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Kitchen Cabinet Plans

by Scott
posted 09-05-2017 11:59 AM


26 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4992 posts in 2497 days


#1 posted 09-05-2017 12:31 PM

This is too complex a topic to explain here. Get a hold of this book, The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker, by Bob Lang. Link here.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2639 days


#2 posted 09-05-2017 12:45 PM

Second the Bob Lang book suggestion…it’s very good for what you need.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Scott's profile

Scott

116 posts in 1502 days


#3 posted 09-05-2017 01:14 PM

Thanks for the info. I’ll look at getting that!

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3092 posts in 1627 days


#4 posted 09-05-2017 01:27 PM

Check out Danny Proulx’s book. IMO the 32mm or euro system is the only way to go.

Watched just a bit of that video my comment is dadoing is totally unnecessary and adds a huge amt of time.

Cabinet boxes can be simply butt joined and screwed. End panels can either be applied or pocket screwed.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

4728 posts in 859 days


#5 posted 09-05-2017 01:33 PM

also he glued the back in …we never done that :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1366 posts in 1066 days


#6 posted 09-07-2017 01:12 AM

Scott,

I am neither a cabinet maker nor a pro woodworker, but I am building kitchen cabinets. For what it is worth, here are my thoughts…

Craig Heffernan built his cabinet boxes similar to the method I am using, however, since I want tight interlocking joints and the ¾” plywood I use is less than ¾” thick, I plowed grooves that were 3/8” wide and 3/8” deep. The tongues for the mating pieces were 5/16” x 3/8” and cut to fit snugly into the grooves. Both the upper and base cabinet boxes in my build use the same tongue and groove joinery. Since the back panel is ¾” thick plywood locked into the grooves in the sides of the cabinet, I did not install a hanging rail for the upper cabinets, which thus far have been cabinets less than 36” wide.

When I installed the backs for both the upper and lower cabinets, I held the ¾” thick back plywood panel ¼” away from the back edges of the sides (where the back edges of the sides meet the wall). This was done to ensure the cabinets would fit tight to the wall in case the wall is not flat and allow some scribing to fit the walls. However, this approach reduces the interior depth of the cabinet. The reduction in interior depth of the base cabinets may not be that important, but reducing the interior depth of the upper cabinet to less than 12” – 11-3/4” can make storing some large plate and bowels in the upper cabinets impossible. If extending the sides of the upper cabinet boxes enough to provide a 12” interior depth is something you would rather not do, then a well-secured hanging rail at the top and bottom of the upper cabinet, set to the outside of the interior cabinet box would be my approach.

I built the face frames with mortise and tenon joinery and plowed groves in the assembled face frames to accept tongues milled in the plywood box sides, top, bottom and any dividers. However, I see nothing wrong with Hefferman’s pocket screw/butt joint approach for building and attaching the face frame.

If you are not already aware, selecting drawer glides during the design phase and considering how the selected glides will mount to the cabinet boxes and the clearances required by the glides can save some aggravation when it is time to install drawers. Some drawer slides feature some unforgiving clearance requirements.

A nifty piece of hardware of which you may not be aware is the EZ-Level cabinet levelers. These are floor levelers that install on the bottom edge of the base cabinets and allow both the front and back of the base cabinets to be adjusted level with a screw driver at the front of the base cabinet. The EZ-Level site has some good info regarding installing kitchen cabinets using the EZ-Level system and even if you elect to forego the EZ-Level hardware, their site may offer good info for consideration during the design phase.

http://www.ez-level.com/?gclid=CPCYrbvokdYCFQMQaQodEX0DbQ

View sheepdiver's profile

sheepdiver

9 posts in 408 days


#7 posted 09-08-2017 01:16 AM

I’m just finishing my kitchen remodel – new cabinets, floors, etc. I’m not addressing the construction of the cabinets but have some general insight based on my experience being an experienced woodworker but not a regular kitchen remodeler. Some of the gotchas and hints I came upon…

The biggest issue I faced was in the corners and edges where two different depth cabinets meet. The edge/corner stile needs to be wider to allow for the adjoining drawer/door to clear. Say you’re using 2” stiles with 1/2” overlay on the door/drawer front. The adjacent drawer won’t open without hitting the drawer front or pull.

