My wife and I wanted to reconfigure the kitchen. A gut remodel to the studs. In March 2011 I got laid off from my job at the university. Finances changed, but the kitchen is needed so we’re improvising. We’ll be doing the bulk of the work ourselves, hopefully with help from friends and family at key times. We’re trying to do this as inexpensively as possibly without compromising on what we want to the greatest degree possible. One big rule is that everything going back INTO the kitchen has to be on site before we start tearing anything out.
When she looked into ordering cabinets, she got sticker shock. It’s not like she wants anything extravagant. She wants a “cottage kitchen”. (not to be confused with a “country kitchen”). Long story short, I got the job of building the cabinets. I knew my old table saw wasn’t up to this task so first thing I need was a new table saw. I got a Steel City 35990 granite top from a local supplier.
I am NOT a cabinet maker so I had a lot of learning to do. :) I opted to build the boxes with a separate toekick. Carcasses are 3/4” birch plywood. I count 11 plies. Backs are 1/2” birch plywood. Face frames are maple. These cabinets will be painted. It’s what she wants.
south wall is what we’re calling “the pantry side”. It will have 6 feet of nearly floor to ceiling cabinets, 12 inches deep. For these I’m building 6 cabinets and stacking them to form the pantry. Making 4 36 inch cabinets, connecting them in pairs, side-by-side, stacking one pair on top of the other, and then another pair 36 inches wide but only 16 inches tall goes on top. To the left of these is yet another 36 inch cabinet that will have a countertop and be used as the “coffee bar” (only because that’s where the coffee pot is going). At the far right of the pantry wall is another kinda odd cabinet. The base will be standard depth base (24 inches), but a tiny bit taller as it will house a wall oven 8 inches above the floor. That base will have a countertop. Above it will be an open shelf “hutch”. The countertop will have the toaster oven and above that, the microwave. and above that a shelf for cookbooks.
In the middle we’ll have an island, 8 feet long and about 38 inches wide. On the side facing the pantry, the counterop will overhang (with corbels). On the other side of the island, starting from the left end, a 30 inch drawer base for dishes and silverware, etc., then a 15 inch drawer base, a 30 inch drawer base with the cooktop above, and then another 15 inch cabinet with a drawer and a large pullout.
The north wall will have a 36 inch drawer base, 36 inch farm sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator.
Ambitious. I’m not a cabinet maker.
I have the carcasses built for the pantry side except for that oddball oven cabinet. I just started making face frames for those this morning. Took me an hour and a half to get the first one fabricated and installed on the cabinet. I’m learning how SLOW I am. My shop is small and a lot of time is wasted rearranging things to get a cabinet in there on a flat table, with room to move around it and still be able to use the table saw.
Right now I want to get the pantry cabinets and coffee bar done so she can start painting them.
My plan right now is to get those done and then do the base cabinets (30 inch drawer base, 36 inch drawer base, the 2 15 inch bases), and a 30 inch box for under the cooktop. Once those are done, then I’ll work on that oven cabinet and finally the farm sink cabinet. Those 2 oddballs are going to involve some head scratching and learning on the fly.
I’m slow, I’m space-constrained, and did I mention I’m not a cabinet maker?
Oh and I’ll have to make 14 doors, 10 drawers, a pullout, and I’m trying to design a drawer for under the farm sink. It would be a shallow drawer to avoid the plumbing, but the plumbing is set to the rear of the sink so it might be doable.
Oh… and I have to have all the cabinets ready by the second week of July. I should probably get off the computer and get back to work.
First one to get a face frame is the coffee bar.