High School Home Ec Room Kitchen Remodel

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Project by tooldad posted 08-02-2010 06:33 AM 3911 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The home ec room at the high school where I teach was in need of new cabinets. This all started off intended to be a class project. I was told the cost of $2800 was high in the administration’s opinion. I told them that yes indeed it could be done cheaper with store bought cabinets. However we would use 3/4” prefinished maple ply for the box construction and dovetail all the drawer boxes. That was September/October.

May rolled around and out of the blue I was asked what it would take to get the kitchens redone over the summer. I said all 5 would be out of the question, 2 or 3 of the kitchens would be doable with help. Now lumber had gone up a little, and they were willing to pay labor. The cost of each kitchen was now $5000. They said go ahead and do 2 of them. Go figure.

6 weeks later, working 25-30 hours each week. Basically 9-3, M-Th, we got it done. Ran into a few surprises along the way, plumbing and electrical that needed to be moved. It was also on a block wall, so the countertop had to have a boxed backsplash to accommodate.

Flat panel doors with concealed hinges, golden oak stain (actually called #252 from the supplier we use). Prefinished 3/4” maple ply for the cases. Solid oak face frames pocket screwed together. Prefinished drawer sides, dovetailed on front corners and rabbeted back corners with prefinished 1/4” ply bottoms. Locks installed on all doors and drawers.

The oak wall that is shown in the 2nd pic is taken from the doorway to the room. Originally it was just going to be a sheet of 3/4” oak plywood. We knew it need a little more. As I was figuring out the dimensions for the frame and panel look, the idea of a logo in the middle came to me.

Found out that lacquer and vinyl don’t work so well together AFTER spraying the decal with lacquer. 20 min later it was all bubbled up. Had to scrape it off, resand, refinish, get a new decal, then use water based poly. There is so much poly on the wall, you can barely feel the decal.

Obviously the last pic is what we started with. That pic makes them look good. Basically they were rusted, cheap drawer slides, metal cabinets that were bent, dinged up, didn’t function properly, ect.

5 comments so far

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4789 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 06:36 AM

PS. There is actually 2 identical kitchens, I just posted pics of one. 12 doors per kitchen, 10 drawers and 20 locks each! It took as much time to install the hardware as it did to install the cabinets! Talk about space for finishing too!

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4723 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 06:54 AM

very cool. Thanks for posting- after you mentioned of this build in a recent thread I was curious to see what it entailed – quite a project considering the magnitude of it all.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 4789 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 06:56 AM

by the way, I DIDN’T pick the paint color. Leave that up to home ec teachers, go figure!

View janice's profile


1122 posts in 4499 days

#4 posted 08-03-2010 02:39 AM

Wow, what a great project. They turned out nice. And to do them for the school you work at most make you feel pretty darn good.

-- Janice

View jim1953's profile


2744 posts in 4916 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 08:03 PM

Great Lookin Job

-- Jim, Kentucky

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