Ash Kitchen Cabinets

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Project by DustyMark posted 10-11-2012 10:03 PM 1874 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Completed 1992. These cabinets are ash raised panel with a Formica counter top. The drawer bottoms and the shelves are laminated with white Formica as well. I used Kelly Mehler’s European construction method.

My parents knocked part of a wall down to open up the living area in their farm house. I volunteered to build a partial set of cabinets to fit the new layout. My Dad and I worked over the phone on the measurements since I lived four states away. We fit all these cabinets in our Ford Aerostar and took them to my parents. The cabinets fit well.

Construction Note: I built the cabinets in humid July weather. The wood was quite swelled. In January, Minnesota is very dry. I got a call from my Dad that the cabinet sides were splitting at the edges of the raised panels. I told him to get a block of wood and a hammer and to beat the rest of the panels loose. I had used too much glue and the panels weren’t floating in the frames like I thought. He saved some of the doors this way. I had to replace several doors and brought them on my next visit…

-- Mark, Minnesota

6 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 4264 days

#1 posted 10-11-2012 10:38 PM

For sure Mark, that regional acclimation is one of those things that has to be addressed. I have been very fortunate in that area but have had a couple minor probs. over it. Looks good

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#2 posted 10-11-2012 11:34 PM

Super looking cabinets ,good job.


View DustyMark's profile


523 posts in 3525 days

#3 posted 10-12-2012 12:14 AM

Thanks, you’ve got quite the project list of awesome furniture. I enjoyed looking through it yesterday. You’ve been at this hobby/career a while I imagine.

Yeah, I knew to make the panels float. I just used too much glue on the rail and stile tenons and it crept into the corners of the raised panels locking them in place. When the wood shrunk, it was locked in both corners and all it could do was split. I need to use less glue in those joints to avoid squeeze out. Even after that bitter lesson, one corner of the back panel of my china hutch split during an Illinois winter. Arrrgh!

-- Mark, Minnesota

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5168 days

#4 posted 10-12-2012 03:44 AM


Nice cabinets! Wood movement does make for numerous issues, but glad to hear you were able to resolve it. Working “long-distance” is not an easy task.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View DustyMark's profile


523 posts in 3525 days

#5 posted 10-12-2012 04:11 AM

I was glad they fit! All I had to do upon arrival was scribe the spacer boards that went from the cabinet side to the wall and also scribe the countertop to the wall. I’m not sure if the current owner of the house still has those cabinets…

-- Mark, Minnesota

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5128 days

#6 posted 10-13-2012 03:44 AM

Nice cabinets.

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