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A Handy Way to Build a New Hamper

Last week while cleaning dirty clothes out of the hamper in my bedroom, I discovered the back of the unit had broken away from the bottom. (That happens when kids stuff more clothes in than it was meant to hold.)

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Now this was not an heirloom piece of furniture, but my wife and I received it as a wedding gift nearly 16 years ago. It was made from wicker and particleboard and plastic—at the Redmon Basket Co. in our town, Peru, Indiana. But it had a solid oak lid, which was, obviously, still good. So I decided I could just make a new box and keep the lid. That makes it easy because I would just build a new box to the dimensions of the old one.

And because I had several nice scrap pieces of oak-veneered MDF, I decided to make it all from cutoffs and leftovers. The front and both sides I made by framing the MDF panels with 1-1/4″-wide oak, using my Festool Domino and its loose tenons to join it all together. It’s a  nice way to build, although I realize it is very pricey. Still, you could do the same with biscuits or dowels.

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For the back panel I wanted to stay with the idea of a perforated hardboard panel for ventilation. (Apparently, my socks stink, but those are unproved rumors.) So I framed the hardboard with more oak, using stub-tenon-and-groove joinery. Again, very easy to do. I joined the four panels with more Domino tenons.

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For the bottom I used an edge-glued oak panel, attached with screws in slotted holes to allow for wood movement. Then I made simple block feet with the inverse routed profile of the bottom. These I just glued in place with a rub joint.

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After a coat of Minwax Antique Oil finish, I let it dry and then moved it into place. I’m pretty sure I’ll get more than 16 years of use from this one.

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2 Responses to “A Handy Way to Build a New Hamper”

  1. very clever! think I’ll make one, thank you

  2. Way Cool. Mind if I try it, also.




 
 
 
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