A hammer in search of a nail…

Well the big news is that I decided not to add lights to the dartboard cabinet after all.  Just didn’t want to deal with the added complications.  I may come back to that in the future, but I think the cabinet turned out very nice without it.

Here is the final version of the cabinet hanging on the wall:

Dartboard Cabinet - Complete

Dartboard Cabinet - Complete

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of pictures early in the process, but the initial build of the cabinet consisted of creating a rectangular frame (from poplar), a back panel (from 1/2 inch plywood), and two doors.  The doors were a little fancy because I wanted to experiment with a curved top.  I joined two pieces of poplar together for a wider board and then cut it with a jigsaw into the (roughly) curved shape of the top.  After that, I used a template curve and a router and smoothed out the curves.  After that was completed, the door frames were assembled.  I used 1/4″ plywood for the door panels.

I made a mistake and instead of using a groove centered in the frame to slide the panel into, I instead just cut a rabbet on the inside of the door frame and set the panel into that.  The result is a little sloppy on the inside of the door.  This was done because I didn’t want to have to worry about cutting a groove into the curved top rail.  Usually I would cut the grooves on my table saw with a dado blade.  I got lazy here since I would have had to cut the groove with the router and a slot cutter bit.  Typically, this wouldn’t be a problem because nobody really cares about the inside of the doors.  So I wasn’t really thinking it through (I know, shocking) and, of course, dart board cabinet doors are open when you play so you’ll see the inside.  Long story short, the inside of the doors could have been better, but ultimately they don’t look too bad.

After assembling the doors, I mounted two pieces of wood (one on each door) to hold the darts.  These were pieces of poplar that I drilled six holes in to hold the darts and then glued them to the inside bottom of the door panels.

For the back panel, I originally got the idea to cover the panel with cork.  I bought some cork panels and Laura installed them on the back.  Unfortunately, the seams between the panels (it took 6 cork panels to cover the back) really showed and the back didn’t look too good.  Since the cork was already glued on, we just decided to cover the back with fabric (felt) over the cork.  We pulled the felt over the edges and stapled into the back of the panel.  We went with a red felt with some black threads in it and it turned our really nice.

The dartboard was previously hanging on a backer board and I was able to reuse the hardware that holds the center of the dartboard and install it in the back panel.  This really should have been done before the felt was installed, but live and learn 😉  We ended up having to cut the felt where the hardware was mounted so I could drill two holes for the screws.  Luckily I did a trial and error test with a sample and determined you really can’t drill through felt; it just twists up around the drill bit and would have ruined the felt backing.  So I added four more staples (top, bottom, left, and right) in a small square about 2 inches on a side to hold the felt.  Then, with a razor blade, I cut out an ‘X’ around where the two screws were to be mounted, folded back the felt so it was out of the way and drilled the holes.

Finally, I attached the back to the frame with picture frame brackets so I can remove the back in the future if the felt gets messed up from too many errant darts.

Here is what the dartboard cabinet frame and back looks like (without the doors) with the dartboard mounted:

Dartboard Cabinet Back (with Dartboard)

Dartboard Cabinet Back (with Dartboard)

Rachel was home for the summer for a few weeks so we convinced her to transfer a drawing of Calvin & Hobbes onto the cabinet doors.  She did a really good job with a sharpie marker on top of the stained door panel and it looks great!  Here is a shot after the drawing:

Cabinet Doors with Calvin & Hobbes - Initial Drawing

Cabinet Doors with Calvin & Hobbes - Initial Drawing

Laura then added a little color by painting just a couple of the parts red.  She then polyurethaned the doors which really made the black “pop”!

Doors - Painted and Polyd

Doors - Painted and Poly'd

With the door panels mounted, the dartboard cabinet is looking nearly complete:

Dartboard Cabinet Interior - Incomplete

Dartboard Cabinet Interior - Incomplete

Next step is to add the scoreboard for the left and right doors. We ended up buying a large chalkboard from Hobby Lobby for about $15.  I removed the frame and then cut up the board itself into two panels to be mounted on the inside of the doors.  Laura painted a Cricket scoreboard on one board and a ’01 outchart on the other.  I was originally going to mount the boards to the door panels with brads and even drilled holes in the corners to mount them before Laura pointed out that the panels were only 1/4″ thick and the brads would go completely through (ruining Rachel’s artwork would have been unbearable).  Whoops! So instead we glued the boards to the panels with liquid nails.  Before that though, I cut the brads down to little more than the heads and superglued them into the holes in the boards I had already drilled so they look like they’ve been nailed anyway (and to hide the holes).

Here’s a shot of the outchart Laura painted by hand (no way I could have done this):

Outchart

Outchart

And one of the scoreboard:

Scoreboard

Scoreboard

So here is the final view of the inside of the cabinet:

Dartboard Cabinet Interior - Complete

Dartboard Cabinet Interior - Complete

I think the project turned out very well and the cabinet complements the pool cue rack on the opposite side of the doorway.

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