Pantry cabinet

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Forum topic by silver1 posted 01-07-2014 02:20 PM 1220 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2386 days

01-07-2014 02:20 PM

Hello all. I am attempting to build my wife a pantry cabinet. The space for the cabinet calls for a 42” wide, 94 1/2” tall and 24” deep. The cabinet will be face frame construction with the doors and drawers having 3/4” overlay. The left side of the cabinet will be against a wall and the right side of the cabinet will be next to another base cabinet for a “mud” sink. Still unsure of the proper design for the pantry cabinet. What I see is a 4 door cabinet with 2 on top and 2 on bottom. If my calculations are correct, that would make each door 19 1/2” wide. I am still unsure on the height. Should the bottom doors be about the same height as the base cabinet next to the pantry to keep things proportional, thus having much taller doors on top? Another thought I had was to place a wide drawer between the upper and lower doors so my wife would have a place to store spices. Any thoughts on that and if so, what depth should the drawer be to properly store the spices (I have seen drawer storage where the spices are tilted back at an angle)?

Because I am just getting into cabinet construction as a hobby, I used poplar for the wall and base cabinets on the other side of the room. The finish was with milk paint. So the new cabinets will be finished to match. With the pantry doors being taller than the ones I constructed earlier, are there any additional concerns regarding warping? Should I use a different type of wood or does that really matter? The doors are a raised panel style with the panels approximately 3/4” thick.

Thanks in advance for any help. I really love this site and use the information I gain from all the great resources here. Keep up the good work. Hopefully one day I can be as good as you. Just takes a lot of patience and practice.

5 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 01-07-2014 03:11 PM

I’m guessing your face frame is 3” wide?

I would think a spice drawer would want to be shallow. I considered putting one in the kitchen we are starting to remodel but after looking at all the different sizes and shapes of spices we use I decided on one of those narrow vertical drawers things with shelves, below and to the side of the stove.

If you are making the pantry cabinet 24” deep you would do well to consider slide out shelves, especially on the lower set. 3/4” plywood bottom, with a 2 1/2” to 3 1/2” raised apron around the sides and back. A 1” trim piece across the front keeps things from falling off when you push it closed.

An alternate design that’s very nice, but harder to build has fold out layers of shelved mounted on the back side of the doors. Each layer is 6” deep so you have two layers of 6” shelves on each door and then 12” of shelves on the back wall. These are normally done with full height doors and the folding shelves are on piano hinges. I have seen plans for tool storage cabinets that use this design as well.

Good luck.. Keep us posted.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2878 days

#2 posted 01-07-2014 04:45 PM

silver1, good for you for doing the requisite planning and questioning. This is a pretty big deal, both in terms of storage as well as, I would guess, dominating the room.

19.5 is pretty wide for a door. Too wide, in my view. I always tried to stay under 18.

The major hardware guys—KV, Rev-a-shelf, etc—have lots of pantry gizmos. I’m not suggesting you consider purchasing them, but rather look at their pictures to get a feel for how they responded to the issues of a cabinet that depth and the access challenges that are inherent there.

I have done similar sized pantries and, in one case, had a narrow door on one side for mops and brooms. (Again, you’d need a pullout something to make righteous use of the space.) Another one used that spot for a small step stool so it would be handy for accessing the topmost section.

Absent the skinny door, I’d divide the cabinet 1/3 – 2/3 with a pair of doors (no center stile) and a single door. Those will be manageable door sizes and it will be more pleasant to look at the cabinet, not to mention that 3/4” shelves will be adequate for both bays. That would be three sets of three doors, absent drawers of any significance.

BTW, the spice drawer, if it is convenient to the range, is a nice idea, but that’s way too wide for a single drawer. I’d consider what might want to be stored there, based on convenience, and think about drawers. Like table linens, for example. Or the furshlugginer waxed paper/foil/parchment paper/plastic wrap boxes.

And if you’re considering pullouts, consider what hinges you’ll need so the doors clear the openings.

Alas, too late to apologize in advance for the length of this post.
I apologize for the length of this post.



Oops, nearly forgot: You can tip up a 24” deep cabinet if you leave the toe kick off and install it first. Calculate what diagonal you need on the cabinet to make sure this will work. Voice of experience here (wincing).

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View silver1's profile


4 posts in 2386 days

#3 posted 01-07-2014 08:04 PM

Crank49 and Lee, thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me. I will take your advise and run with it. Again thanks so much (I do not mind lengthy replies Lee).

View MT_Stringer's profile


3172 posts in 3258 days

#4 posted 01-07-2014 08:14 PM

@silver – have you found any pics on the internet of what you want to build? Check out this website for lots of ideas and images.

I bet you will find more ideas than you can shake a stick at…and it will certainly make you rethink your pantry because there are just too many good ideas. You should be able to incorporate some of them into your project.

Edit: Check out my Custom Buffet blog. You might get some construction ideas from it. It was my first attempt at
cabinet construction.

Good luck.
Post some pics.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View silver1's profile


4 posts in 2386 days

#5 posted 01-07-2014 08:49 PM

MT_Stringer, I have been all over houzz. It is a great website with a infinite amount of ideas. Thanks for the assistance and I am going to check out your blog.

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