Thursday, June 21, 2007

Custom wooden light soffit installation

With the wooden light soffit built, it’s now time to install it above the bathroom sink. But first, it was primed with Kilz latex primer and painted with one coat of white latex paint.

In my Custom wooden light soffit installation preparation post I mentioned that I’m mounting this light soffit with T nuts along with compatible machine screws so I can lower the entire light soffit assembly should it ever need maintenance (or it I get sick of the look 15 years from now).

The screws needed to work with the 10-24 x 9/32 T nuts were 10-24 x 2 SS machine screws (pan head, slotted). The photo to the right shows the T nut with the compatible machine screw.

With a little help from my wife, we were easily able to hold up the custom light soffit and install the machine screws through the face of the light soffit and into their t-nut.

The photo to the right shows the screws were countersunk into the plywood face. I used a forstner drill bit to create a recess for the screw head and for the 1/2-inch wood button I’ll use in my next post to cover the screw head. The beauty of the forstner drill bit is that it provides a very clean edge and leaves the bottom of the drilled hole flat, not pointed. You see, forstner bits don’t look like traditional drill bits. They’re typically larger sizes (1/4-inch and up) and have a cutting head on the end, as opposed to a spiral cutting shaft like a typical drill bit. The circular cutting head is flat at the leading edge (tip), which is what lets you drill holes that are not only clean around the parameter, but also flat at the base of the drilled hole.

At this point you might be wondering how I was able to get the screws to align perfectly with the t-nuts hidden behind the wooden soffit. I did use a little trick. Prior to mounting the t-nuts to the two-by-four mounting boards (as mentioned in my Custom wooden light soffit installation preparation post), I held the light soffit (with holes for the mounting screws already in place) up into position. Then I had my wife take each screw and push it through its hole. Each screw had paint applied on its tip, so when the screw went through its mounting hole and hit the two-by-four, it left the exact location of where the t-nut needed to be installed. We used a paint pen to apply a small amount of paint to the tip of the screw, but you could also use finger nail polish. Whatever paint you use, don’t use too much or it will smudge against the two-by-four and won’t give a good reference point for drilling the hole for the t-nut.

With the light soffit mounted, we now need a couple of coats of paint before the final trim and screw buttons are installed. More on that next time.