Buy a decent laser level that shoots a line beam. That makes it real easy to level the whole kitchen at once.

Harbor Freight has an ATV lift that works really well for lifting and holding upper cabinets while you screw them to the wall. I built a frame of 2×4s and attached it to the lift to accommodate a flat cabinet bottom. It was ~$80 on sale and paid for itself with the first cabinet.

Plan on undercabinet light for the upper cabinets. A roll of LED tape and a transformer will be less than $50 on eBay. Working on a well lit counter makes a difference. Before the uppers go in is the time to do the wiring.

Use a plug strip under the uppers so you have a clean backsplash. Search for v20gb306tr to get an idea what I’m talking about. Any decent electrical wholesale house will stock this.

Make this jig for shelf pin holes > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2EclCBqtDc. Buy a 1/4” upcut plunge bit to use with it. Make the jig long enough to accommodate the tallest cabinet you will be making.

If you are using a Kreg jig for the cabinets make a drilling jig with a pneumatic cylinder and foot pedal to hold the boards you are drilling. Mount your Kreg jig in a fence and mount the cylinder across from the jig so when you step on the pedal the plunger extends towards the jig, clamping the board. I used a cut down hockey puck on mine to push the board. Position the board, step, drill, release, repeat. Both hands free = fast. Again – $30 for everything on eBay.

Make this dado jig > http://lumberjocks.com/thewoodwhisperer/blog/21254. No need to worry about how thick your plywood is. This works.

The best feature of the new kitchen is an automatic opening trash bin. With a hand full of food scraps I just nudge it with my knee and it pops open. Blum makes the servo kit to do this. Ikea private labels the box it comes in (Still says Blum on the product.) Buy it there and save $75. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30238703/

Assuming you are going to build all of your cabinets and then gut the kitchen you need a lot of space to store finished cabinets. More than you think. I had cabinets in the hall, living room and two bedrooms for a couple of months as I finished the rest of the cabinets.

I made my own doors. Think about that carefully before you go down that route. It’s a lot of work and you need a shaper or big table mounted router to do it right. If you are going to do it yourself you can buy and resell shaper from Craigslist and probably break even.

It will take more time and cost more money than you think. It will be more rewarding than you imagine. When friends come over for dinner and you can say “Yeah – I built those” it’s a great feeling.

Have fun!

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5086 posts in 3390 days


#8 posted 09-09-2017 08:26 PM

There is a right way and a wrong way to build kitchen cabinets. I assume you want to build cabinets that rival good commercial quality cabinets. I don’t know how Bob Lang builds his cabinets, so when I build a cabinet, I go to a store that sells quality cabinets and examine the construction details used. I then build using the details observed. There is a kitchen cabinet specification put out by the American Building Council (I think) that spells out industry standards to follow. If you can find that, it will be all you need.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3794 days


#9 posted 09-09-2017 08:39 PM

The cabinets in the video are overbuilt, imo,
but if you’re just building them for yourself
and not trying to make money in cabinetry,
overbuilt is no big deal.

For upper cabinets all that is generally needed
is a 4” wide nailer strip at the top, inside
the back. Put screws into the studs through
the nailer strip. A couple of additional screws
into the studs through the back near the
cabinet bottom will bring it in tight to the wall.
If the walls aren’t reasonably plumb you may
want to nail shim stock high and low where the
uppers install to bring the face frames flush.

If you want to get fancy and avoid the use of
a scribe molding on the outside ends of the
upper cabinets, the back can be inset to allow
a tongue for scribing the sides.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1034 posts in 641 days


#10 posted 09-10-2017 01:33 AM

There are many ‘right’ ways to build cabinets for sure, this is a good way and will produce nice boxes. I build mine very similar. I also prefer to groove the back of the face frames because it helps straighten out non-flat plywood. Like Jbrow, I also use a 3/8” groove instead of 3/4” for two reasons. First, I can cut all of the grooves and rabbets with a single set up of the dado stack. Second, it allows me to get a tight fit on 3/4” nominal plywood which lately seems to be coming in all different sizes. I don’t use the spreaders on top of my base cabinets, don’t really see the need for them since most solid surface counter tops are glued down with silicone anyway. Just a nailer in the top back to fasten the cabinet to the wall. I have never glued a back in, ever.

