L-Shaped Upper Kitchen Cabinet Design - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-31-2013, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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L-Shaped Upper Kitchen Cabinet Design

I'm building a new custom upper kitchen cabinet. It will be 5' long, with a 1.5' return that forms a simple "L" shape. The tricky bit is that the cabinet interior will be a single open space with four interior fixed shelves.

I've built a number of straight open cabinets before, but this is the first where I'll have a return and I'm unsure how best to join the return to the rest of the cabinet so that it will be a strong single unit.

Years ago I built some small corner bookcases with the legs mitered into each other, but I was never very happy with the cut and fit. My skills and tools were poor back then...

I'm mainly torn between building the return and main cabinet with a mitered-off end, and joining them diagonally, or building a simple 5' run, and biscuit-joining the return onto the face of the main cabinet.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

I'm not a complete cabinet novice (I've build a dozen or so simple cabinets - about 25% of those were for the kitchen), but I've had zero formal training in cabinets. I foolishly skipped my last chance to take "Cabinetry" in back in high school.

Last edited by RepairmanJack; 12-31-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-31-2013, 06:00 PM
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Are those measurements along the back edges or the front edges. You didn't say what the cabinets are to be finished in...like will they be a wood look finish, painted, or a laminate? Other details need to be discussed such as what is at the far ends...walls, appliances, windows, or passage doors.

Generally speaking the floor and roof can be cut as one "L" shape, and then framed. The pieces can be cut from the same sheet, like puzzle pieces. If this cabinet arrangement is to fit two walls, being one piece may not fit perfectly if in one piece. As one open cabinet, you still might have doors to figure, and how to hang them. The same goes for shelves.

If you meant...no dividers, then you'll likely have to figure a face frame. Doors can be hung off of that, and the shelves can be dadoed into the ends, and to the back of the FF's. Or the shelves could be made adjustable. You said an "open" cabinet, so that should be cleared up to specify if they even have doors. So, there's a few variables to work out with details.

You could make them in two sections, which would allow the bottoms and tops to have the grain oriented in opposing directions. The floors and tops can be mitered, and fitted with splines. Their connection can be done with mated face frame members in the front, and standing members in the back corner to screw the two cabinets together. Both cabinets should have a rabbeted back installed, and a hangrail. I would prefer not to use a french cleat mount.





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post #3 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I didn't want to get too far into extraneous details in the opening post. I'm mainly looking for advice on how to join the return to the main run. The design is mostly set (despite the title of my post).

My house is a 1927 craftsman, and the intent is for the cabinets to look period. That means butterfly hinges, cabinet latches, inset doors, obscuring reed glass in the doors. No raised panels. Painted wood as consistent with the sanitary movement of the early 20th century.

I usually build the face frame in place and build the inset doors to fit the opening. I've already built the other two new single cabinets for my kitchen (over fridge and opposite corner of the kitchen).

I build my cabinets from 3/4" birch plywood, 1/4" beadboard for the backs, and 1/2 face frame built from poplar. "Open" does mean no dividers. Individual box cabinets can easily be joined together, this cabinet requires a more comprehensive solution.

But hey, why built it yourself if you don't make it custom for the space.

The measurements are along the back walls. actual dimensions are 63" from the start point to the corner, and another 33" for the corner to the end. Depth will be about 12"

Thanks
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RepairmanJack View Post
Yeah, I didn't want to get too far into extraneous details in the opening post. I'm mainly looking for advice on how to join the return to the main run. The design is mostly set (despite the title of my post).

My house is a 1927 craftsman, and the intent is for the cabinets to look period. That means butterfly hinges, cabinet latches, inset doors, obscuring reed glass in the doors. No raised panels. Painted wood as consistent with the sanitary movement of the early 20th century.

I usually build the face frame in place and build the inset doors to fit the opening. I've already built the other two new single cabinets for my kitchen (over fridge and opposite corner of the kitchen).

I build my cabinets from 3/4" birch plywood, 1/4" beadboard for the backs, and 1/2 face frame built from poplar. "Open" does mean no dividers. Individual box cabinets can easily be joined together, this cabinet requires a more comprehensive solution.

But hey, why built it yourself if you don't make it custom for the space.

The measurements are along the back walls. actual dimensions are 63" from the start point to the corner, and another 33" for the corner to the end. Depth will be about 12"

Thanks
Can't tell if your questions were answered. If there is nothing at either end, like I suggested, I would bench build the cabinet with one piece ¾" plywood floor and top.





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post #5 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
Can't tell if your questions were answered. If there is nothing at either end, like I suggested, I would bench build the cabinet with one piece ¾" plywood floor and top.


.
Sorry, yes, I think you answered it. Solid top and bottom should hold it together rather nicely.

I'll follow up if I have difficulties. for now, that's good enough to go on.

thanks!
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-19-2014, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to update folks on the cabinet project. Here's the pre-paint, pre-door result.



It still needs some finish sanding and I need to build the frames for the lower inset doors. The lower doors will feature a single sheet of 3/8 fluted glass in a simple frame.

Carcass and shelves are 3/4 birch veneer plywood with poplar face-frame. The lower doors will be oak. Despite the difficulty of making the cuts in my tiny basement shop, I cut all five "L" sections out of plywood (2 sheets total). Shelves are "faced" with a strip of poplar. I used pocket screws to assemble the face-frame. The back is 1/4" beadboard

The corbels and end-shelves on the right were cut from 5/4 stair tread stock.

My overall goal is to make these look as if they were original to my 1927 house. The tesserect designs on the upper cabinet door slightly depart from original, but they tie the kitchen into the design motif present in other parts of the house.

Last edited by RepairmanJack; 01-19-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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