I always feel awkward using that word because most of the people I say it to have no idea what it is. If you don't, I am sure it will become apparent since this post is entirely devoted to it. Warning, it might be a boring one if soffits are not your thing.
As I mentioned, in order to prepare for the tile wall in our kitchen, the soffit needed to be build out about 7 inches so as to line up with the edge of the countertop. As you can see, I marked on the wall where the edge should reach.
This project was perhaps the most baffling of our entire kitchen renovation. I just couldn't quite figure out the best way to do it. It haunted me at night. I knew I would need some kind of wood armature underneath the drywall, but the current soffit was not completely straight, so it would require lots of tweaking. After talking with my father-in-law, who is a very skilled carpenter, I got a bit of an idea of how to proceed. I measured as best as I could and went to Home Depot. Unlike most DIY'ers, I neither have any big power tools, nor do I have a good spot to use them, so I usually get Home Depot to cut things for me. It's free, so it always makes me happy. I marked out my measurements for the nice man at Home Depot, and he cut some pine boards for me.
Once I got home, I realized that most of my measurements wouldn't work out due to some unforeseen factors, but thankfully my Dremel Tool Multimax has a very handy wood blade, so I was able to trim things down. First I cut and drilled the pieces for the ceiling and the back panel. Next, I added a front and bottom section, tweaking, trimming along the way. It all needed to be very precise, so it required lots of shaving and sanding down sections and adding shims of wood to other sections. Once I was satisfied with the wood frame, I added drywall–cut with my Dremel Tool drywall blade and a tiny handsaw. Hopefully the picture below give a decent idea of the process.
I must say that I was super happy when this part was done. It turned out so well, even straighter than it was before. It still needs metal beading and plaster on the corners, but our tile guy didn't charge too much for that, and it was totally worth it to have him put on the finishing touches... As you can see from that last picture, everything is ready for the tile wall and backsplash to be installed. More on that soon...