In the last few years I have switched to using pre-finished birch plywood for my carcasses. Huge time saver.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4508 posts in 2455 days


#11 posted 09-10-2017 04:57 AM



The cabinets in the video are overbuilt, imo,
but if you re just building them for yourself
and not trying to make money in cabinetry,
overbuilt is no big deal.

For upper cabinets all that is generally needed
is a 4” wide nailer strip at the top, inside
the back. Put screws into the studs through
the nailer strip. A couple of additional screws
into the studs through the back near the
cabinet bottom will bring it in tight to the wall.
If the walls aren t reasonably plumb you may
want to nail shim stock high and low where the
uppers install to bring the face frames flush.

If you want to get fancy and avoid the use of
a scribe molding on the outside ends of the
upper cabinets, the back can be inset to allow
a tongue for scribing the sides.

- Loren


This is how they do it to make money

https://youtu.be/MbE5CGJABz0

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View 01ntrain's profile

01ntrain

257 posts in 1216 days


#12 posted 09-10-2017 03:25 PM

When you go to install your uppers, get a set of these…..

“https://www.amazon.com/FastCap-Upper-Hand-Support-Extends/dp/B0060VGSAY/ref=sr17?ie=UTF8&qid=1505056884&sr=8-7&keywords=3rd+hand+support+system”

Invaluable for all kinds of different uses. If you use a ledger board to mount your cabinets, you can use these for a true “no-hands” approach to mounting them.

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

424 posts in 1629 days


#13 posted 09-10-2017 06:43 PM

I also recommend the Bob Lang book. I used his book and YouTube to learn how to build the cabinets that went into my kitchen.

Things I’d do differently.

- Not choose inset face frame construction for my first big cabinet project.
- Use blum slides for all drawers. I have blum for a trash can drawer and it’s awesome. The rest are KV soft close slides, while good aren’t blum.
- Use semi-gloss instead of satin for the finish.
- Construct a single face frame spanning rows of cabinets. I have one place where two cabinets are side by side and your face frame vertical must be perfect for them to close up together.

View BobLang's profile

BobLang

160 posts in 3546 days


#14 posted 09-11-2017 03:45 PM

Thanks to all of you who had nice things to say about my book The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker

You can purchase it directly from me, rather than the links previously posted and you’ll get fast service and a signed copy. You can look inside and see excerpts on my website.

I also have a new book
SketchUp for Kitchen Design
that teaches you how to use 3D modeling to plan and layout a kitchen project.

If you’re looking for a deal, there is a discount if you buy them both directly from me.

I don’t like to be a shill on a public forum, but as a self-employed woodworker/author/educator it makes a huge monetary difference to me where you purchase, and I appreciate your support.

-- Bob Lang, https://readwatchdo.com

View Scott's profile

Scott

116 posts in 1502 days


#15 posted 09-13-2017 12:43 PM

Bob, my apologies. When I saw all the recommendations for your book, I went ahead and ordered it on Amazon. I’m sorry I didn’t order it directly through your website. I’m really looking forward to reading it though!!!

View BobLang's profile

BobLang

160 posts in 3546 days


#16 posted 09-13-2017 08:02 PM

No problem, hope you enjoy it.

-- Bob Lang, https://readwatchdo.com

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3175 posts in 3377 days


#17 posted 09-13-2017 08:53 PM

+1 for the laser level. I use one made by Ryobi. It will shoot horizontal, vertical, or both. Great for shooting a vertical line for locating a stud when you are installing the upper cabinets with backs on them. Mark the stud and set up the lasr, then install the upper cabinet.

And it is not very expensive. I think I bought it at HD.

