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Old 06-02-2010, 02:39 AM
Ken Ken is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: West Virginia
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Default Kitchen Cabinets

I am finally at the point in my house remodeling that it is time to start in the kitchen. I will be showing the process of building a few basic cabinets. Topics to be covered include lower cabinets, upper cabinets, face frames, countertop, doors, and drawers. Construction will be on both the smart table and the PBB.

I am not one to sit down and take the time to make detailed plans and drawings. Usually by the time I would finish the drawing I could have the job done. I recently bought a house that was a handyman special. I tore the whole inside down to the studs, knocked down a few walls (one load bearing) changed the layout, put in all new plumbing and wiring... all without making a single drawing. It was all in my head. I know what I want and just do it. A kitchen is an exception. There are just to many measurements and details to keep track of so at least a rough sketch is in order. Also a cut list is helpful to minimize the waste of expensive wood.

I will start with some rough diagrams and then detail the process of cutting and making a few cabinets through description and photos. There are many ways to build cabinets. My choices may not be right for a cabinet shop but they meet my needs.

I have been a professional carpenter in the past but now it is just plain fun and saves me a lot of money on custom made items for the wife and occasionally adds some additional income as well. I have made many different types of cabinets but this is my first time doing a whole kitchen, so constructive criticism is welcome! This project will take some time and will be done in 3 phases. First is to get the lowers, countertop, and appliances finished so that we can move in. The second phase will be the uppers and the third doors/drawers.

One of my first choices which is different then traditional cabinets is the use of only 3/4” ply, even for the backs. I like to overbuild no partical board of mdf will be used. One of my pet peeves is the use of fake board in a sink cab. The first time it leaks and the thing self destructs. Another difference is the uppers will run all the way to the top of a 9' ceiling with a door the size of a standard cab and a smaller door on top. Storage is at a premium and I do not want to waste the space on a soffit. I am also going to be using adjustable feet on the cabinets instead of the normal wooden kick. These feet make it easy to get everything level and since there are open spaces I can make a drawer under every cabinet that mimics a kick gaining some extra storage.

To start picture 1 shows the general layout. On the bottom left I made a setback for the refrigerator so that it will not stick out so far past the cabinets. I have already started building with birch ply and the other pictures show what I have done so far. When I start the next cab over the weekend I will take pictures of the build and post the details.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Kitchen Layout-small.jpg (35.4 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4147.JPG (75.2 KB, 229 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4148.JPG (67.1 KB, 204 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4149.JPG (79.6 KB, 212 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4150.JPG (72.4 KB, 196 views)
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:34 AM
Burt Burt is offline
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Ken,

It sounds like you are busy with quite a project. I know my first kitchen cramped my style because I had to conform to standards.

A little Bit on measurements: Normal base cabinet depth is 24" including the face frame.

Unless there has been a recent change, the largest refrigerator avalable is 36" wide. I normally allow 37" for a refrigerator.

Normal width for a cook stove is 30". Actually they are normally undersized just a little. The same is true for a dishwasher - 24". You can always add or substract a little on a cabinet with the face frame.

A few times, I have made a riser (sized like a kick) and used that to set base cabinets on. It allows you to easily level the riser and then set the cabinets on top. This is great if floors are out of level.


Burt
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:12 AM
Mike Goetzke Mike Goetzke is offline
 
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I will be very interested in your progress. I'm in the middle of a similar project. I'm converting our LR, DR, & kitchen into one big great room - also included removing and bracing a structural wall. I'm just about done with the electrical so have quite a bit of work before I start the cabinets. I have an "L" wall 20'x12' and an island in our design. I got frustrated with SketchUp and purchased Cabinet Planner software to design the cabinets (highly recommend this software).

Where did you buy that apron sink - it's exactly what we are looking for.

I would suggest you visit this site for kitchen standards: http://www.nkba.org/ (they used to have the docs on-line but now you have to order them)

This is what I'm up for:

Started here and removed the walls in yellow -




This is what we have planned ...so far -




Mike
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:19 AM
Ken Ken is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: West Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burt View Post
Ken,

It sounds like you are busy with quite a project. I know my first kitchen cramped my style because I had to conform to standards.

A little Bit on measurements: Normal base cabinet depth is 24" including the face frame.

Unless there has been a recent change, the largest refrigerator avalable is 36" wide. I normally allow 37" for a refrigerator.

Normal width for a cook stove is 30". Actually they are normally undersized just a little. The same is true for a dishwasher - 24". You can always add or substract a little on a cabinet with the face frame.

