Beach House Kitchen – Sink Cabinet

We are installing a double-bowl IKEA DOMSJO sink in an undermount configuration.

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The sinks from IKEA aren’t that expensive at a little over $300, but we bought this one for $30 on Craigslist. The couple we bought it from were installing the sink in an IKEA cabinet, when they dropped it and broke off the corner. They tried to gorilla-glue the piece back on, and it looked like a mess. The DW said no-way after a few months,  so they replaced it – and we got it for almost nothing.

Since I’m undermounting it, can hide the corner easily. I will bring the wood counter top over that cover to fully cover it.

I cleaned all the glue off and epoxied the broken piece back in place.  I didn’t have to do this, but it seemed like a good idea. It’s now rock-solid. I bet with some additional white epoxy, I could blend it back in to make it almost unnoticeable.

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Here the cabinet from the front. The doors weren’t quite wide enough to go fully under the sink, so I made the face frame sideswider and added legs. We are really happy with this look – I think it looks like we planned it.

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A couple of notes on the legs…

These came off our old dining table we had when the kids were young. When we replaced it, I thought the top was too beat up to try to sell, so I took it apart, used the wood for another project, and kept the legs for a future project. I have seen this same table number of times at goodwill (thrift store) for about $20. If you buy new legs online, you’ll pay at least $30 each. So buying a table for almost nothing and taking it apart can be a good option.

I cut the legs down to fit under the sink front. They were a little too thick, so I ripped them down on my table saw, then I planed them flat. This is not for the novice DIY person, or the faint of heart – so I’m not going to post pictures of it. You have to support the piece while it goes through the saw. I did this by taping a shim to the bottom of the leg to allow it to ride against the fence. As the cut finishes, the leg can bind easily and kick back if you’re not very careful.

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Please be safe. If you really want to do this use a band saw, and it will be fairly low risk. I used a table saw, and it was stressful – and I’ve been using that saw multiple times a week for 20 years. I cut one side, then flipped it over and cut to other to keep the blade low. Then I ran them through the jointer a couple of times, which was no problem.

Here is a side view of the cabinet. It’s a platform to support the sink with a front face frame that goes up to counter height. I supported the face frame on the back side with an extra piece of wood so it wouldn’t warp over time.

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The back of cabinet is mainly open to allow for easy plumbing. Who ever looks back in there anyway?

The sides of cabinet are stiffened, with extra 3/4″ plywood strips glued and screwed to the panels. The sink weighs over 100 pounds, so I want this cabinet to be rigid. It’s easy to add support now – and it’s terrible to try to fix it later if it sags or warps. I have a saying: fix it before it breaks.

I only put a single strip of plywood across the back, since it will be screwed to the wall and get strength from that. I cut a couple of blocks (not shown) that will rest on the strip to support the sink in the middle. I don’t know if this is needed, but it can’t hurt. I will put them in after the plumbing is done, since I want to have as much room as I can get under there during install.

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I put a sliding shelf in to hold a garbage can and other supplies. I will wait until the cabinet is installed before I do more with it. I have to make sure we have clearance around the garbage disposal and drain pipes.

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The hardest part of building this cabinet was the face frame that goes around the sink. The sink isn’t square behind the front apron, and I had to get the side lip shape right. Also the sink is heavy, and it’s easy to damage the face frame if it’s too tight.

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When I have this type of challenge, I make a  test piece / prototype / template out of scrap wood first. It may seem like extra work, but it’s not – and it really reduces the stress in the build process.

Notice there’s a little extra space under the lip. I need to take the side support of the cabinet down just a little bit to get it exactly right. I have a small power planer that will take the wood off quickly. I should have built the sides about 1/4″ shorter and then shimmed the sink up, but it’s not the end of the world. I will take a little less than 1/8″ off and it will be good.

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Here’s the face frame without the sink. The underside of the apron tapers back, so I had to route the backside out a bit to give it clearance.

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This was the most time-consuming cabinet to build due to fitting the front to a very heavy sink. That being said, I like the end result. I think with the sink, legs and gray paint, it will look great once installed.

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I’ll add a final picture below once it’s in place.


Time and Money

  • Sink – $30
  • Plywood – about $20
  • Face frame wood – I already had it
  • I’ll add the facet all other things once installed.
  • Time – lots – two days.

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