We have a similar silhouette on our ship’s patch.
Here is what it looks like installed in the wardroom. The hardest part was raising the TV about an inch because we didn’t take the bar top epoxy into account when sizing it. All the other measurements worked out though.