Kitchen Cabinets (my 1st kitchen)

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Project by Hartworks posted 07-07-2014 07:01 AM 2591 views 4 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not wanting to pay the price of substandard cabinetry at the box stores and wanting a custom look I took on the challenge of remodeling the kitchen. I did farm out the granite counter and flooring because I did not have the knowledge to tackle those tasks (nor the tools for the granite).

I constructed the cabinet carcasses out of 3/4 birch ply, the shelves in the uppers of the same. The face frame, drawer fronts and doors are all solid cherry. I KNOW….why get cherry if your just gonna color it that dark, well it came down to getting an extremely good deal on the material that made it cheaper than buying poplar and my wife wanted it dark. So…that being said…what wife wants…wife gets (as long as I keep getting my tools).

This was the first time I tackled a project of this magnitude. The door frames are mitered, with a combination of cuts to create what I think is a pretty cool custom look. I wish I had the ability to just pass it through the router once and be done, but I used 3 different bits to make the cuts on the frames and drawer fronts. The raised panels are also solid cherry, and I have to say gluing up separate pieces to get to the proper width was not my favorite part. 18 doors challenged my patience. That and getting my miters dialed in to perfect was at times very trying. In the end I invested in an Incra sled to cut my miters and it was well worth it. Initially I had built a sled and it worked for a period of time but it did not hold up to the use it was getting and did not maintain perfect 45°. I used size 10 biscuits to hold together my mitered corners and thus far they are holding up quite well.

I built the drawer boxes and lower cabinet slide outs from 1/2” baltic birch and used Blum soft close slides and hinges.

For the finish I used General Finishes Dye Stain, a blend of Black, Brown and Merlot and topped it with 3 coats of GF Enduro Var.

All in all I am very happy with this as my first shot at a kitchen. I did some serious practicing on doors and got down my process before starting to tear apart my kitchen. Took me about 6 weeks to complete.

-- Gary, California

23 comments so far

View XrayJay's profile


273 posts in 3195 days

#1 posted 07-07-2014 11:11 AM

It looks perfect! The trim is spot on.

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View recycle1943's profile


5813 posts in 2838 days

#2 posted 07-07-2014 11:35 AM

I’m not a big fan of dark stain and especially a dark kitchen but you have changed my attitude. That is beautiful, she SHOULD allow for a really nice tool shopping trip now.
Great work and just as important – 6 weeks ? good on you !

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Andrek's profile


652 posts in 3126 days

#3 posted 07-07-2014 11:38 AM

Just let me tell you that you did a great job. It looks factory made with a certain satisfaction you won’t find anywhere else.
Thank you for showing me,it also inspire many of us, Bravo.

-- andrek

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3488 days

#4 posted 07-07-2014 12:07 PM

Gary you did yourself Proud.

From design to execution, milling your profiles to staining and finishing, it’s obvious that you have a passion for woodworking. (...not to mention the “Happy wife, Happy life” concept)

Very nice ‘Fit and Finish’.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 2790 days

#5 posted 07-07-2014 12:32 PM

great job on your (1st) kitchen build.
Did you also fit it ???
If so, well done.
On your next project,
please give more pics of processes and methodology.
P.S. have used Blum products in past and they are excellent.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 3261 days

#6 posted 07-07-2014 12:54 PM

Awesome job.

-- paxorion

View Halc's profile


146 posts in 2818 days

#7 posted 07-07-2014 01:21 PM

Your cabinets look great and they sound like they’re solidly built. Nice job!

View sras's profile


6329 posts in 4345 days

#8 posted 07-07-2014 02:43 PM

A beautiful result on a difficult project. The attention to detail paid off!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 2866 days

#9 posted 07-07-2014 03:42 PM

Wow – I wouldn’t dream of taking on something like this. Hats off to your skill patience and bravery!

View Hartworks's profile


53 posts in 2814 days

#10 posted 07-07-2014 05:06 PM

First…thank you very much for your kind comments, I appreciate it.

JinkyJock to answer your question about fitment, yes I did. Uneven floors and the absence of walls built straight and proper made for a bit of a challenge.

I will have to say this build taught me an enormous amount about the build process for cabinetry. Definitely glad I took on the challenge, I feel as though there is nothing I cannot conquer if I simply take my time.

About the timeline, this was six weeks straight. I am fortunate in that I could take off six weeks vacation. I literally worked on the project every day of 6 weeks except for 2 days. There was a few days of work that followed doing some of the final work…baseboard, crown, etc…

-- Gary, California

View Earlextech's profile


1163 posts in 3906 days

#11 posted 07-07-2014 05:13 PM

Beautiful work!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2765 days

#12 posted 07-07-2014 06:58 PM

Beautiful, great job!

View English's profile


693 posts in 2693 days

#13 posted 07-07-2014 07:06 PM

Nice looking kitchen, a project like that takes a lot of time. Feels good to be done huh.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Richard's profile


1944 posts in 3906 days

#14 posted 07-07-2014 07:43 PM

Very Nice job on your first Kitchen. But I want to see the Pile of messed up doors and drawers and face frame parts that would have been left over if I had done this job.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4801 days

#15 posted 07-07-2014 08:27 PM

Very sound, and nice looking cabinets. Plywood of that quality is not inexpensive. I think though you will have an item to last the pace though.I love plywood so enjoy your new kitchen. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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