Am I headed for a train wreck making new kitchen cabinets? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-30-2010, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Am I headed for a train wreck making new kitchen cabinets?

I'm considering making new kitchen cabinets, no I haven't done anything major like this in a long time, but am up for it. I live in Arkansas and am surrounded by the logging industry, I am thinking about getting a log of ash or oak cut down and working with this. Any input would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-30-2010, 06:53 PM
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What sort of input are you looking for?

Ash and oak are fine. Are you going to do boxes, too? What's your idea, what skill level are you at, and what tools do you have?

timber framer and custom cabinet builder
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-30-2010, 07:49 PM
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If you are starting from a log, how long do you need to allow for drying?

Sorry, I don't have an answer for your question.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-30-2010, 09:15 PM
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Air drying rule of thumb

A 1 inch board will dry in about 1 year, here in Michigan, with 1" stickers. You can build a solar kiln to speed up things. Daren, our mod, will have plans I believe. I personally would not leave the log whole, but saw it into the thicknesses I want then air dry.

As far as the OP's question "Can I build them" sure but here's what you'll need to do it efficiently from rough sawn lumber:
A table saw with a 30" rip capacity and a dado head, a jointer, a planer, Drum sander, optional but desirable, a miter saw, a router table, with the molding and door profiles cutters, a whole bunch of clamps, an air compressor and finish nail gun, a flat assembly bench 3' x 6' minimum, a spray gun and dust free clean room, dust collector(s)......you still there? bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 08-30-2010 at 09:37 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-31-2010, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
A 1 inch board will dry in about 1 year, here in Michigan, with 1" stickers. You can build a solar kiln to speed up things. Daren, our mod, will have plans I believe. I personally would not leave the log whole, but saw it into the thicknesses I want then air dry.

As far as the OP's question "Can I build them" sure but here's what you'll need to do it efficiently from rough sawn lumber:
A table saw with a 30" rip capacity and a dado head, a jointer, a planer, Drum sander, optional but desirable, a miter saw, a router table, with the molding and door profiles cutters, a whole bunch of clamps, an air compressor and finish nail gun, a flat assembly bench 3' x 6' minimum, a spray gun and dust free clean room, dust collector(s)......you still there? bill
That is all depending on what style he wants the kitchen to be.
I have made cabinets with timber frame fronts and doors morticed and tenoned with a panel. So I think o/p needs to give more info.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-31-2010, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
A 1 inch board will dry in about 1 year, here in Michigan, with 1" stickers. You can build a solar kiln to speed up things. Daren, our mod, will have plans I believe. I personally would not leave the log whole, but saw it into the thicknesses I want then air dry.

As far as the OP's question "Can I build them" sure but here's what you'll need to do it efficiently from rough sawn lumber:
A table saw with a 30" rip capacity and a dado head, a jointer, a planer, Drum sander, optional but desirable, a miter saw, a router table, with the molding and door profiles cutters, a whole bunch of clamps, an air compressor and finish nail gun, a flat assembly bench 3' x 6' minimum, a spray gun and dust free clean room, dust collector(s)......you still there? bill
Bill, I think a spray gun is optional as well. I built 3 sets of kitchen cabinets and a complete set of jewelry store cases without a spray gun. It may be faster but it is optional. Well to be honest I set the jeweler up and he finished them but without a spray gun.

Again depends on the type of doors, Shaker style doors with flat panel can be done on the table saw.

OP needs to post more info to get good answers.

Last edited by rrbrown; 08-31-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-03-2010, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, let me make a little more sense for you...

My neighbor is in the logging business & I can get really nice logs at $40 a ton. For $1.50 per cut, I can have them bandsawn down to any thickness and can run the wood to another mill to run thru the kiln for a song and a dance. I'm wanting to go this route because I can get really cool 1X18-20"+ boards (to do some siding as well) at a fraction of the price of wood from the store.

We have most everything needed tool-wise, and although its been a while since doing any major woodworking projects. Our kitchen is only 10'X11' with three doorways and a window so I'm not going to be doing major cabinetry for a bigger kitchen... I'm curious about things such as should I use plywood for the boxes of the cabinets since it gets pretty humid here in Central Arkansas, or should I go with solid woods throughout?

I'm really leaning towards ash because I want to stain it more along the lines of a Paul Reed Smith guitar than traditional kitchen cabinets. If anybody has seen the amber stain on one of his guitars, I think you'll agree, it looks a lot better than whatever dark Minwax stain thats on sale at HomeDepot...

Thank you for the advice already!

Last edited by roy-byrd; 09-03-2010 at 05:20 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-03-2010, 08:51 PM
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I would go with AC or AB plywood. I like 3/4 for boxes. It's not too fancy, and comes in cheaper than other plywood, for something you only glimpse through the canned goods, I think it's fine. It will hold up better than 1x hardwood for boxes, as well, in my opinion. Small as your space is, it wouldn't take a lot of sheets.