A few times, I have made a riser (sized like a kick) and used that to set base cabinets on. It allows you to easily level the riser and then set the cabinets on top. This is great if floors are out of level.


Burt
Thanks for the advice on measurements Burt.

Some parts of the rough drawing I made are probably only understandable by me. The 25" that I had may look like cabinet dimensions but it is actually the countertop depth. In reality the countertop will probably end up being slightly shy of 25" (within a 1/4"). I will be using 12" granite tile with a wood edge band. The actual cabinets with face frames will finish at 23" depth so that I have a little wiggle room for the not to straight wall behind them and to accommodate the 1/4" reduced size of the countertop. They do make a nice granite edge band that compensates for the tile coming up a bit short but I am to cheap to buy it (about $15 per foot). I got a close out tile that is beautiful for just over $3 each I attached a picture of one tile. It is the base of a shampoo box that I made in the bathroom.

I just bought a dishwasher but it will be a couple of weeks before it is delivered. I downloaded the manual for it and the specs say it is 23 7/8" wide, hence my 24 1/8" opening. I can correct any variation with the face frame later, just do not want to take a chance on it being to tight.

For the refrigerator I went with a larger opening (our frig is about 36" wide) because I want at least a 2" face frame on each side with flutes for decoration. The slightly odd size you see in the measurements is the width of the setback I made in the wall to get 6" extra depth for the frig.

The stove was a good catch, I will make it 30" as you suggest.
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File Type: jpg IMG_4125.jpg (41.7 KB, 129 views)

Last edited by Ken; 06-02-2010 at 11:32 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2010, 03:02 PM
Ken Ken is offline
 
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Location: West Virginia
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Hi Mike

I missed your post. You and I must have been typing at the same time. It looks like you have a nice project ahead of you to. I really like what you can do with the kitchen design software that you bought. Was it a reasonable price?

My wife found the sink online. I will have to find out the company from her when I get home. It was a 2nd, she paid about $200 for it which is a great price for this kind of a sink..... or so it seems. As I have found out the reason for the good price is that it is racked a little bit. I am going to try and straighten it out but may end up having to secure the base cab to the floor very securely. The sink is strong enough to pull the cab out of square.

I attached a few pics of the load bearing wall that I ripped out. The window that you see is the window that the sink is in front of. I had to put in a shorter window as my wife didn't buy the natural light in the cabinet idea that I had This gave me a 28' X 10' room to work with for the kitchen/dining room. I do not like exposed beams, either posts or under the ceiling. The post in your case can be turned into something useful such as a display self in order to conceal it's existence Maybe this will give you a few ideas. 3 - 2X12's span the room. Even for a room your size you can get beams that will carry the load one type is microlam. My house is a ranch. It gets a lot more complex if there is a second story to deal with because you really have to know all the load bearing points in the house. I had a couple of high school kids helping me with the demo. They kept repeating the same question over and over while I was doing this work. “Is the house going to fall down on us?”
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File Type: jpg Construction-Kit_Din-01.JPG (107.0 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg Construction-Kit_Din-04.jpg (45.1 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg Construction-Kit_Din-05.JPG (102.3 KB, 89 views)
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2010, 06:34 PM
Mike Goetzke Mike Goetzke is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
Hi Mike

I missed your post. You and I must have been typing at the same time. It looks like you have a nice project ahead of you to. I really like what you can do with the kitchen design software that you bought. Was it a reasonable price? It was between $60 & $70 as I recall. I was hesitant to purchase it but after I bought it I would have paid much more. It is easy to use, very flexible, the software writer gives almost immediate responses to questions, it creates cutting lists....best of all our first design which looked good on my hand sketches looked terrible in 3-d so that paid for the software by itself.

