For this post, I’m not going to go into detail on the construction of these cabinets. There’s already a lot of great information online regarding how to do that. One of the best channels I’ve found on it is produced by Jay Bates.
This video details the same methods I used in a much better format than I can provide.
From a design perspective, I mainly like drawers. I think they’re much more accessible than shelves, especially the lower ones. For this kitchen we did as many drawers in the lower cabinets as possible, with only a few doors. The only real advantage of doors is that we can adjust the height of the pull-out shelves over time.
I don’t build the toe-kicks with cabinet boxes, preferring to keep them separate. The main reason is that I install them first, get them level, and then set the cabinet boxes on them. I’m going to be running a heating duct and some wiring under the cabinets, and installing them first makes it convenient.
Here is the rough stock I used to make the face frames. It’s 40 year-old redwood panels from the garage doors on our main house. I pulled these out to get rid of the 1970’s look and replaced them with tongue-and-grove boards.
The wood was a pleasure to work with: very straight grain, flat and stable. I rough-cut the stock, then jointed and planed it. I’m going to start looking for old frame-and-panel garage doors on Craigslist to use for lumber.
Here are the upper cabinets. We don’t have very many, since we’re doing mainly open shelves. Since they’re 45″ tall, I put a fixed shelf in the center.
I did not put backs on these cabinets to make them easy to paint. Since the walls are already ship lap, we will just paint that for the backs.
The most complicated cabinet to build was this one:
It has a couple of 28″ lazy-susans and a small bank of drawers. Rather than buy a kit, plus the special hinge sets – well over $100 for anything that’s decent quality – I bought a full corner cabinet from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $50, tore it apart, and used all the parts. It was very typical for a mid-range cabinet: Expensive hardware and turn-tables, and the cabinet box itself was made of 1/2″ particle board (yuck). Take the good and burn the rest in the wood stove – nothing gets wasted.
At the request of my DW, I added “X” trim to the cabinet panels and the doors. Of course I grumbled about the extra effort, and then I really liked the results. It seems to always go that way, which is a good thing.
I’m not going to roll-up any costs here. I’ll do that when I’m complete.