Sounds like a good deal on the faceframe, door, and drawer material, though.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-03-2010, 11:39 PM
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Roy,

Cabinets are nothing more than boxes with a pleasing appearance on the visible sides.

If you make your cabinets pure boxes without a space for a toe kick, you can mount the cabinets on a separate structure for the toe kick. This makes installation much easier. It's a bit more time in the shop for you and a lot less time for the install process. It is much easier to level a separate toe kick than leveling an 8 foot row of cabinets.

When considering the aesthetic aspects of kitchen cabinets, only the face and exposed ends need to be considered. If you can fit the cabinets between two walls, you have eliminated the need for finishing the ends of the cabinets. To make the face of the cabinets look nice, a face frame is attached.

I would build the carcasses using 3/4" melamine, single side for the carcasses and double side for the shelves. IMHO, adjustable shelves are a waste. LOML insisted on adjustable shelves. When the cabinets were installed, the installer set the shelves where he thought they should be. LOML hasn't moved them since. All the cabinets that I built for the shop have fixed shelves. I have not desired to change the positions of the shelves.

For the toe kick material I would use CDX 3/4" material. If you paint the "C" side of the toe kick with gloss black paint, it looks rather neat. You can always cover it with the black rubber stuff later if the customer doesn't like it. Why CDX, because people like to mop kitchen floors.

The counter top and splash rail is best left to people that specialize in counter tops. Doing your own with high pressure laminate (a.k.a. Formica) is not difficult HOWEVER, the corners tend to be right angles. Good for the shop but most people want a drip rail in the kitchen.

Good luck! It ain't that hard and can be fun.

BTW - Have your cabinets built and ready for install before removing the existing cabinets.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-04-2010, 04:00 AM
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Roy building your own cabinets has it's advantages. I would not use melamine or AC plywood. Melamine has either particle board or MDF in it and you don't want to waste your time if your not going to use good materials. Back to the advantages of building your own cabinets.

1. Your not confined to basic size cabinets. You can make them as wide as needed to fit your space. I built 5' wide base cabinet with 24" wide drawers and a 30" door cabinet in one base instead of two separate cabinets. I also had a 6' wide cabinet under my bar and built the toe kick on the 3 exposed sides, instead of 2 or 3 other cabinets. It saves wood which means you can but some quality plywood for the boxes. It also saves time building and installing cabinets. I got the idea from a woodworking magazine years ago and it worked out great for me. Look at my photo albums if you would like to see my cabinets.

2. Building your own cabinets gives you the chance to save money but still get quality. Don't skimp on the plywood for the boxes.

3. Building your own also give you creative control. For my cabinets I had an end cabinet with shelves but instead of the plain shelve on the end I built a face frame for each shelf. It gave a much better look and I got allot of compliments about that design. You are in control.

the hardest thing is making the doors and keeping them flat, other then that good planning and keep everything square.

Sorry I don't have better pictures but this kitchen was destroyed with the rest of the house in Hurricane Katrina like a month after completion, We lost allot of pictures also.

Under bar is one cabinet
under sink is one cabinet including the drawers on the side
next to bar is one cabinet drawers and cabinet door

Last edited by rrbrown; 09-04-2010 at 04:16 AM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-04-2010, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roy-byrd View Post
I'm curious about things such as should I use plywood for the boxes of the cabinets since it gets pretty humid here in Central Arkansas, or should I go with solid woods throughout?

I'm really leaning towards ash because I want to stain it more along the lines of a Paul Reed Smith guitar than traditional kitchen cabinets.

You haven't asked specific questions about fabrication, so I'll just address what you've asked about. I wouldn't build the cabinets from solid wood for many reasons. I would use plywood. If your intent is to get an all wood look, melamine would be out because it's white (or tan) on the inside. For other plywoods like AC or AB, you have an inordinate interior finish, and like melamine, you would have to skin the outside with some other material.

Just as a note, decorative hardwood plywoods are graded with an alpha character for the face grade, and a numeric grade for the back. Plywoods graded otherwise are likely imports and/or structural/construction grades. There are parameters to pay attention to for what is designated for the quality of the core, and what constitutes the quality of the face and back veneers.

Not only are the faces and ends visible, but the underside of the upper cabinets are also. If you want to use Ash, for a plywood, I would use an Ash hardwood plywood, and use the lumber for other areas. You might consider making "frameless" cabinets, as there are many advantages to that design. If that interests you, I would be happy to list the advantages and disadvantages.

If you are going to fabricate the cabinets yourself, space does present an issue as you get into building the boxes, as they take up some room.






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post #12 of 12 Old 01-03-2011, 01:01 AM
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I just finished the first side of our kitchen. one heck of a lot of work but it is a custom fit. Two things that I had not done before were dove tails and cop and stick doors. Both turned out to be fairly easy. I have looked at cabinets in home stores and they make me proud of the ones I built. Also it makes the wife proud to know that I built these for her with my own hands (and some good tools)
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