Boxing in outdoor electrics | The Blackberry Garden | Spring 2018

I recently mentioned after I moved the outdoor electrical box that I wanted to construct a cabinet to hide the box/cables and also hide the damaged brickwork, so this has been another project I’ve tackled recently.

Here you can see how this area used to look compared to now:

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Read below to find out how I constructed this little cabinet so you can make one of your own in 4 simple steps! I imagine this could be useful for hiding your own outdoor electrical point, or for hiding outdoor taps, water points and hose pipes. Or maybe you would like somewhere to tidy away your hand tools or mini pots – the options are endless really.

 

1. Making the frame

To start, I constructed a simple box frame; I used two old pallet pieces for the sides and used the longest piece of decking leftover to make the top. This made a box shape without a bottom. I then attached the side pieces to the deck below by reusing old corner brackets and I also used another corner bracket to attach the frame to the brick shed to prevent any toppling over. You can see that one advantage to using the pallet side pieces is that it allows any wiring to be threaded out of the side of the cabinet where it then runs behind the sofa.

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2. Boxing out the frame

Next I used a long piece of old wood to box out the sides and to make them sit flush with the top decking piece. I had to use another old scrap piece of wood horizontally as the base piece (see photos above) because I did not have long enough pieces of leftover decking to make the front. I decided this would be okay once it was all stained and I couldn’t justify having to buy new decking just to complete this job. I also constructed a middle batten brace piece and bottom ledge to stop the door and the front panel from falling inwards.

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3. Constructing the front bottom panel

Before I moved on to constructing the door, I created the front base.  I constructed this by cutting three pieces of decking to the same size and then used an offcut of pallet wood to tie the decking together at the back. I used screws drilled in from the side not seen to reduce the amount of screw holes seen from the front:

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I have not screwed the front panel piece to the main cabinet frame because I may need to get access in the future to the cables that run beneath the deck, so the panel just simply sits in place. To ensure it does not come lose when the door above it is opened, I left a generous 5mm gap between the two.

 

4. Making the door

To allow easy access to the electrical box for future maintenance, I constructed a door in the exact same way as I did for the front bottom panel piece above, but I made it slightly longer in length. Then I simply added an old furniture handle to the front and used some spare hinges I found like brand new in the tool shed.

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After all that was done, I stained the cabinet with leftover fence paint. All in all, this project cost me nothing (in terms of not needing to buy anything new) and was a simple job! I am delighted with how it has turned out. It has smartened up this area by hiding the wiring and old damaged brickwork from when we removed the wood store that was attached to the shed and it was my first go at making such a cabinet. No bad for a rookie 🙂


 

Written by Bethany Wright

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