Upper Cabinets, Cold Wall Cabinetry, Phase 2

  • Advertise with us
Project by JBrow posted 01-01-2017 06:23 PM 1218 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project is part of a larger 3 phase effort to complete cabinetry that sets in the corner with the refrigerator; the Cold Wall. The Upper Cabinetry is Phase 2. Phase 1 is The Refrigerator Cabinet, Cold Wall Cabinetry. Since the Refrigerator Cabinet (enclosing the refrigerator) sets at a 45 degree angle in the corner and projects a good distance from the walls, there were some design challenges. These were ensuring the Upper Cabinets would marry to the Refrigerator Cabinet nicely. Also since the Upper Cabinets project out from the wall quite a bit less than the angled sides of the Refrigerator Cabinet, another consideration was ensuring the Upper Cabinet Doors nearest the Refrigerator opened fully.

Both sets of Upper Cabinets are identical but mirror images. Each set actually consists of two cabinets, a Wine Rack and an Upper Storage Cabinet. The Wine Racks were built first. After the Upper Storage Cabinets were completed, the Wine Rack and Upper Storage Cabinet were attached together and hung as one unit.

The Wine Rack was sized to accommodate 4 large bottle of wine and was wide enough to allow the Upper Cabinet Doors to open completely and 36” tall. Except for the face frame and front edge banding on the walnut plywood on which the wine bottles rest, the wine rack is constructed using ¾” thick walnut plywood.

The Wine Rack carcase was constructed using tongue and dado joinery. The face frame was assembled using mortise and tenon joinery. The back side of the face frame was grooved so it could be attached to the carcase tongues. The wine bottle shelves consist of edge banded plywood with a half lap joint cut along the length of the plywood so that the two pieces of plywood would set 90 degrees to each other. The edges of the plywood were cut at 45 degree bevels. After the interior of the carcase and wine bottle shelves were finished with 3 coats of gloss Helmsman Spar urethane and before attaching the face frame, the wine bottle shelves were installed using screws driven from outside the carcase. The edge of the face frame that joins to the Upper Storage Cabinet was beveled at 22.5 degrees. The Wine Rack Cabinets were set aside and work on the Upper Storage Cabinets began.

The Upper Storage Cabinets are 36” high. Each cabinet consists of a raised panel and frame end assembly, and along with doors and face frame, is made from solid walnut. The carcase is ¾” red oak plywood and the three adjustable shelves are solid red oak. The carcase is assembled using tongue and dado joinery and was made as a 5 sided box. The top, bottom, back, and face frame were milled so the raised panel and frame walnut end panels attached by this same tongue and dado joinery. The walnut end panel is not visible from inside the cabinet. Before the walnut End Panel was attached, the panel and carcase side were finished with spar urethane as a little insurance against wood movement.

The face frame was assembled with mortise and tenon joinery and consists of two rails and two stiles (no center stile). Dados were cut in the assembled face frame and a 22.5 degree bevel was cut along the face frame edge where the face frame would meet the Wine Rack. The face frame was glued to the tongues on the front edges of the carcase.

The doors (one pair for each cabinet) are also raised panel and frame construction sized for a ½” overlay. Since the carcase has no center stile, the edges of the doors where the doors meet in the center were beveled at 3 degrees. The doors were then fit by planning, scraping and sanding to close with a minimal center gap. A cove routed on the lower inside of the door rail offers a hand hold for opening the doors. Three Blum Self-Closing Euro Style hinges were used to hang each door.

The biggest challenge came next; attaching the Wine Rack to the Upper Storage Cabinet. The Wine Rack was surprisingly heavy for such a small cabinet, so the attachment of the Wine Rack to the Upper Cabinet had to be strong. The two cabinets also had to form a 135 degree angle. It took some tuning with a plane to get two face frames to come together tightly. The face frames were screwed together. Then a plywood backer block about 30” long and bevel at 45 degrees along one edge was glued to the Wine Rack just behind the face frame and attached with screws through the side of the upper cabinet. A similar piece of plywood was added at the rear of the cabinets, glued and screwed in place. As it turned out, this method proved very strong and allowed the Wine Rack now attached to the Upper Storage Cabinet to be handled as a single cabinet.

The cabinets were then finished with three coats of Spar Urethane and installed. Installation went well. Before replacing drywall in during the kitchen remodel, blocking was installed between the studs. As a result, the Upper Storage was easily fastened to the wall with 3” cabinet screws whose heads were painted to blend in with the red oak interior. Some re-positioning of the previously installed Refrigerator cabinet was required. But that was no surprise since I knew the Refrigerator cabinet was not installed perfectly. Once the Refrigerator Cabinet’s position was adjusted, the Wine Rack was attached to the side of the Refrigerator Cabinet with screws.

Although not yet milled, the Upper Cabinets with get walnut crown trim consisting of two layers, 1-1/2” piece attached to a base layer that is 2-1/2”, both featuring a 3/8”cove. I guess I am procrastinating with all the inside angles that have to be mitred exactly right.

2 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3647 posts in 4796 days

#1 posted 01-02-2017 04:48 AM

A uniquely different, well-thought-out kitchen remodel. Thanks for sharing.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Dave Smith's profile

Dave Smith

94 posts in 1548 days

#2 posted 02-20-2017 01:16 AM

Beautiful cabinets. Like the wine rack. Very nice!

-- Dave Smith - If our phones fall, we panic. If our friends fall, we laugh.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics