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Howdy,

I am relatively new to wood working and have done a few small projects here and there. I guess I have now decided to take the plunge. My wife is interested in me making some new kitchen cabinets. I laughed and told her "I have a long way to go before I could do that!" She told me to get busy learning. So I figured, why not? I intend to spend quite a bit of time reading and learning before I even attempt such a thing, but I figured I would find somewhere to ask questions before I did anything else.

So I guess my first one is: if you were to buy a book (or books) on basic cabinetry, which would you buy?

I have a basic knowledge of woodworking, and a basic shop (table saw, router table, chop saw, etc.) setup in my garage. No drill press though, I guess this would be a good reason to get the wife to buy me one. :thumbsup: I will be improving both my woodworking knowledge, and my equipment, before I attempt ANYTHING related to cabinets. I value any and all input, you guys have done this before, I haven't.

R
 

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texmedic49 Welcome to the forum. Don't be scared to jump into building cabinets. I have never done it either untill I built my wife a new kitchen. Take a look at my photo page. First cabinets I ever built.
 

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Welcome to the forum TexM,
While it may sound a bit daunting for a first project, concentrate on a good working layout for your kitchen. Visit some of the kitchen displays at the big box stores just to get some visual ideas. Take your camera and take some closeups of the way they put things together. This will help later on. Read up and make sure you are clear on how you intend to build them. Once you get the first box built, the rest is repetition. It helps to make a cut list and do everything in steps to not have to repeat setups. That being said I would make the smallest cabinet first just to make sure it goes together ok. Use it to work the bugs out. After that, start production on the rest. Good luck,
Mike Hawkins:icon_smile:
 

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Perhaps this would be a good oportunity to practic a little and make some cabinets for your shop. Cabinets themselves aren't too bad to make, it's the doors that scare me. If I was to remodel our kitchen, I think I would build the cabinets and just buy the doors. We have a cabinet door shop intown here. Trying to make that many doors flat and not twisted sounds like more trouble than it's worth to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
welcome and looks like your in this for the duration
Yeah, it looks that way, doesn't it? :huh:

I intend to do quite a bit of looking around at kitchens and finished cabinets, maybe something will catch my eye. I know, or at least I think I do, that most cabinets are basically the same: just variations on a theme. I intend to build a simple cabinet long before I attempt to "go to the show" so to speak. Maybe something for the garage the the wife won't have to look at (and complain about) on a regular basis. Not that my wife complains a lot (yet). Thanks to all for the encouragement, I can't wait to be able to know what questions to ask!

R
 

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Jump right in by ..........

making a few cabinets for your shop. There are a few basic design concepts that you can learn from books. They will all pretty much say the same thing. Keep in mind that book descriptions on advertisements are not always that good of a criteria to go by. Go to the library and get some books. If there is one you really like, go to a book store and buy it.
It is not rocket science. Joinery is relatively simple and you will be working with pretty much 90 degree angles.

BTW: Where in Tx are you? Im in Kemah, SE of Houston.
 

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I know, or at least I think I do, that most cabinets are basically the same: just variations on a theme.
Texmedic49,
Actually there are a few different types of cabinet standards that you would need to select. Euro style faceless and face frame cabinets being the two basic types. While a good book would be helpful I think that you are fortunate that with todays technology you have at your fingertips a source of knowledge never before available to those seeking information and learning. Books have a major limitation in that they are not intuitive and cannot respond to questions pertaining to specific problems.
Another basic design variable is built in place versus modular. Built in place cabinets saves materials and requires fewer instances of trims and moldings installed to cover gaps at walls etc. Modular cabinets allows the cabinets to be built remotely and then assembled onsite to minimize mess and down time in instances like remodels where the kitchen is being used and the owner doesnt want to be disrupted for long periods of time. Modular cabinets can be built and installed in an heirloom style and taken with you if you move, should you desire. Modular cabinets are generally more expensive because they require more material. Modular cabinets require someplace to store them until the time to be installed.
I have been building custom cabinets for 35+ years and have developed my system based on jobsite built cabinets. This style of production has obvious limitations and advantages. More often lately my jobs are a combination of both shop built and jobsite built cabinets which also has it's advantages and disadvantages.
I don't know any good books to recommend. I'm sure they exist. Ask your questions here. That's what the forum is for...I think. I like the forums better than a book because you cant irritate a book! :laughing:

Wow I almost wrote a book!
 

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Jobsite built cabinets ? I've painted, stained and laquered a few new homes during construction, and I can't imagine how well jobsite cabinets would work in a finishing aspect, but I could see a savings in materials and labor in the construction of them.
 

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I can't imagine how well jobsite cabinets would work in a finishing aspect
It works about the same as finishing wood floors, mantels, credenzas, block paneling, built-in libraries, window boxes, arches, vaulted cielings, plate rails, bay window seats, base, crown, door jambs and trim, stair kicks, rails, shoe racks and closet shelves.
 

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Sounds like an awful lot of masking to do. Finishing wood floors doesn't involve a sprayer, and most of the other stuff you described gets finished before installing. Atleast thats how we do it up here, but to each his own.
 

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Sounds like an awful lot of masking to do. Finishing wood floors doesn't involve a sprayer, and most of the other stuff you described gets finished before installing. Atleast thats how we do it up here, but to each his own.
I sometimes stain wood trim prior to installation if the walls are finished. Top coats are easy to apply without masking.
Who mentioned a sprayer? I think you are getting you're threads confused.
 

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Sometimes ? stain wood trim prior to installation if the walls are finished. No, I'm not confused. How do you usually apply finish coats ( laquer, poly ) on a jobsite ? With a brush ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tony B-

I live in Pearland, so we are pretty much neighbors.

Everyone else-

Thanks again for the warm welcome. I guess the biggest reason I want something to read (a book) is to get an idea of what I need to do to start this project, and what questions I need to ask. I just hate folks that don't do their homework before coming onto the internet and throw themselves on a forum and post up something to the effect of "I'm new here and ya'll need to tell me everything, and do it right now." That isn't how my mind works. It is kinda like being informed about the issues before you step into the polling booth. I also want to be able to contribute to my learning, and part of that is having a BASIC knowledge of the material in question. As it stands right now, my knowledge of remodeling a kitchen consists of how to turn off the gas line, pull out the existing in-wall oven, and start swinging the sledge hammer :) I guess that is somewhere to start, but I'd like to know more before I try to get going on this, that's all. I have had people tell me that I like to get "good and ready" before I start in on a project, sometimes to my detriment.

Anyway, glad to be here. I'll post up pictures of my existing kitchen, along with what we would like to do to it.

R
 

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Sometimes ? stain wood trim prior to installation if the walls are finished. No, I'm not confused. How do you usually apply finish coats ( laquer, poly ) on a jobsite ? With a brush
Yes, Sometimes... meaning not always. Cutting in stain is pretty difficult. I found that spraying the walls with paint, installing the woodwork stained and then top coating by hand was reasonably efficient...applying two coats then putty the holes then a third finish coat.
Up until recently I brushed on top coats Because I dont have a large shop conducive to spraying finishes and its too cold to spray trim and moldings outdoors in the winter which is when I do most of my interior work (hopefully) and while I got satisfactory finishes brushing I found it time consuming so I'm spraying it on the cabinets when possible. Works great. The airless and fine finish tip is keeping the overspray to a minimum and it's fast. The airless spraygun is small and easily manuverable in tight spaces unlike an hvlp which cant be inverted. But I am always will to learn new tricks. If you have a better Idea feel free to teach me.
 

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Well when I was working for my painter buddy that has been doing it for close to 30 years in mostly new home construction. Everything got stained first before going up, window and door jambs stained after being hung, and before the trim was installed around them. Stair parts also were also prestained before install. After that, mask, then two coats of laquer sprayed, lightly sand, putty nail holes, wipe down, and spray the last coat, peel paper when dry, and buff out with the same masking paper. Base, crown, tongue and grove boards, cabinets, etc. were allways fully prefinished before going up. Painted woodwork, was a whole different plan of attack, usually not painted until installed, even then though, painted cabinets came in prefinished and hung after the walls are painted. 99.99 percent of the time a brush was only used for cutting in on the walls. Brushing woodwork just takes too long if your trying to make a liveing at it, plus a sprayed finish usually looks alot better.
 

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Thats sounds pretty typical of builders that buy their cabinets. I build mine. So I guess that would be the way to go in that instance. I only do 1-3 houses a year so I like to dry them in and finish them out in the winter so I have work in otherwise dead winter months. two years ago I built a hangar here for a guy that lives in florida. He hasn't been here since I started it. I have been using it to work in.
I plan to get out of general contracting after this season and concentrate more on cabinets and furniture. It's too hard to find employees and keep them.
 

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The cabinets were usually subed out to a cabinet shop. Some of the lower end builders though bought prefabs from places like UBC and had their installers install them. Well I've tried geting my foot in the door at some cabinet shops, either they want someone with experience in a cabinet shop, installers, and or they don't want to pay much, usually about $9 an hour and absolutly no bennies, it's rediculous. Painting wasn't much better.
 
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