Kitchen Cabinet Fronts

  • Advertise with us
Project by bfd posted 10-03-2012 03:52 AM 2218 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this is a project I did back in 2010….actually it is a project that I did twice back in 2010 but more about that in a moment. This commission came about while talking to a colleague in New York about her plans for her new kitchen she was planning. She was having a hard time finding a contractor who could do a modern kitchen. She wanted walnut cabinets at a reasonable price. I suggested that she go to IKEA and buy all the cabinet frames, hardware etc just don’t buy the drawer and door fronts then have a custom shop build her the fronts out of walnut. This would save her money and give her the look that she was after at a fraction of the price of all custom cabinets but still give her touches she would find in a high end kitchen (Blum motion doors and drawers), matched cabinet fronts etc. She ended up commissioning me to build her the fronts. TWO ISSUES were I lived 3,000 miles due west of her. I thought if I can ship furniture across country I can ship a whole kitchen worth of fronts and panels across country too. After all it is just a matter of flat packing them. The other issue was that I needed a way to accurately take measurements for all the cabinets. That was easily solved by purchasing a few of the same size cabinets at my local IKEA to take very accurate measurements from and get all the drill patterns and tolerances correct. I then would use the cabinets in my shop for storage.
It was a straight forward project just making sure that all the grain ran continuous throughout the entire kitchen. When I was done I built a custom crate and carefully packed up the entire project into one 42”d x 60” x 12” case (shown in the last picture) and weighted about 175 lbs. I headed down to my local UP Store and shipped it off. Unfortunately for my client the package never arrived….it was “lost” somewhere in the UPS system. Yes that is correct a 42”d x 60” x 12” crate weighing 175 lbs was lost never to be seen again. Luckily like everything I send I insure for the full amount and had documentation/photos and a signed contract showing and stating the value of the contents so I received the full insured value of fronts. My client was very understanding and waited the additional 3 weeks it took me to remake and send replacement fronts (this time by Fed Ex). The upside to this was the second set of fronts turned out even better than the first and in the end I had one very happy client.

Material: Grade A Walnut Ply with Veneer Edgebanding
Finish: Tung Oil & Wiping Poly

9 comments so far

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4376 days

#1 posted 10-03-2012 05:20 AM

They look great, nuts they lost the first batch though.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View a1Jim's profile


117626 posts in 3962 days

#2 posted 10-03-2012 05:25 AM

Way cool nice work.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4462 days

#3 posted 10-03-2012 06:33 PM

tha’ts funny i saw Grade A walnut box slabs on sale on e-bay in 2010…

LOOKS GREAT…what a story too! Good idea to go the extra mile and take all the photos of your work for insurance reasons…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View EternalDesign's profile


237 posts in 4380 days

#4 posted 10-15-2012 03:44 AM

Nice Brian and good to see you back woodworking.

-- Brian, Eternal Furniture & Design

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3194 days

#5 posted 10-15-2012 08:42 PM

Looks nice Brian, mark another one up for China !

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 4192 days

#6 posted 10-15-2012 09:39 PM

Thanks Everyone for the nice comments. Matt too funny especially considering there is only one kitchen in the world that these fronts would have fit with everything being matched. Brian it is great to finally be back woodworking. Cabmaker not sure I follow the “mark another one up for China comment.” Can you please explain.

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3194 days

#7 posted 10-16-2012 01:20 AM

Ikea ?

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 4192 days

#8 posted 10-16-2012 02:35 AM

Cabmaker Ikea is a privately held SWEDISH company NOT Chinese. A little known fact is that the cabinet boxes are actually made in the United States and NOT China and the hardware they use in their drawers are Blum the SAME Blum motion hardware found in high end custom cabinets. So I guess that is why I didn’t understand the comment about China as it is unrelated to this project post.

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3194 days

#9 posted 10-16-2012 03:08 AM

If that is the case, then I am misinformed. I have never been in an ikea. Be aware HIGH END is used loosley.
Enjoy JB

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