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Designing a Built In Pantry

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Forum topic by tealetm posted 03-15-2016 04:02 PM 559 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tealetm

58 posts in 319 days


03-15-2016 04:02 PM

Hi Guys- I know this isn’t really a dedicated cabinet forum but I’m about to undertake a cabinet project and could use some advice and figured I’d come here since I’ve become a frequent reader of this site.

I just gutted and put back together my pantry/laundry room and will be building a large full height pantry cabinet. Ceilings are just over 8’, I have 16” of depth to work with (before I encroach on a window on an adjacent wall) and have over 4’ of width to play with. I’m figuring having it 4’x8’ to accommodate full sheets of plywood. Most likely I’ll stick to 12” of depth for the whole height.

Its an old home and the floors and ceiling are not level. Would you recommend building something like this as one unit in the shop and then setting it on a pre-leveled base and trim it out in place? Or would you recommend building two units, 2’x8’ or 4’x4’ and putting them together? I’m a little nervous about moving around a 4’x8’x12” cabinet. I am planning finished plywood for the box and then poplar for the face frame. It will all be painted later on.

Basic questions for now. I’m planning on splitting the unit in half storage wise, with one set of double doors on the bottom giving access to slide out shelves and another set of double doors on top serving fixed or maybe adjustable shelving. Are 24” door pairs too wide and cumbersome?

Any help would be appreciated while i start sketching out a design. I plan on starting in a week or so after I get my barn/shop setup.

Something similar to this just image I found on the web just to give you an idea (different dimensions)


12 replies so far

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MadMark

977 posts in 914 days


#1 posted 03-15-2016 08:39 PM

Build 3 parts, the sub-base, the lower & the upper.

Make the lower 18” or 24” deep up to 32” or so. This will give more stability and a work surface on top.

Make the upper 12” deep as you have planned. You might want to use metal mesh or glass for the door inserts.

The sub-base is basically a 2×4 on edge all around the underside of the base. This goes in first and can be scribed or shimmed to be dead level. Run any wires or lines at this point.

When you install, tie both the lower & upper to the wall instead of to each other. If you move you can take the cabs and make a new sub-base.


Sub-base visible at right.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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jbay

811 posts in 360 days


#2 posted 03-15-2016 09:24 PM

I think the doors (after your 2” face frame) at 22” is fine, depending on the height, you may want to add a rail to them.
I would build it as 1 cabinet and set it on a Base that is finished.
(Make sure your base has room to scribe it to the floor)
I would build a separate crown that would slip on after the unit is installed.
Like so.


Building a separate base and crown, you can fill and sand the joints and paint them separately getting a better finish.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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tealetm

58 posts in 319 days


#3 posted 03-16-2016 04:34 PM

Thanks for the pictures and suggestions. I’m torn between making the lower portion 16” deep and the upper 4” deep. I do like the idea for storage of larger items (stabilitity isn’t a huge issue as I’ll attached the unit the wall anyway) but can’t decide if I like a <4>d rather not do a full depth counter as I would lose enclosed shelving space.

The crown trim will just be built after the cabinet is up as I may put crown molding in the whole room.

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chiseler

121 posts in 349 days


#4 posted 03-16-2016 08:24 PM

to achieve the look of the photo you would have to build it as one unit minus a separate plinth (base)as was already suggested or you might not be able to stand it up due to the diagonal dimension .I would also give it an additional inch clearance at the ceiling.The crown moulding will cover this.Or make a deeper base unit,say 16” and shallower upper,maybe 12”.Then you wouldn’t need a separate plinth,just level the base cabinet then apply base trim.I would try to stay away from any vertical field joints,in my opinion it would look better.

most important:However you decide to build,make sure you can maneuver it into the room(ask me how I know lol}

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

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tealetm

58 posts in 319 days


#5 posted 03-21-2016 01:12 AM

So regardless if I go with a separate base and top cabinets, would you put vertical partitions in each? This would give the 4’ span more rigidity, and you could mount the center face frame piece right to it. Or will it be ok without that divider?

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chiseler

121 posts in 349 days


#6 posted 03-21-2016 04:04 AM

If you don’t, your shelves will sag eventually,even with a stiffener along the front edge

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

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tealetm

58 posts in 319 days


#7 posted 03-28-2016 02:45 PM

Getting there… base cabinet is done minus finish and doors and the top cabinet just needs the face frame. I’ll assemble the two in-place then make a nice wood lip/counter. My finance wanted random height fixed shelving, so random heights she got…

I’ve learned a few things during this project- including how rushing things results ends up in sloppy workmanship but overall I’m happy with it so far. I routed all the dados for the shelves and the rabbits for the box- I don’t have a router table setup yet so I was using guides with a plunge router. I am glad I made a cross cut sled for the tablesaw, it made life much easier cutting the pieces to length.

I went with a 2” face frame which looks good since the unit is so large. For the upper shelves I will make them thinner (maybe 1”) so I don’t loose shelf height on the shorter sections. This was my first with pocket screw and I’m sold on them.

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waho6o9

7171 posts in 2038 days


#8 posted 03-28-2016 02:51 PM

Good job tealetm!

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#9 posted 03-28-2016 03:06 PM

Looks like this came together very well nice work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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chiseler

121 posts in 349 days


#10 posted 03-28-2016 04:53 PM

Good job.would love to see after the doors are on

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

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MadMark

977 posts in 914 days


#11 posted 03-28-2016 05:29 PM

Why aren’t the lower shelves even? It’s nice work but the shelf spacings seem … off? Are there specific things going in specific places?

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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tealetm

58 posts in 319 days


#12 posted 03-28-2016 05:38 PM

I have a few things that at taller than then 50/50 spacing so I did one side differently.

This is my first design so I don’t know how it will be functionally, but aesthetically I don’t mind because the doors will hide the lack of symmetry.

The bottom will have double doors, and the top will have three doors so the swing out isn’t as much for the more commonly used top section.

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