|Project by Mike Gilbert||posted 10-01-2013 03:00 AM||2051 views||19 times favorited||17 comments|
I made these cabinets this year for my condo. I spent almost 8 months working on them a little bit at a time on weekends. To get ready before I began building them I made a Google sketch up model of my kitchen and all of the cabinets so I would know the dimensions I would need to cut everything to. All cases are made using pocket screws and 3/4” pre-finished birch plywood. The face frames and doors as well as the panels for the island are all made from cherry. The drawers are made of hard maple with a cherry face. Upper cabinets are hung using French cleats. This was my first time building cabinets and also my first time using pocket holes. I got the porter cable pocket whole jig and have been very happy with it. All of the doors are stile and rail construction with a floating raised panel doors all have soft close blum hinges. I used the same frame and panel construction technique for the solid wood panels of the island. To conserve space I custom sized all parts to fit my small kitchen and that resulted in a few very small lower cabinets to either side of the stove. For the drawers I used dovetailed joints and full extension slides from lee valley. I made 3 sides of the drawers out of maple and the front side out of cherry to highlight the dovetail joints. For the upper cabinet shelves I used a technique for adjustable shelves that I read about in fine woodworking. The shelves can be adjusted using the cherry cleats that fit into the half circle slots in the side of the cabinets. I used this technique because I liked the way it looked compared to the more industrial look of typical adjustable shelves. I think it helps highlight that these are custom made cabinets. Also pictured is the spice rack cabinet I built for the upper left side of the microwave. This cabinet is designed to pull out like a drawer with full extension slides on the top and bottom and dividers for the spices. I wrapped all of the upper cabinets with cherry crown molding to help me close the gap created by hanging them.
I finished all of the solid wood parts for this project using the earlex spray finishing gun and general finishes water based enduro var varnish. This was my first time spray finishing and I wanted to use a water based finish because I did not have good ventilation in my small shop. I was very impressed with the quality of the finish I got from the endurovar product and had been nervous about choosing a water based finish due to the sometimes milky appearance they leave. This product finishes looking very similar to oil based finishes I have used in the past and dries between coats in an hour or less. This is by far the most complicated and largest project I have ever completed and after finishing all of these cabinets I now have a much better appreciation for how difficult building cabinets is. I still had fun but at the same time I would definitely say I am looking forward to starting my next non cabinet woodworking project.