About the cabinet jack. You can’t go wrong with a pair of these jacks. They work great.
Here is a link to the You Tube video I used for inspiration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1rfVPM0hWY

Mine aren’t that pretty but still work great.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12369 posts in 2526 days


#18 posted 09-13-2017 09:07 PM

Question, why use the jack + ledger board? When I installed my cabinets, I used just a ledger board, set them in place, and screwed them to the studs. I’m not challenging the idea, just legitimately curious. Thanks. Those do look like handy jacks.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DS's profile

DS

3001 posts in 2566 days


#19 posted 09-13-2017 09:08 PM

You gotta love the “stud finder” they used in that first pic!

I would think the outlet location would have given the stud location away.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

3175 posts in 3377 days


#20 posted 09-13-2017 10:16 PM



You gotta love the “stud finder” they used in that first pic!

I would think the outlet location would have given the stud location away.

- DS


The stud finder marked several places. It turns out there were water lines in the wall. Almost made a bad boo-boo.

About that ledger board. I am an old farker and I need all the help I can get.

Latest remodel pics…no ledger board.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3794 days


#21 posted 09-13-2017 10:19 PM


You gotta love the “stud finder” they used in that first pic!

My dad does it that way. I think he tried the
old magnetic stud finders decades ago and
went back to doing it the way his dad did it.

He uses a nail, actually.

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

424 posts in 1629 days


#22 posted 09-15-2017 03:04 AM



No problem, hope you enjoy it.

- BobLang

I bought the book before I found lumberjocks. But enjoy is the wrong word. Useful is what I think you are referring to. I found it useful and well worth the money spent.

When starting the project I checked out about a dozen books on caibinet building from the library, including Bob’s. Bob’s is the one I bought, everything else got returned.

View PPK's profile

PPK

1154 posts in 955 days


#23 posted 09-15-2017 09:13 PM

I’ve used 1/2” plywood for the backs of my cabinets. It greatly helps improve the rigidity of the backs, and I’m a lot more comfortable with screws not pulling through. The backs don’t deflect either as much if the wall isn’t flat… IDK if that’s helpful or not. Also, remember to finish the bottom of your uppers – there’s typically 18” between the counter top and the bottom of the upper cabinet… and it can be an eye sore if you don’t finish the bottoms with stain/clearcoat. Otherwise, I think I use all the same methods of construction on the uppers as I do the bases.

-- Pete

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4508 posts in 2455 days


#24 posted 09-15-2017 10:34 PM



I ve used 1/2” plywood for the backs of my cabinets. It greatly helps improve the rigidity of the backs, and I m a lot more comfortable with screws not pulling through. The backs don t deflect either as much if the wall isn t flat… IDK if that s helpful or not. Also, remember to finish the bottom of your uppers – there s typically 18” between the counter top and the bottom of the upper cabinet… and it can be an eye sore if you don t finish the bottoms with stain/clearcoat. Otherwise, I think I use all the same methods of construction on the uppers as I do the bases.

- PPK


Most of my cabinets have 3/4 backs. I only have to stock or order one size of plywood for cabinet boxes. If I’m using ply wood for drawers I use 1/2” BB. Just keep it as simple as I can. I usually ladder toe kicks (separate toe kick) . In this picture you’ll see notch toe kicks. I was matching some existing cabinets so I sort of had to to this way.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3794 days


#25 posted 09-15-2017 10:40 PM

I like to use 1/4” markerboard because it
bounces light off the inside of the cabinet
well. Prefinished maple is nice of course,
but spendier.

View jbay's profile

jbay

2677 posts in 1045 days


#26 posted 09-16-2017 01:20 AM

Most of my cabinets have 3/4 backs. I only have to stock or order one size of plywood for cabinet boxes. If I m using ply wood for drawers I use 1/2” BB. Just keep it as simple as I can. I usually ladder toe kicks (separate toe kick) . In this picture you ll see notch toe kicks. I was matching some existing cabinets so I sort of had to to this way.

- AlaskaGuy

I do mine the same way. (3/4” back set in between the sides, but overlaying the bottom and top)
I’m building a kitchen right now that way, only instead of cleats at the top,
I’m doing a full top that doubles as a subtop because the slab style granite top will not have any build up on the edge.

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