Kitchen Cabinets

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Blog entry by cbMerlin posted 08-15-2009 01:48 PM 6912 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m not sure that my skills measure up to all the incredible projects I’ve seen posted here, but what the heck, I’m posting my first and hoping I’ll get some educational feedback and tips for future projects. I’ve scoured hundreds of projects here during this project and learned tons. You folks are the best! I read a thread recently discussing feedback and how to give it. Someone stated that if the poster wanted critical feedback, they should ask. OK I’m asking. (PS – try not to hurt my feeling too bad LOL)

Birth of a project: My wife wanted new counter tops and I didn’t want to put a new top on tired cabinets. I had previously refinished them (about 10 years ago). So off we went to look at new cabinets. Wow, price shock! Not to mention the big box stores had what I thought was fair quality at best. I convinced her to let me give it try, and build them myself. I figured I had plenty of time, she’d only waited 14 years for her new counter top. I’m kinda off and on in the shop (garage actually – calling it a shop just sounds cooler). It took a while but I finally got it done and in the process collected some new stuff for the shop too; Shop Fox dust collector, Jet air purification system, Porter Cable dovetail jig and I certainly needed to build a Router table for my Bosch router. Based on the cost of what we wanted at Lowes/Home Depot, I think I saved close to a grand by building them myself, that includes my new stuff as well! Win-Win!

A few details: The uppers are deeper than standard, my wife has those big serving platters that never quite fit in the old cabinets. We don’t exactly have a large kitchen so I used full extension slides & build drawers for the dead air space in several of the lowers to create more storage. The 36” D style lazy susan holds a bunch of stuff (old cabinets were just dead space, not easly accessible). Side/back panels are 1/2 Oak ply, probably over-kill, but I didn’t want particle board.

I believe in E-Bay. I expected to pay north of $350 to replace my old sink (22G 6” 50/50), found a 16G 40/60 7” & 9” deep for $180 w/free shipping! My wife picked out a $240 faucett at Lowes, found it for $63. Found really neat “I.R.” lights to mount under the uppers for about $8 each, wave you hand, the accent lights come on.

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

14 comments so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2791 posts in 3438 days

#1 posted 08-15-2009 02:09 PM

Looks good to me. My first raised panel cabinet was like a rite of passage for me. So this must have been are real thrill for you when they came out looking like they do.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View mnguy's profile


193 posts in 3399 days

#2 posted 08-15-2009 02:54 PM

The workmanship looks first-rate! I think your drawer boxes are especially impressive. And the finish looks great, too. My only suggestion (you asked for it :) ) would be to try for better grain matching on your panels. Oak has such a strong grain, if you have some straight grain and cathedral grain in the same panel, they fight each other and get distracting. I know firsthand – I made my wife a mantel clock as an early wood project ~15 years ago, and I did a decent job on everything except matching the grain.

Excellent work!

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3729 days

#3 posted 08-15-2009 03:05 PM

exclamation points before and after your links will allow the pictures to show up in your blog. just an FYI.

View dhg's profile


197 posts in 3713 days

#4 posted 08-15-2009 03:27 PM

Very nice job cb. I like the duet panel doors in the larger cabinets and panels in the finished ends. you put a lot of thought into this project. looks great.

-- Talent on Loan from God - Rush Limbaugh

View cbMerlin's profile


100 posts in 3421 days

#5 posted 08-15-2009 03:56 PM

You’re right about the first raised panel. It took me several months, after I had the bits, to try to make one. I finally got the nerve up and went for it.

Great feedback mnguy. I knew there was something bothering me about the panels, you nailed it! As soon as I read your comment I got up & went to the kitchen and looked at them again. You know how many times I put the tape back on them thinking I screwed up?

HokieMojo – Thanks for the tip, I updated as you suggested. Much better!

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

View bluchz's profile


187 posts in 3374 days

#6 posted 08-15-2009 04:45 PM

Very Nice! Blows the doors off my kitchen cabinets.

-- flash=250,100][/flash]

View jussdandy's profile


157 posts in 3208 days

#7 posted 08-15-2009 05:22 PM


-- Randy I have the right to remain silent, just not the ability ; )

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3287 days

#8 posted 08-15-2009 06:20 PM

As I read your introduction asking for critique of your work, I was all prepared to jump in and offer my professional, long time experience, seen a lot of cabinets over the years evaluation. Someone suggested you put exclamations around your pictures in order for them to show up. How about exclamations around the work itself——Like ! WOW ! Very good job. Are you sure it’s your first Kitchen. A lot of pro’s would brag on work like this.

Keep up the good work!


View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3963 days

#9 posted 08-15-2009 06:34 PM

Excellent!!! As a counter point to Randy; while Euros (cup) hinges are easier(especially with Rockler’s jigs) I still prefer the traditional hinges. Just my choice. You can be proud of your first attempt(ha ha). I’ll bet your wife is proud.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Michael J's profile

Michael J

103 posts in 3208 days

#10 posted 08-15-2009 06:42 PM

Great job! The cabinets look first rate! Your kitchen counter and cabinets turned out so nice and modern that now the overhead fluorescent light looks like an eye sore in comparison. :)

-- Mike Minneapolis, MN

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3286 days

#11 posted 08-16-2009 02:20 AM

Great job on your kitchen. I like the way you did a double panel on a single door on the upper cabinet left of the kitchen window. Are you sure this is your first kitchen? Most would have either put two very small doors or one extremely large single panel. Also I like the way you did the raised end panels as part of the cabinet instead of an applied panel. Shows me you took your time and thought things out. If you have room to do a simple valance would help hide the light above the sink. Countertops…..Great! Sink and faucets…....Great! Dovetail drawers…....Great!
I’ve seen a lot of so called professional cabinets shops that can’t build to that level. I agree with mnguy about the grain. ( that will come with time and experience and I see you are already aware so I can’t wait to see your next project). Good luck and keep the projects coming.

-- John @

View cbMerlin's profile


100 posts in 3421 days

#12 posted 08-20-2009 03:28 PM

Thank you all so much for the feedback! The good and the suggestions. My wife likes them so well, she’s now suggesting new bedroom furniture for our guest room, Some sort of toy storage cabinet for the grandkids play room, a linen storage box for the master bedroom…...........Yikes! I may have started something here.

I like the idea of the Euro hinges. I considered them, but was a little timid about them. I went with the standard hinges in a effort to match the ones on a pantry cabinet my wife purchased several years ago, at least that’s the story. I may well look at a rockler jig and see if I can learn how to use them.

MichaelJ: I really hadn’t thought about the light over the kitchen sink but think you make an excellent point, it does look very 70’s or something. We’re thinking of some sort of hanging light, perhaps with some black accents to pick up the cabinet hardware, range & countertop.

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#13 posted 08-21-2009 04:40 AM

Super fine cabinets and great job overall

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View buildandfish's profile


3 posts in 2964 days

#14 posted 04-18-2010 07:05 PM

Very beautiful cabinets.

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