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What wood for Base Kitchen cabinet's Base?

806 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rwe2156
I'm finally building my Kitchen Cabinets. I've been planning this project for a long time. I think I like the design stages as much as the actual woodworking, but it's time to get serious.

I'm building it out of Mahogany, Cherry and Tiger Maple. The cabinets will look like furniture rather than standard cabinets. They'll have feet. The feet will be loadbearing, but the majority of the weight will be on the base that underneath. This base will be covered with a black rubber face like regular cabinets, so there's no need to make it out of Cherry, or any other expensive wood. There's a lot of options. I could mill up some 2/4's, but I started to think about warping and wood movement. The weight of the cabinets should be enough to keep them in line, but under cabinets are moisture prone. Swelling could be an issue.

I'm replacing my kitchen because a water line broke and flooded it. I'm no looking to make waterproof cabinets, but I there's got to be a better option than kiln dried southern yellow pine that's reasonably priced.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm looking at Red Oak @ 4/4 for $4.50/bf. That's not bad.

I was thinking I'd stain whatever wood's there really dark, if not black. Oak has really big pours, so it takes stain really well.

What about thickness? I was thinking get 4/4 and milling to 3/4. It's only 4" high on edge, but that should be fine, don't you think?
(That's a spammer… not sure that red oak would be good for a potentially damp area!! Plus the reference is not for base, it's discussing the cabinets themselves-hence my suspicion about it being a scammer)
1 post in 16 hours and his home page has a link for "news" so yeah I call spammer
If I was you I'd do the bases that won't be seen out of pine but fir would be a great choice if you can find it. For the toe kick just do a solid length board along the front to cover up the multiple sections. As for pine and it's disability to handle moisture, if it stays wet your floor is also pine in the form of OSB or plywood so it's not going to handle being soaked well either. And I've had a 2×6 8 foot long laying out in my scrap wood pile for well over 3 years. It is up off the ground on 4×4 runners but it's not under roof and gets rain, snow and sun and grass grown up around it and it is grey but structurally sound still yet. Pine is cheap and will take the abuse, water will always get pulled by gravity downward so a small and slow leak will absorb in the floor more so than the base of the cabinets. If it was me I'd go with a standard 2×4 either store bought or mill cut and dried.

Also based on your design those blocks and the spaces behind them will collect and trap dust and dirt and you'll hate them in the long run and kick yourself or your wife will. I highly recommend something smooth without obstruction
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You need to build boxes. I don't if what you show is how you planned it, but it won't work very well.

Sheet goods for boxes, save the expensive wood for what is seen. Use the cheapest decent sheet goods you can find. I would suggest prefinished maple. Avoid dark colored or stained material.

I've made a ton of cabs out of white melamine - yes, the dreaded, awful, "I wouldn't stoop that low" stuff!! But the fact is, people like it b/c it is light and it is easy to clean. On the maker's side, its very economical, and dead flat, and no finishing, just edge banding.
Cool idea and look but gonna be nasty underneath them cabinets
Bottom box/toe kick we always made out of 2×4's on tall edge. Good sturdy base with extra pieces between cab sections. Let it float, gravity will hold it in place. Since they're bases they just screw to back wall. They're on the bottom and black paint will make them invisible. With one base under multiple cabs you just level the base and let the top fall where it may.
Thanks guys. I didn't even consider Spammers an issue….
I guess I'll just go with 2×4's, but I like the idea of putting a veneer of black melamine on the face. I'd hate to see the stain run out onto the floor if it gets wet.

As for the feet, I go back and forth on this. I really like the look of the cabinets with the feet. I has the of an authentic, pre 1950 look of the cabinets being pieces of furniture. Before mass production, kitchens were made of pieces of furniture. Box construction wasn't being the standard. For a long while I considered making just that, pieces of furniture, but I realized the dirt and grime would get under there, and it would would be a nightmare. So, the compromise. I could make the feet big enough to span the whole distance between the front of the foot-kick's face. If I do that, you'd still have the problem of stuff getting into the corners.

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Yeah that would work better.

1x material is all you need for the base. I've seen a lot of cabinet installers use 3/4 plywood.

I think you should reconsider it. Personally I would never build a base again after using leveling legs. The toes kick snaps on to the legs is something that can come in very handy for example running electrics.

Sounds like it's going to be a showcase kitchen!
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