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Thread: Seeking General Kitchen Cabinet Opinions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    3,220

    Seeking General Kitchen Cabinet Opinions

    I'd like to ask some general questions on the level of difficulty doing your own cabinets. (and Rob I saw your post about that catalogue--gonna download it).

    I'm redoing my kitchen next year, and when I look at the cost of cabinets....

    So, I'd like to ask how the experienced folks would rate the following on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 is as hard as BP killing that well, and 1 is a monkey with some good light could do it. Assume 25 lineal feet of uppers and lowers. Simple style, no hand carved moldings with mother-of-pearl inlay.

    1. Construction of uppers and lowers (general)
    2. Inset doors
    3. Doors with inset glass.
    4. Drawers that actually work (I have a real drawer phobia.)

    THANKS ALL,
    cynthia
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    Cynthia,
    I've not done kitchen cabinates but I am sure Tom Niemi and Jonathan will be able to help you out...
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Plainwell, Michigan
    Posts
    4,857
    kitchen cabinets oh ya they can be done but look at stuff by Chris Mire and Alan Berlien, they create great stuff I began my wood working with my still in the works kitchen. Beginners can create a kitchen, i can attest to that. Get your plans, fit them to your needs and have at it. Inset has the tightest specs but can be done, that is what I am doing. Best wishes in your plans and let us know if we can be of help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    4,005
    Don't take Tom's word for it. He says he can build cabinets but it's been over a year now and they still are sitting in the garage.
    Your question is kinda loaded. I would give them all a 1
    But I have been at this for a few days now
    The big thing with #4 is getting good hardware and making boxes that fit right.
    With #2 inset doors are 2 steps harder to make than overlay ones. 1 the cabinet face frame has to be right and 2 the door has to fit perfect.
    With #3 buy extra glass
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2010
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    Thanks guys. Sounds like it's doable, but a big project. I'll think about it and come back with more specific questions. THANKS
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    13,360
    Making cabinents can be a pretty big project.

    Even installing them can be a big project, but it's way more doable if they cabinets are already built by someone else. If you do renovate a kitchen, you can save a lot of money doing it yourself.

    I would recommend watching a few episodes of Renovation Realities though. I find it gives me a healthy idea of what can be involved in a project!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
    Posts
    7,890
    I thought about doing my own, but will probably go with THIS COMPANY. Solid wood, full extension glides, and they seem well made for about the same it would cost me to build them.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
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    518
    Cabinets aren't particularly hard to make. I'm not a very experienced woodworker (2 years now) and figured it out for a small kitchen. Since you're not doing it for a living, you can just take your time and you will get it all right. If you've never made any cabinets, I would suggest making a couple for a trial run to go in your shop or garrage or something like that to get a taste for them before going after your kitchen.

    The problem I had was my shop is just a two car garrage. A kitchen's worth of cabinets take up a whole lot of space and it was tough finishing that much wood at one time.
    Last edited by Jeb Taylor; 06-16-2010 at 12:40 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    My first kitchen was built in an 8x10 foot shop, with only a radial arm saw. It took a long time but I learned a LOT. Build the parts, label them, then don't assemble until all the parts are done (saves a lot of room).

    I recommend euro style cabinets with no face frame, and overlay doors - it is what I would choose to build today, 40 years later, and involves simpler construction. Key to making them easy, whatever style, is to be certain everything is precise and square.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    3,220
    Wow, thanks for so many helpful replies. Let me ask another kitchen cabinet question.

    Solid wood or plywood?

    Solid wood would be my first choice because it's more "green", and no noxious gas emissions.

    The way I see it, the one big issue with solid wood is that for the sides/back all pieces will have to be boards laminated together, right, because no board is going to be wide enough.

    Wouldn't it be a lot easier with plywood? The one big issue I see with plywood is that it usually only has one good face, but with lots of cabinets, you'll see both sides of the plywood: inside the cabinet and outside on the side? So how do you deal with that?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. You guys are the best. I don't care what your mothers say about you. I think you're great.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

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