Cabinet's - built in under countertop

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Project by CharlieD posted 11-07-2008 08:37 PM 2451 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My residential Boss requested that I build cabinet’s under a granite counter top/ bar area. This of course proved to be more difficult than just building cabinets. I wanted to leave the under counter trim, base board, etc. and build the cabinets into the space allowing for the “trim stuff? It worked out okay but took a lot of tweaking. Some of that “tweaking” resulted in activating the brake on my new SawStop table saw (ruining the new blade that came with it) as I attempted to trim the top corner of a cabinet which was jointed with pocket hole screws. Screws (like hot dogs and fingers) will activate the SawStop safety technology.

The cabinets were built with popular, except for the draws which were plywood. It’s been a while since I built rail and stile cabinet doors and they can be a challenge when you only build them every couple of years. Seems I forgot everything I learned from my previous mistakes and got to make them over again.

-- Charlie - Texas

10 comments so far

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4546 days

#1 posted 11-07-2008 08:43 PM

Awesome job on the retrofit cabinet project! Sorry to hear about your SawStop mishap. A fair price to pay for having that level of protection, though, right? Thanks for sharing!

-- Robb

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4830 days

#2 posted 11-07-2008 11:21 PM

These came out great!

Too bad about the saw….if you have to go through that expense, it would at least be nice if it was your fingers that were saved. <g>

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View EricW's profile


86 posts in 4128 days

#3 posted 11-08-2008 01:30 AM

they look great, youd never know they were built around the counter…

and, about the saw stop.. that must have really stoped your heart for a second, those things are scary when they are activated… especially when yo know that no fingers or hotdogs are in the area to set it off.

View jim1953's profile


2738 posts in 4454 days

#4 posted 11-08-2008 05:46 AM


-- Jim, Kentucky

View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4300 days

#5 posted 11-08-2008 06:18 AM

POPLAR is also very popular to use on drawers . Great job on the cabinets …looks professional in every detail : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3472 posts in 4324 days

#6 posted 11-08-2008 07:48 AM


The cabinets look great. I can understand where you’re coming from with having to “learn” all over again when you haven’t done something for a while. It happens to all of us. I’ve begun to wise up and have started a “cheat sheet” with shortcuts I’ve discovered. However, sometimes I forget about them until I’ve struggled for a while and then realize that if only I’d have checked first . . . :~)

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 4358 days

#7 posted 11-08-2008 10:27 AM

Nice looking project. Just tell yourself (to ease the pain) that hitting that screw would have ruined the blade anyhow. Then you only have to deal with the expense of the replacement cartridge and wounded pride ;-p

Seriously, nice job and sorry about accidentally misfiring the brake . . .

View CharlieD's profile


96 posts in 4328 days

#8 posted 11-08-2008 06:01 PM

Thanks for the comments.

Jim, the doors are raised panel. I used a Rockler raised panel router bit kit to make them. Since I needed to match the proportions of the nearby kitchen cabinets and also had to fit everything to size I used measurements from by kitchen cabinets for the width of rails and stiles, proportion’s, length of the door from bottom of cabinet and from top under counter, etc. then adjusted to make it look right. I had some plans and examples for the caresses from one of the recent wood magazines that I used. That plan had you use biscuit’s. I built four separate carcasses and used 3 different methods. The first I followed the plan and used biscuits. The second I used pocket hole screws since I have a new Kreg system I wanted to try out (that’s what got the saw blade). Very nice. The third which was the quickest and easiest and frankly I think the best, simply glue, brads and screws. Since none of the joinery would show it didn’t matter.

I did struggle mightily with the raised panels and the fit in the stiles and rails. The panels came out too proud (thick) to the front of the door. I adjusted some with the router bits and got them a little better but never did solve the problem. To fix the panels that were too proud, I ran them through my planer. Lucky for me the door panels were exactly the width (13 inches) of my largest planer and would go through.

One more thing that I would appreciate feedback on….. the drawers were very short in depth at 8 inches. I couldn’t find drawer slides smaller than 12 inches so I bought those and cut them down to size with a hack saw. Have any of you had that problem?

-- Charlie - Texas

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4285 days

#9 posted 11-10-2008 03:14 AM

Thats a nice built in.

View jim1953's profile


2738 posts in 4454 days

#10 posted 11-16-2008 03:52 AM

thanks for the Info I’am going to make new kitchen cabinets doors some day I like raised panel look
Thank again Jim

-- Jim, Kentucky

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