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Discussion Starter #1
I see some guys make kitchen cabinet built all together like three or four cabinets and some build each cabinet then join them together. Which way is better? In old homes too.
 

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where's my table saw?
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I build them one at a time

The largest is the double sink base around 48", most are around 30" to 36" wide. I like separate toe kicks for the base OR for a long run of cabinets make one long base because it's easier to level out. :yes:
 

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Cabinet manufacturers need to accommodate a variety of different size kitchens and configurations. They build a slew of different size boxes that can be joined together, sometimes with fillers, that can match almost any size or configuration easily. Custom cabinetmakers build cabinets specifically for the space and configuration. Although custom cabinets may be a group of separate pieces, they are typically joined together seamlessly, so you wouldn't know the run of cabinets are not a single unit. Some cabinet builders just build separate boxes and join them like larger cabinet manufacturers. Visually, you can easily see the differences between true custom cabinets and those that aren't. It's not only the joints you see where cabinets are butted to one another, it's also the sizes of doors and the balance in accommodating the space. Non custom cabinets can be a hodge podge of different size boxes. You may have two 30", one 18" and one 27" each with doors or drawers for those sizes, upper wall units may not be aligned with lower base units. A custom job would be mathematically balanced so all the doors on a run may be equal. Other hallmarks of custom work typically include things like better quality hardware and materials as well as attention to details like carefully matching grain, color and wood characteristics. Construction methods, choices in joinery on custom work can be quite different than mass produced work. There are exceptions and times when there are special circumstances. A custom cabinetmaker can pick out a non custom job in a second. The average consumer and many so called cabinetmakers are not aware of these fine differences any may not care. Custom jobs usually cost a great deal more than "off the shelf" jobs, just like custom made shoes cost much more and take longer than mass produced ones. The majority of homes do not have custom cabinets but they are very common in commercial work. One type isn't necessarily "better" than another as far as basic function but the other factors can make a huge difference in appearance and longevity.
 

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Old School
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Production cabinetry is usually available in 3" increments starting at 9" wide. What happens is that the linear dimensions are filled up with as many like sizes and filler strips to to the opening. This holds for upper cabinets and base cabinets.

Along those dimensions there are spaces left for appliances. Whether there is any vertical alignment from the upper cabinets to the base would be most likely a coincidence.

For custom cabinets, there is an attempt to create a pleasing visual alignment. I prefer to make continuous lengths as one cabinet if possible. Doing that makes in shop handling and delivery and installation a bit more difficult.

There can be a level of uniqueness to cabinet work. Two of mine were like that. One was done with butcher block laminate. The client wanted the pattern to match vertically from the top of the upper cabinet, down to the underside, and match back to the backsplash. Then down the backsplash to the countertop. Then from the back of the countertop to the front edge. Then down the front edge, matched vertically to the face of the base cabinet doors to the toe kick, and matched down the toe kick.

The other one was done with Palomino Leather laminate, polished copper, and polished brass. There was a 2" polished brass and a 1" polished copper stripe together inlaid to match in the upper doors and the lower doors vertically in about 30" intervals, wherever that happened.

Sorry to get off on this tangent, but custom cabinets can show craftsmanship not available with mass produced cabinets. Back to the question about individual boxes versus long integral cabinets, there may be some savings with less ends, by using dividers that share doors.






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I just built my first set of cabinets. I built a run of 10 feet of base cabinets in my bonus room. I made 3 individual boxes but used a single face frame to seamlessly join them all. This seemed to be the easiest way for me to build and install them yet still have the continuous look.
 

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I build the longest continuos runs I can maneuver into the house. It's harder to move around and work with but the final result is much nicer.
 

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Cabinet manufacturers need to accommodate a variety of different size kitchens and configurations. They build a slew of different size boxes that can be joined together, sometimes with fillers, that can match almost any size or configuration easily. Custom cabinetmakers build cabinets specifically for the space and configuration. Although custom cabinets may be a group of separate pieces, they are typically joined together seamlessly, so you wouldn't know the run of cabinets are not a single unit. Some cabinet builders just build separate boxes and join them like larger cabinet manufacturers. Visually, you can easily see the differences between true custom cabinets and those that aren't. It's not only the joints you see where cabinets are butted to one another, it's also the sizes of doors and the balance in accommodating the space. Non custom cabinets can be a hodge podge of different size boxes. You may have two 30", one 18" and one 27" each with doors or drawers for those sizes, upper wall units may not be aligned with lower base units. A custom job would be mathematically balanced so all the doors on a run may be equal. Other hallmarks of custom work typically include things like better quality hardware and materials as well as attention to details like carefully matching grain, color and wood characteristics. Construction methods, choices in joinery on custom work can be quite different than mass produced work. There are exceptions and times when there are special circumstances. A custom cabinetmaker can pick out a non custom job in a second. The average consumer and many so called cabinetmakers are not aware of these fine differences any may not care. Custom jobs usually cost a great deal more than "off the shelf" jobs, just like custom made shoes cost much more and take longer than mass produced ones. The majority of homes do not have custom cabinets but they are very common in commercial work. One type isn't necessarily "better" than another as far as basic function but the other factors can make a huge difference in appearance and longevity.
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Discussion Starter #9
I'll be asking more question thinking about doing my kitchen over and next door guy wants some too. I've been looking for a cabinet shop around here to get a job at but they all want big time under your belt. Figure I would start making some on my own and go from there, start my own thing.
 

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I need to be able to move the cabinets around and it is just usually me doing the work. So I have to build separate cabinets and put them together once I get them in the house.
 

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Some times you have to build them in shorter runs to get them in the house, like this kitchen here is on the 2nd floor so the long run against the wall is 3 pieces.

image-386691335.jpg
 
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