The dartboard cabinet restoration was coming along great. After a coat of natural Danish oil and a few coats of poly, the cabinet itself and the doors that go along with it were looking better than I thought they would. It was time for everything to be fitted together. To do this I needed to start with assembling the cabinet, then move on to the star of the show — the dartboard itself.
Read on past the jump for more.
The old hinges for the cabinet were beyond nasty and rusted, so I opted for a nice set of shiny new ones that I found at the big box for about a buck and a half a pair. They’re nice looking and will do the job well, but the small screws that came with them aren’t going to get far if I tried to screw them straight into walnut, so pre-drilling will be required.
Placing the hinges where they need to go and marking a spot for each hole, I made a small starter hole for each screw. Take care to make the hole small enough that the screws still get purchase, but not so big they go in with no hold.
I attached the box side of the bracket loosely so the hinge still has a tiny bit of room to move while assembling the door side.
With the door in the closed position, mark the top like the bottom if possible and mount the hinge. In my case the hinge was a little bigger than the wood so I carefully put the bottom screw in place and bent the flap over to the curve of the wood with a mallet. Then I pre-drilled and mounted the rest.
The old cabinet had ugly white magnetic door catches that I always thought looked out of place, so I picked up a set of coffee-colored ones for a buck a piece at the hardware store; these fit the color of the new cabinet much better.
The magnetic door catches were in fine shape, so after a little cleanup they were re-installed to the bottom and top of each door. I also took a moment to locate them in the perfect position this time around so they would be at the optimum place to catch the magnet.
It was time to tackle the next problem — the dartboard itself. I managed to mount my board just slightly off center last time and was forever straightening the damn thing. This time around I was determined to get it right. The issue was the board wasn’t exactly forthcoming on the best place to mount it. Luckily, I had a plan.
I’m not a giant fan of chalk lines. The mere fact that I needed to use one put me off of finishing this project for two weeks. I hate getting chalk everywhere and loathe getting it on my tools because it never seems to go away– but in this case I needed one. Our friends at Stanley assured me that their Fat Max Xtreme line and chalk would be less messy. I gritted my teeth and tried it.
To hang a board correctly you need to know where the center meridian is. To find that center I ran the line through the 3 and 20 slots on the front, which neatly bi-sects the board into halves.
Carrying the line to make a loop around the back of the board and holding it tight for a snap produced a nice line to work with. Though it was not a completely mess-free experience, I can say that once I got the chalk in the line it didn’t spill out when it wasn’t supposed to and after I accidently dropped it, the floor wasn’t red with the exploded red contents of my shame. All in all, it was a positive experience.
With the chalk line safely put away, I made a cross line with a square and centered the spot where the two screws that would hold the board would go.
A little piece of scrap marked where the holes were and a small hole was drilled into the back of the board. Then a line scribed on the back of the cabinet marked where to put the piece to locate the holes in the back of the panel so the board would hang where it was supposed to go.
Three screws — two to hold the board from side to side and one to keep the bottom from moving — were screwed in from the back and the project was complete.
It took more than a few hours to restore/rebuild this old cabinet, but it came out looking great. It’s a mixture of old character and new wood but the marriage turned out better than the original looked and it’ll last for a good long time. The final build tally after stock and hardware was around $35. It took longer than I thought it would and cost about half of what you could buy a new cabinet for, but that cabinet wouldn’t have the history this one does, and that can’t be replaced.