After setting up the Shop and practicing making cabinets I felt it was put up or shut up time and decided to make the dining room cabinets. On the West coast oak is plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Since all the floors are oak I decided to make the cabinets in red oak. Now this project was really going to test my new found skills. That is if you really have any skills after 6-7 months as a beginning woodworker. Well reading books and making some garage cabinets out of pine, it was time to just go ahead and test myself.
Took measurements of the width of the room and felt I could make six cabinets on the wall and six base cabinets. I decided to make four of the wall cabinets with glass doors. I made the boxes out of ¾” oak veneer plywood. Glued and screwed them together and then measured for rails and stiles. Did the same for the base cabinets. I then installed the wall cabinets and then the base cabinets. I like about 2 ¼” rails and stiles so to keep it looking in balance I decided to make one huge face frame. Installed the face frame and then measured for the doors. I like use ½” offset hinges to make measuring easier. Measure the opening and add one inch to the width and height.
This time I decided to try a three-wing cutter router bit to cut the slots and the tongues (tenons) on the rails and stiles. After some testing and finding out it is not so easy to cut the tongues on the end of a 2 ¼” piece of wood, I made a coping sled. It never ceases to amaze me what you can build out of scrap and don’t have to lay out money for a manufactured item. I think I am turning into a person who never throws scrap away.
The glass doors were another story. I had never made mullions before so it was quite a challenge. I rabitted the back of the glass doors and put the mullions in slots. When finished it was off to the glass store. I had the glass store make glass shelves for the cabinets that were going to have the glass doors since I wanted to put lights in those cabinets. I had no concept of price for the glass but I found out that not every shop wants to do that type of job. It was relatively expensive (especially the shelves) but it turned out pretty good.
Easy enough installing the doors. Then I installed concrete backer board on the base cabinets and for the back splash. After the tile work and grouting I was finally finished.
-- Fred Childs, Pasadena, CA - - - Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.