Laundry Pedestal DIY Experience

IMG_3037My Experience with Laundry Pedistal DIY.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I made a laundry pedestal from the plans found here.

It was pretty easy to follow, but it took me several days to gather materials and tools, and I rested in between steps because I have Sjogren’s and it’s hot out.  I learned a couple of things from building the pedestal and I wanted to share.

Lessons Learned:
  • Get quality plywood.  I got the cheapest at the store, and it was splintery, required wood fill in the knots, needed a lot of sanding to get it smooth-ish and it actually split in the middle of the lamination.  I did get around that, as I detail below.
  • Use 4x4s for the legs instead of glued 2x2s.  I just don’t think it is as strong.  I thought it would be easier than to purchase heavy 4x4s, but it ended up being more difficult in the long run.
  • Learn how to use a Kreg Jig before trying to use one.  I used it incorrectly and it made a very weak join.  I had much better luck just screwing in on an angle (toe in).
  • Drill pilot holes and shallow depth larger holes to inset the screws.  Then either fill or use dowel plugs on the front to make it look more professional.  I didn’t start out with pilot holes and was lucky the wood didn’t split.  It felt like it might!
Things that worked well:
  • Alkyd enamel.  It was easier than using house paint and gloss, and it makes a very hard, glossy, easy to clean surface.
  • Trim nailer.  It made attaching the square trim a breeze.
  • Mitre chop saw.  Much easier to mitre the corners and make the trim look professional.
  • Trim the bottom after installing the pedistal.  The floor is uneven, so making the trim follow the floor made the room look straighter.

Here are my Assembly Pictures, step by step!

1. Gather the materials.

Since I was putting these into a wagon instead of a truck, I made two trips. Trip number 1 carried long items. Trip number 2 brought the plywood.  A sheet of plywood is 4 feet by 8 feet and is too big for the car. I had the store cut two sheets into 28in x 60in pieces for the floors of the pedestal and give me the scrap for future projects.

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I would recommend getting a better quality plywood because mine split along the lamination and I ended up having to glue it back together with elmer’s wood glue and clamps.  The dry time for the glue was 24 hours.

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2. Cut the 2x4s.

Eight pieces for the legs, 10 pieces for the center and sides of the decks, and 4 long pieces for the sides of the frames.  The cut list and sizes are in the original instructions here.

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3.  Make the outer frames.

2 medium pieces and two long pieces and screw them together.  It’s much easier if you have a friend to help hold things together, but I didn’t have a helper and I managed.  I propped up the opposite side on a saw horse so that I could keep my work straight.  Another thing I found out was that my short pieces needed to be cut very accurately because after you make the outer frame, you need to insert the supports into the middle.  If they are not all the same length, you will have problems keeping the whole frame tight.

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4. Add Supports.

Insert a support into the center and screw it in. You’ll repeat this step for the other frame and then fill in the other supports. Note in the background, I have glued and clamped the legs. Since it takes 24 hours for the glue to cure, Shoot a screw or two through those also, because you’ll use them in a few minutes.

 

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5. Attach Plywood Sheets.

To attach the plywood sheets to the frame, you will both glue and screw on the sheets. Screw in the perimeter first, and then the middle. You can tell where the supports are by looking for the screws on the sides. Glue and screw on both platforms. I had to screw in one corner and then push the frame on the other side because my frame was ever so slightly trapezoidal. You might not have this problem, but if you do, just push it diagonally from corner to corner until it lines up, and screw it in to hold it.  I used a lot of screws (I think 18 for each platform) but I’m not sure that it needed that many.

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6.  Attach the legs.

Here, you can see I have glued, clamped and screwed the short pieces together in pairs to form legs.  I would recommend that you use 4×4 wood instead of my method, because it seems like it would be easier and stronger.  My method worked fine, however.  To attach the legs to the top platform, I used metal brackets from the decking section of the home improvement store and I glued them and screwed them in (screws on an angle).  I tried to use a kreg jig, but I’ll have to reexamine my method before trying it again because it didn’t really work as well as it should.

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7.  Attach the bottom platform.

I glued and then screwed in the legs from underneath and then put a couple screws in on an angle to further affix the legs to the base.

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8.  Fill

It’s starting to look like a laundry pedestal!  fill in any holes with wood filler and let that dry completely.

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9. Add trim and then sand.

For trim, I used plain squarestock.  I covered the edges of the plywood and also the intersections where the legs attached.  Sanding took a while because the plywood was so rough.

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10. Paint.

Rustoleum enamel dries to a hard finish and is easy to wash.  Stain and poly would also look great, but my laundry room has white already.

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11. Add baskets.

Ok, you don’t really add the baskets until it is in the permanent location, but I couldn’t resist seeing it all “put together”.  I took the measurements to Target and purchased three baskets of the right size.  They cost $3.50 each.

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12.  Install it into your location.

I leveled it on site (my floor was sloped) and then trimmed it at the bottom so that the trim followed the floor.  That made the floor look a little more straight.  I painted that trim on site with the same paint.  I think it looks fabulous!

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The End!  Look at that beautiful Laundry Pedestal!

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