My wife found the sink online. I will have to find out the company from her when I get home. It was a 2nd, she paid about $200 for it which is a great price for this kind of a sink..... or so it seems. As I have found out the reason for the good price is that it is racked a little bit. I am going to try and straighten it out but may end up having to secure the base cab to the floor very securely. The sink is strong enough to pull the cab out of square. Thanks - my wife really wants a copper of porcelain but they can run as high as $2K+ and all our appliances will be SS so I'm trying to talk her into the stainless.
I attached a few pics of the load bearing wall that I ripped out. The window that you see is the window that the sink is in front of. I had to put in a shorter window as my wife didn't buy the natural light in the cabinet idea that I had This gave me a 28' X 10' room to work with for the kitchen/dining room. I do not like exposed beams, either posts or under the ceiling. The post in your case can be turned into something useful such as a display self in order to conceal it's existence Maybe this will give you a few ideas. 3 - 2X12's span the room. Even for a room your size you can get beams that will carry the load one type is microlam. My house is a ranch. It gets a lot more complex if there is a second story to deal with because you really have to know all the load bearing points in the house. I had a couple of high school kids helping me with the demo. They kept repeating the same question over and over while I was doing this work. “Is the house going to fall down on us?” Wow you have ceiling joists on both sides of the beam. My house has a cathedral ceiling in the LR & DR and not the kitchen so I only had one set of ceiling joists to support. I used two LVL beams back-to-back. I wish I didn't need the post in the middle of the island but like you I don't want the roof fall in
This is my beam:





Ken - something a cabinetmaker suggested to me.

1)He uses 3/4" stock for the backs. Here is his note: Not standard for most builders but it serves a variety of functions for me at little added cost. First, I like the additional strength of the thicker back panel and it allows the shelves to sit in dados along the back to improve their strength. Secondly, I plow a dado on the outside of the back panel, 1/2" deep by 1.6" wide. After the cabinets are assembled, I free hand a router to extend the dado through the side panels where appropriate. When I hang the cabinets, I shoot a laser line around the room and mount 1.5" wide strips of 1/2" thick plywood at the appropriate height to support the cabinets from the dado I cut in the backs. It not only makes hanging much easier but ity allows me to verify the stud locations before I predrill the cabinets.

2) Not sure if I want to do it this way yet but he fixes the shelves in dados (i.e. they are not adjustable).

3) He makes 14" deep uppers (not 12").

Mike

Last edited by Mike Goetzke; 06-02-2010 at 06:57 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2010, 07:14 PM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
 
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Ken,

What you have so far looks great.

Mike,

Those were some excellent points to remember the next time I have to build some cabinets.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:47 PM
Burt Burt is offline
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Hanging cabinets: As a general rule, we go down the wall and locate the studs as the first thing we do. We can then measure the wall and transfer the measurements to the cabinets.

I've always used a 1/4" back - usually tile board - because it is white and has a reflective surface that is almost like adding a light inside the cabinet. I normally put in a 3/4" plywood strip in the top back of the cabinet to hang the cabinet from.

I see few if any advantages to the 3/4" back. On the negative side it makes the cabinets heavier to hang.

I think that fixed shelves are a mistake. That locks you into fixed size space. Adjustable shelves allow you to tailor the space to your needs. Remember with a wife that can change in an instant.

I also discourage drawers for storage of pots and larger items. You can make a deep drawer to fit that large pan your wife brought home yesterday but what about the one she will bring home tomorrow. I prefer sliding shelves. With these mounted behind a door any reasonably handy person can reposition them in 15 minutes to accomodate changes.


Burt
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:53 AM
CarlB CarlB is offline
 
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Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
I am finally at the point in my house remodeling that it is time to start in the kitchen. I will be showing the process of building a few basic cabinets. Topics to be covered include lower cabinets, upper cabinets, face frames, countertop, doors, and drawers. Construction will be on both the smart table and the PBB.
I'm really looking forward to seeing how you build your cabinets, and especially how you make use of the track saw for doing so. Please keep us updated!

Also, not to stray too far off-topic, but I'm wondering how you like that compact Bosch drill seen in one of your photos. I've been wanting a compact lithium-ion drill, but am not sure how they stack up against their "full size" big brothers. Does it have enough power to do everything you've needed it to do while making your cabinets?
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:43 AM
Ken Ken is offline
 
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Location: West Virginia
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Carl,

I have 3 of the little Bosch tools. The drill that you mentioned is great for all the light stuff like drilling pilot holes which is what I am using it for here and installing cabinet hardware. Don't expect to drill a bunch of pocket holes with it. The drill does have a nice clutch and 2 speed ranges so it is more versatile then the pocket driver if you are only going to get 1 tool, but it is heavier and longer. The batteries last a long time and give surprising performance for there small size. I also have the pocket driver which is great and probably my most used cordless tool it usually stays in a pouch on my belt especially when I am doing electrical work. The impact driver is also great. It packs a lot of punch for it's size. These tools are great around the house or to carry in your tool pouch while working but they will not do away with the need for a full sized set. For the major construction on my house I used a Milwaukee V28 set which is very close to being equivalent to corded.
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