All Wood Kitchen

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Project by JohnnyStrawberry posted 02-28-2014 01:39 PM 5585 views 29 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First of all; Thank You Honey for your patience. I hope you feel it was worth it.

I’ve had the vision of an all wood kitchen for about two years. Practicing certain techniques finally allowed me to realize this vision.
The actual build of the lower kitchen cabinets took 4 months.
That's a ton of work

(You can click on the photos to view them enlarged. Scroll click recommended.)

We had planned the layout quite a lot with my dearest. Finally I got the plans approved by her. I designed the cabinets to be modular because if we want to move in the future we should be able to rearrange these cabinets to suit any new kitchen.
To ease the production I carefully defined a standard width for these cabinet modules (37”). So one module has the sink and two are basic cabinets – two spacious drawers under the counter and two shelves underneath – I call’em hutch 1 and hutch 2. They’re stand-alone.
hutch 1 hutch 2

One narrow (25”) module is obviously the fireplace. The other narrow asset is a fridge. It has no actual cabinet – there is only a counter ‘bridge’ above it. Fridge bridge hereafter. :-D The fridge is between the sink cabinet and the fireplace cabinet.
The fridge bridge

Hutch one is on the right of the fireplace, hutch two is in the opposite corner of the kitchen. So these cabinets actually surround our table – quite convenient. We just love it!
That chair was built in 1905

100.0000% wood. It’s part of my philosophy. ( See my bed post )
The top is steamed black locust. It looks fantastic; it’s very hard and strong – perfect for counter top.

I’d had several option for primary (seen) wood surfaces but finally I decided to play with walnut inside-out. So while the panels are walnut on the sides, the doors (front) have walnut frames. Hence the doors run in walnut slides.
Cherry has a similar twisted role. The frames on the sides, the drawer fronts and the toe-kick are cherry.

The door panels are steamed burly red willow – it’s just gorgeous and really lightweight – perfect for panels. Besides, the upper cabinets had had the same door panels. I used red willow for shelves, for the back and for drawer bottoms.
The other secondary wood was ash. I used it for drawer sides and for every hidden structural part. The dowels/pegs are beech.


Counter top
Having had some experience in edge joining by sliding dovetails, I was looking for another (stronger) option. I voted for pegged dowels.
The principle is simple; 30mm thick boards, 20mm dowels, 6mm pegs.
This photo shows another kind of hammer...

Since I’m pretty much aware of the inaccuracy of my drill press, I routed the mortises for the 20mm dowels. It came out so precise that I didn’t need to sand the top at all.

I did give it a 400 grit sanding before finishing, however. The finish is raw tung oil, BTW.

Fridge bridge
20mm dowels on both sides keep the front edge perfectly aligned. Tongue and groove hold it strong. Swinging dominos in the back keep it tight and allow for wood movement. (The bridge has end grain; the fireplace has long grain side.)

Frame and panel throughout. Pegged M&Ts.

See here how it’s made.

Pegged half blind dovetails. The drawer fronts are rounded and a bit proud.

This was the simplest drawer slide I could think of… Almost full extension as well.

The lower shelf has actually the door slides as well. Hence, frame and panel.
The upper shelf rests on brackets that are dowelled to the sides.
Since my standard for surfaced stock thickness is 20.0mm, I made the upper shelf look less beefy. I just love this feature. :-)

Sliding, frame and panel, pegged M&Ts.

Other stuff
Black chalk board latex paint on the wall adds tremendous room for love notes, menus, memos, drawings, etc. We just love it!
The little shelf (red willow) crowned the kitchen job.

And the two fixes I needed…
Wrong position of boards in the dovetail jig... It made the drawer only 4mm shorter My first case of cutting too short... This is how I stretch a board. It actually enhanced the look of the sink unit. See above.

Thanks for reading along.

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

27 comments so far

View jasonallen's profile


202 posts in 2909 days

#1 posted 02-28-2014 02:15 PM

That is awesome! I have to keep my wife from seeing this! I am interested in your raw tung oil finish, I just started experimenting with tung oil yesterday. I have always stained and lacquered everything in the past.

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View JoeRPhilly's profile


176 posts in 3440 days

#2 posted 02-28-2014 02:59 PM

Amazing! Absolutely beautiful, great job! I’m sure you will get many years of enjoyment from these

View DavidTTU's profile


150 posts in 2923 days

#3 posted 02-28-2014 04:23 PM

Best kitchen project I have seen on here.

-- -David -- Lubbock, TX

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4155 days

#4 posted 02-28-2014 04:28 PM

This is a beautiful kitchen.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View DocSavage45's profile


9070 posts in 4131 days

#5 posted 02-28-2014 05:06 PM


I think the term here for what you have designed and built is kitchen furniture! You were true to your vision and you satisfied your customer! LOL!

Excellent craftsmanship in a kitchen that no one else will have. Goes with the bedroom furniture :-)

A lot of excellent work and long hours.


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View ToddJB's profile


8805 posts in 3418 days

#6 posted 02-28-2014 05:33 PM

Amazing job. Must feel good to look at those pictures.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


303 posts in 2911 days

#7 posted 02-28-2014 06:02 PM

Beautiful… I have an upcoming kitchen remodel, and I too better keep my wife from seeing this…

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4390 days

#8 posted 02-28-2014 06:07 PM

Show off,
Great drawers…...........

-- mike...............

View Buche's profile


71 posts in 4237 days

#9 posted 02-28-2014 07:02 PM

Certainly beats the kitchen I built a few years ago.
Absolutely gorgeous and very well executed.


View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1986 posts in 3257 days

#10 posted 02-28-2014 07:25 PM

Wow Johnny! Seeing it again it really is amazing. Great work

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View gepatino's profile


217 posts in 3412 days

#11 posted 02-28-2014 08:20 PM

great project!

We are moving to our new house, and we stil don’t have a single piece of furniture. I’m taking a lot of ideas from this beautiful kitchen, hope you don’t mind.


View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3476 days

#12 posted 02-28-2014 10:42 PM

Thank you Johnny – I’ll be coming back to this project!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 3356 days

#13 posted 02-28-2014 11:47 PM

Beautiful craftsmanship. 1 question. How come no toe space on the bases???

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View jmartel's profile


9264 posts in 3438 days

#14 posted 03-01-2014 12:05 AM

Did you make yourself a jig for routing the dowel holes? Nice job.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View trees2pens's profile


160 posts in 2916 days

#15 posted 03-01-2014 01:23 AM

I’ve never seen anything like this. If you move you have to take the kitchen with you ;-)

-- When All Else Fails ... Hit Delete

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