This blog starts half way through my journey. The story goes like this…
I took the plunge and offered to take on renovating my in-laws’ 42 year old kitchen last spring. I say ‘starting’ last summer because I am now, as of Feb 2011, in the middle of what appears to be a 12-16 month project. The good news is that my wife’s folks are very flexible in allowing me to work at my own pace fitting nicely with the fact we have a busy life with kids, jobs, etc…
Design (April ‘10)
Designing the kitchen took about a month. This basically consisted of countless evenings of henscratching and working through different diagrams to take back to Diane (Mother in Law).
I suggested raised panels for everything (drawers, doors, cabinet ends…) Once she was in agreement with the approach, it was time to focus on acquiring the materials and tools needed to take on this behemoth of a project. Quite simply, my modest tool collection needed some attention at the time. After obtaining a solid old Rockwell 6” jointer, the following router bits were procurred for making the doors/drawers and crown moldings: A Reversable rail and stile bit (MLCS), an ogee raised panel bit (Lee Valley) and a crown molding bit (MLCS) were just what the doctor ordered!
It was decided that the Melamine would be used for the boxes and the edges would receive a 5/16” band of solid cherry in all exposed areas – I don’t like iron-on edging! Where I got this Cherry is a story for another day.
Construction Commences (June ‘10)
I was able to begin focusing on the tall task of building the boxes for the base and upper cabinets in my 16×16’ shed (only 8×8’ is usable for woodworking). It took me all summer of to build 12 of the 18 overall carcasses needed for the whole kitchen job. I delivered the carcasses to George & Diane’s house in my station wagon one or two at a time. When not building the boxes, I spent time developing the following finishing formula for our Cherry:
2 coats of Danish Oil, 2 coats of wipe on poly, 3 coats of waterborne poly
Demo (August ‘10)
The demolition phase (down to the plaster and subfloor) and electrical re-work took the better part of a month during August. Before we could install the base cabinets, the new cork floor had to be installed by my father-in-law and yours truly.
By October, all of the constructed upper, base and pantry cabinets and were installed (sans doors) along with four drawers (no raised panel fronts). Once the new acrylic countertop w/ undermount sink was installed, the kitchen was marginally functional again. Pics of installed boxes are forthcoming…
Hitting a wall (December ‘10)
My shed is not heated/insulated meaning milling and construction all but stopped when the snow started to fly and it got cold here in Eastern Canada (New Brunswick).
On an unseasonably mild day in December, I decided to mill up some parts to make some drawers for the tall pantry unit. I was able to relocate some of my tools and materials inside to my basement so I could construct the low profile drawers in the warmth of my home. The sides and backs are ash and the cherry fronts are attached w/ pinned rabbets. Here are some pics of the drawers and the cork floor:
At the time of writing (Feb 1st, 2011) I still have to build the remaining six upper cabinet boxes along with the new island.
More progress reports and pictures to come – Jon
-- Jon in Canada. Favorite coffee mug reads: "I never repeat gossip...so listen carefully"