August 17, 2014

Tack Locker Project Update, and Opinions Needed!

I've been working on this project for so long, some of you might not even have been reading this blog last year when I started it.  I had an old set of kitchen cabinets that we took out of my kitchen. and Connor's Aunt Mary inspired me to turn them into a vertical tack locker.  This is the original cabinet:

When you last saw it, it looked like this:

It was primed, had a door frame but no face, and temporary MDF sides while I figured out how to make my recycled kitchen cabinet carcass look good.  Today, it looks like this:

I worked on it as I got a little money here and there through the winter.  Because I am using about 75% recycled materials (read: wood I took out of my house), I ran into some problems that I wouldn't have if I started with new wood.

Problem: There are like six different types of wood of varying qualities in this thing.

Solution: Paint it.  This is the solution to more than one problem!

Problem: I built the door intending for saddle pads to hang on dowel rods horizontally, but 1) the kitchen cabinet carcass was just slightly too narrow, and 2) I hadn't yet figured out a way to hang the little dowel rods in a way I was happy with.

Solution: Drive nails (or maybe hooks, later on) into the center door support and hang them vertically by the billet straps.

I only usually keep "active" pads in my trunk now anyway.  I'm going to add strings that go across them to keep them in place, too, like the bandage lid of a normal tack trunk.
Problem: The door isn't quite square, because I framed it with a ripped down closet shelf original to my 1963 house, so the board wasn't quite straight anymore.  It doesn't affect the door's swing or latching, but it was pretty obvious due to the way I painted it:

Bright white stripe indicates slightly not-square door.

Solution:  Paint the face of the cabinet carcass (yes, that's really what they're called!) navy instead of white.  Paint and caulk hide a LOT of sins.

Problem: The size of the kitchen cabinet's carcass made my intended magnetic latch not quite meet up when I put the metal pieces on the door itself.

Solution: Scrap wood.  Some days it feels like this entire cabinet is being held together with scrap wood.

Problem, sort of: I intentionally put my door facing on the outside of the frame, because it seemed like the best solution for my built-out door intended to hold saddle pads.  This led to some less than attractive seams, which I knew going in:

Solution: Aluminum trim.

It's just taped on here to show what it will look like when finished.

The aluminum trim creates a new problem: how do you cut, and also do classy looking, ideally mitered corners, with metal trim?

Solution, maybe:  

I have a package of trunk corners on order from a woodworking company.  We'll see how that looks.

I have also done some general pimping-out of said tack trunk, including handles-that-are-actually-towel-racks-that-double-as-wet-horse-boot-drying-racks:

And casters that are more to get it off the ground than to move it.  It won't leave the barn once it's there:

This was an earlier picture, and a first coat of paint.

And cork, for the flat side (the other side has a big lip, which is why it's covered in pegboard.  Couldn't do that on this side):

And finally, this means I'm really close: pegboard organizers.

Shelf, treat box, whip holder (it holds six whips), basket with additional pegboard hooks of varying  types.

Now I need your help!  If I were to get a monogram to cover up this big blemish in the wood on the front of the door, perhaps from Personally Preppy, which style, size, color and finish should I get it in?  I know some of you PP fans are going to be all over this!

Almost there...

Options located here.


  1. I would to a large circular one, worried the square one would accent your un-square door. Love the trunk though, the navy looks great!

  2. This thing is a beast. Personally preppy took over a month to get me my monogram and I didn't like the way the heat transfer turned out but I think any monogram would look awesome. Maybe one of the ones with a diamond around it?

  3. It looks really good!! Upcycling things is a great idea when you are on a budget!

  4. Wow, it's looking great!! And any monogram is going to look fancy :-)

  5. Why not make your own stencil and paint on your monogram yourself? Easy-sneezy and cheap!

  6. Do it yourself! Here is my favorite how to for personalizing wood. Super easy, just takes time.

  7. It looks great!! :)