Craftsman Kitchen

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Project by DBrown52 posted 09-28-2016 09:14 PM 2618 views 22 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Craftsman Kitchen

My wife and I recently moved into our newly constructed home in the country. To cut costs and get exactly what we wanted, I committed to building the kitchen cabinetry and island. One year and a mountain of sawdust later, this is the result.

I approached this much like a piece of furniture. All the joinery is traditional. At one point, I counted well over 200 mortise and tenon joints for all the doors and faceframes. The carcasses are 3/4” ply assembled with rabbets and dados. The biggest shortcut I made was building my drawers with pinned rabbets instead of dovetails or accent dowels.

Cabinetry Details:

- inset faceframe design

- quarter sawn white oak, dyed and stained

- bookmatched door panels

- maple plywood carcasses

- 42” wall cabinets

- three 8ft tall cabinets to house refridgerator, wall ovens, and microwave

- glass accents

- extended faceframe “feet”

- soft-close Blum hardware

Island Details:

- solid maple faceframes and doors/drawers, painted

- 2×6 pony walls, clad with maple ply

- decorative flutes and corbels

I have to thank my wife – Avery – and my Dad. Not only did Avery trust me with this project and sacrifice quite a few weekends, but she got her hands dirty. She did the vast majority of the finish work, spending hours sanding, dying, staining, painting, and spraying. She’s actually better at it than me. My Dad processed the majority of the rough cut into workable boards. I’d send him cut lists from my day job during the week and then come home on the weekend to find stacks of dimensioned lumber nearly ready for joinery. Without their help, this probably wouldn’t have got done.

I also have to thank many of you. I “borrowed” quite a few design ideas from posted projects and did lots of research in the forums. I can’t overstate how much I think of this site.

Thanks for looking

32 comments so far

View BillBrasky's profile


40 posts in 2297 days

#1 posted 09-28-2016 09:48 PM

Outstanding work! I would like to take on a project like this but don’t know if I trust myself quite yet. Thanks for sharing and I hope you enjoy that beautiful kitchen for many years to come.

View quasarwutwut's profile


59 posts in 1169 days

#2 posted 09-28-2016 10:24 PM

Loooooove the island. Wow. Really inspirational work!

-- Jordan, Chicago, not allowed near saws or goats. Or goats with saws.

View MyHogany's profile


88 posts in 2000 days

#3 posted 09-28-2016 10:46 PM

Beautiful work. Though as a chef of 40 years, I’d have put the stove-top on the island. It’d be interesting to hear your opinion on that option after a year of using your new kitchen. But that’s just personal choice. I think you did a magnificent job.

View DBrown52's profile


65 posts in 2294 days

#4 posted 09-28-2016 11:47 PM

Hard to argue with 40yrs on the job! We considered switching the cooktop and sink but it would have meant a downdraft vent instead of an overhead hood and more complicated plumbing. I tried to make the layout as functional as possible because we do cook a lot, but i guess there are always compromises.

The plus side to this way is that one person can stand in one place for cleanup. Sink, garbage, and dishwasher are all on the front side of the island

View Mean_Dean's profile


7008 posts in 3710 days

#5 posted 09-28-2016 11:53 PM

That is a magnificent looking kitchen you built there! And lucky you having a wife who likes to sand and do the finishing—does she have a sister…......?!

I’m sure you’re really going to enjoy this kitchen every day, and have a tremendous sense of satisfaction with it!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View AJ1104's profile


880 posts in 2222 days

#6 posted 09-29-2016 12:21 AM

That’s some beautiful kitchen! Great craftsmanship and design. Congratulations on your new home.

-- AJ

View pintodeluxe's profile


6017 posts in 3376 days

#7 posted 09-29-2016 12:52 AM

What a kind and thoughtful write-up, giving credit where credit is due.
You did a masterful job creating this kitchen and the results speak for themselves.
The QSWO and honed countertop is a timeless look, if ever there was one.

Cheers to you and yours!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View EarlS's profile


3316 posts in 2911 days

#8 posted 09-29-2016 01:11 AM

Hopefully, this will be me one of these years. Our kitchen needs to be remodelled and I can’t bring myself to spend $20,000 on custom cabinets when I can build them myself.

Now for a question or two. What did you use for design – SketchUp or something like that? Did you install them as well? Did you go with custom features inside the cabinets? Did you have any problems with wanting to tweak the design after you started?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View MC's profile


234 posts in 2910 days

#9 posted 09-29-2016 01:59 AM

Awesome job. Enjoy your work. Definitely worth the time you invested.

View DBrown52's profile


65 posts in 2294 days

#10 posted 09-29-2016 02:19 AM

Thanks all. It’s gratifying to enjoy them a little now. To be honest I was so sick of the project towards the end.

Earl, I did a complete sketchup drawing with all joinery before ever setting foot in the shop and I was constantly referring to it. It was invaluable. The layout stayed constant. I think I might have tweaked door style a little, but that was it. I installed them with my father in law’s help. That was a long weekend. Those 8ft appliance cabs were heavy! As far as internal features, I have three pullout drawers behind the doors flanking the cooktop. And the door on the base cab to the right of the microwave is actually a pullout.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1612 posts in 4122 days

#11 posted 09-29-2016 02:52 AM

Breathtakingly beautiful. Do you mind sharing your finish recipe? That’s the exact color that I’m looking for.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View FlyinWillys's profile


23 posts in 1170 days

#12 posted 09-29-2016 03:50 AM

Love the craftsmanship! Well done!

-- Old retired guy!

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3537 days

#13 posted 09-29-2016 05:25 AM

Holy S, that is impressive
The time and effort you put into the kitchen is obvious
Well done

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View DBrown52's profile


65 posts in 2294 days

#14 posted 09-29-2016 11:00 AM

Do you mind sharing your finish recipe?

TransTint Mahogany Brown → Minwax Cherry—> Target EM6000. The dye was diluted down quite a bit further than the recommendation. Everything has a reddish-brown undertone to it and then the lacuer brightened it back up.

View jma213's profile


40 posts in 2539 days

#15 posted 09-29-2016 12:26 PM

Looks amazing – what an investment for your home! I love the countertops you chose – matches perfectly with the craftsman style.

I would be terrified to drill the holes for the cabinet hardware – measure twice for sure! Its not like you could simply purchase a new drawer face if you measured incorrectly.

Great job!

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