• Advertise with us
Project by Judge posted 04-30-2009 05:15 PM 1665 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a kitchen remodel that I recently completed (well, almost) at my mother’s house. I was a little strapped for time (I’m in grad school) so it took a little longer than I wanted/anticipated. I did all the work, working alone, and as quickly as I could. Electrical, plumbing, tiling, woodworking, general carpentry… all of it, and I will say I learned A LOT during the entire project. I redid the back rooms too. Put up a wall, hung some doors, added some windows. All in all, it was a great project. If I could do it again, I would build all of cabinets before hand, so I could just do a couple of days of solid install, instead of cabinet by cabinet. Another important lesson, make a template when making your own counter tops, it will save frustration and will add to your project.

I don’t have any before pictures, but lets just say it was classic 1960’s (and not in a good way!). Anyway the house is almost 100 and I had to gut the entire kitchen. While gutting the kitchen I rediscovered some buried brick, which turned out to be very nice. It was completely covered in plastered so I had to chisel and abrade off, but it turned out great. All of the bottom cabinets were purchased used off of Craigslist. While the used cabinets were a good deal, there weren’t enough to fill the kitchen. So I had to make some additional cabinets.

The cabinets were made using face frame constructions with hardwood stock and cabinet veneered cherry ply. Everything was either reinforced with biscuits, dadoes, or rabbets. I would say the finished product was a 50/50 mix of Craigslist cabinets, and made cabinets.

The doors are solid cherry all the way through. I had to do some research online about Cathedral Arched doors and raised panels in general. These were actually the first doors I’ve made, so there was a little bit of a learning curve during this. I did however keep in mind expansion of the wood.

While on the topics of doors, I also refinished the swinging door in the background of one of the pictures. It’s original to the house and it nicer natural than stained, but I was going for cohesiveness, so I stained it too.

The pantry was fun to make and stores a ton of supplies. The top has adjustable shelves and the bottom has two dovetailed drawers for pots and pans. I don’t know if you can see in the pictures too wall, but I applied some applied molding to the side of the pantry to give it a little more charm.

They were stained with a wipe on Red Chestnut from Minwax. The stain was close to the original cabinets, but not really close enough in my taste, a little too red and not enough yellow. I’m not a huge fan of any stain, so it was a little painful for me to cover up the natural color of the cherry.

The counter was another learning curve. It’s 8/4 rock maple…and heavy. It was pretty straight forward in terms of construction, just a lot of glue joints, biscuits, and bogging down my contractor saw. Most of the pieces were a little long to run through the joiner, so I has to use hand planes (which I rather enjoy). I had to cut the miter using just a circ saw and a plywood straightedge (and then a lot of hand-planing to close the joint). The entire counter (the long run) was meant to be mitered at both 45’s but life doesn’t work that way when I forgot to make a template and chose instead to simply measure everything (my bad). After some frustration and disappointment I ended up having to say goodbye to the other miter.

All in all, I have a little more molding to do, but the project is around 99% done. It was a great learning experience and a good time.

5 comments so far

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3295 days

#1 posted 04-30-2009 05:41 PM

Wow, for a first time kitchen, it turned out VERY nice, would never know it was your first.

-- Don S.E. OK

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3743 days

#2 posted 05-01-2009 05:21 AM

Great looking kitchen! You did a very nice job on this project. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3642 days

#3 posted 05-07-2009 12:58 AM

Nice job for your first kitchen!

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#4 posted 05-13-2009 05:58 AM

very nice

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3689 days

#5 posted 05-13-2009 06:43 AM

Very nice! I’m just going through the list of things I have to do in order to do my kitchen. This helps. Thanks.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics