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ok, I know many (most) of you are experienced woodworkers and will probably shake your head and laugh when you read this..but here goes anyways!

I want to make new cabinet doors and drawer fronts for my kitchen cabinets. I orignally started out wanting to replace them but can't put the 10k or so required to do so into it. I know I could get the stock mdf cabinets cheaper but I want to stay all wood. So now I'm thinking why not dress up the drawer and door fronts, paint them and go from there.

The cabinets appear to be built in place or some hybrid of that in 1978, they are possibly oak but could be pine. The current doors and fronts are no more that a plywood slab with a 45 deg angle around the edge so no pulls or knobs are required.

So here's the funny part...I'm not a woodworker and have no tools! But I want to learn and I am handy and have some carpentry skills.


So first let's talk about tools! That generally get's everyone going. I was thinking the most important tool I would need here is a table saw. I have an old B&D table saw that is a total piece of crap. My hand saw can cut a straighter line than that. so I was thinking of buying some midrange bench top saw such as the Ridgid or Bosch (both have good reviews) some where in the $600 range. What other tools would be needed or helpful here?

What about the doors? I most cabinet doors are made of plywood? How do you hide those ugly edges? what other things can be simply done to make a good looking door? Remember I am painting these.

ok, i guess that just about does it for now, so please give me your advice, thoughts, suggestions..or just call me an idiot if needed and tell me to give it up!

thanks
 

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If your gonna paint them I would just buy some 3/4 MDF and cut the sizes you need and then rout the edge with a simple pofile or you could add a peice of moulding to the face to dress it up. As far as the hinges I would go with the new Euro hinges http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID=2281&TabSelect=Details which are completely invisible.

As far as tools you'll need a table saw, drill press and router for the first design. If you want to add a decorative moulding then you would need a miter saw and a nail gun and compressor would help also. You could miter with your table saw but I personally don't like doing it that way.
 

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Eric, for your sitch I would agree with BD on everything. You can skip the drill press though and just use Hinge (spring-loaded self-centering) drill bits for your hinges if ya wanna save a few dolars because this will cost more than you intend. Always does. It will lead to other remodeling honey-do's after you r wife sees how fast you learn. :icon_wink:

Euor hinges are great. I have been using them since 91 - 92 and they are easy and so fun to loook at because as Dave says you can't see them!

I am going to offer some suggestions based on the use SOLELY of the table saw because really you don't need anything else if you aren't looking to buy a bunch of tools all at once.

MDF with a profile is a good choice, and so is Russian Birch plywood with an edge treatment. You could buy edge banding and iron it on. Many pros would balk at this but if done correctly it willl not come off and it is user-friendly for a beginner. You can also buy non-adhesive banding and glue it on with banding adhesive. Messier and a little more time-consuming but it will certainly not come off especially if you chamfer the edges properly with a small block plane. Once you get the knack of using a small block plane you will never touch another router or roto zip for this purpose. They are slower, noisier, produce a cloud of nausiating dust, and thge block polane will not gouge out a significant chunk of a first-time users' finger like a router can do.

Wood moulding is okay but unless you glue it in addition to pin or brad or staple fastening it your normal wear and tear could knock these off at the corners. Same with banding.

You should also consider framed plywood panel doors using a 1/4n - 1/2" Russian Birch plywood panel framed with rails (the horizontal frame members) and stiles (the vertical framing members). Not raised panels although they are possible on a table saw too. framed plywood panel doors are sooooooo easy even for a novice and the corner joint possibilities for this type of construction are numerous, and do not require any thing other than your table saw.

If you are thinking of stepping off into woodworking as hobby then you should consider going ahead and tackling something like the panel doors even though they are more time consuming than simple flat panels.
If your goal is to just get the job done with a simple, clean look then I agree with the MDF flat panels.

Edit: Forgot to welcome you! Welcome!
 

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I built a cabinet underneath our breakfast bar on the side not facing the kitchen. There was some dead space where it meets the wall and I figured this would be a great use of space for storage. Since I didn't want to spend the money on cabinet doors, I just opened up the space and framed out the opening. I picked up MDF at the local home center and cut two doors to fit the opening. I routed the edges and even a nice decorative pattern 2" from the edges on the surface using a homemade jig. After a little light sanding and a white paint job, the euro hinges made the cabinet look as good as anything in the store.

I think the MDF is the same type of very fine pressed wood similar to shelving. I thought it cut well and the router did not rip it up too much. Like I said, it only needed some light sanding with a fine grit to smooth the surface.

Good luck.
 

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Eric,
Maybe I'm too late on this one, but here goes anyway. I was in your spot several years back and started buying tools to build my own kitchen cabs. We originally were just going to repaint and add new doors, but ended up rebuilding all new face-frame maple cabinets and subing out the doors.
I bought a Craftsman table saw with a router extension on the one side, I think it was $500. My only major complaint has been that there's only 24" of ripping capacity between blade and fence--36" would be so much more useful. Since we bought our doors, I didn't even use the router. I did need a miter saw for some of the trim though.
Regarding MDF doors. I just bought 10 MDF doors from a company in CA for some small cabinets (12"x18"), they look exactly like a raised panel door because they route on the center of the panel too. They were only $13 each. (www.mdfdoors.com)

Here's a question though, do hinges hold in MDF better than particle board? My fathers works for a property management company and says he's always fixing particle board doors that were opened too fast and the hinges tore out. I've always assumed full size MDF doors would be susceptible to the same.

Here's a pic of my kit (before and after) with the subbed doors, and a pic of the small MDF doors.
 

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Big D,
Yeah, I was surprised with the MDF too. The only thing I can figure is that they must use a CNC type router with pointed tip bit for the corners. Not sure, but I'll take it. Shipping/Handling added another 50-60 bucks for all 10 of them.
 

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On the upper ones I'd take off the doors and add a trim to frame the cabinets. The bottom ones you can put a curtain either using Velcro for a smooth cover or use tension rods for a gathered look. Paint the cabinets before you do anything and buy new knobs. If the doors are salvageable, you could cut out the centers and add glass, using mirror clips to hold it in place on inside of door or use a woven place mat to hole. Either way again you will have to use trim to hide irregularities.
 

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where's my table saw?
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The post is 2 yrs old ????

Why reply now?:blink:
 

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Why reply now?:blink:

Well Bill, this is so typical isn't it? This thread should be like a learners' permit. Its got the substances to really tick off those that try to be helpful.

First we have a new poster looking for answers with limited information, that never comes back to address the suggestions, or even divulge what ultimately happened. That's like a murder mystery that just gets cut off before we find out who did what to whom.

Then, and maybe not intentionally, a poster doesn't check out the thread for the date, and possibly not what others have offered as advice, which for the most part are "opinions". Now I have no objections to opinions as they are only what any of us can offer. So, maybe we should not get upset because this is just the way it is. It's human nature that constitutes forum discourse.

And after trying to explain why this happens, I'm still not used to it. Maybe if it was any other way it wouldn't be as entertaining.






 
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