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Forum topic by Wraypau posted 04-28-2019 01:45 AM 3703 views 0 times favorited 124 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wraypau

25 posts in 526 days


04-28-2019 01:45 AM

Hello all,

I am a new member and this is my first post. My home was severly damaged by Hurricane Michael last October and I have been working diligently to repair my hoe. I have the home to the stage where I need to start planning on building the replacement cabinets. I have never built any cabinets, so I am looking for advice anywhere I can find it. I have a series of questions that I would like to ask, but first, I will give soem details as to what I want to build.

I need to make a lower and upper row of cabinets for the kitchen, as well as an Island. I will also need cabinets for both bathrooms. Some of the upper cabinets for kitchen will have inset glass doors. All cabinets sitting on floor will have granite place as hard surface top.

1. Any advice on where to purchase lumbar for this project? I assume that I cant walk into home depot and pick up the lumbar that will be needed.

2. What type of lumbar should I use? Oak? Pine? Cherry? Maple? etc? Any pros and cons would be appreciated.

3. I have the old cabinets so I have measurements already in place, and will be using the same dimensions to fill the same footprints.

4. Most of the cabinets I have looked at, are wood framed with a sort of particle board backing. Is this normal? Should I use this type backing(Decking) or should I look for cabinet grade sheets of wood?

I have many more questions, but this will be a great start. Thank you!


124 replies so far

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#1 posted 04-28-2019 01:59 AM

The first thing you need to do is go to cabinetplanner.com and purchase the software. It will allow you to lay out your kitchen and generate all the cut lists you need for your cabinets.

The cabinets I built are all 3/4 oak plywood carcasses with 3/4 solid oak face frames, 5 piece raised panel doors doors and slab drawer fronts. Drawer boxes can be made of 1/2 inch poplar or 1/2 inch baltic birch plywood. I have had no luck routing dovetails in plywood so box joints were my choice. If you use solid hardwood you can dovetail the drawer boxes. Drawer bottoms are 1/4” plywood – birch is a good choice.

You can use any wood you want for the face frames. Also any plywood for the boxes will work but 3/4 is probably the best choice.

The cabinetplanner.com software will help you design and understand the construction of the cabinets a lot. I do not have any interest in the company or software other than using it for my first cabinet project and have been using it ever since. It will pay for itself in wood savings with the optimized cut lists and eliminating errors.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#2 posted 04-28-2019 02:04 AM

The box store cabinets use MDF but that fives you very minimal savings. I would definitely use plywood for the boxes and solid wood panels for the exposed ends where appearance matters.

For the doors you can go with many options. 5 piece doors with flat panels (bead board, solid wood, plywood or raised panels or you can go with solid slab doors. Drawer fronts are normally solid wood with maybe a routed edge to match the doors. There are router bits for cutting the doors before glue-up.

To assemble the boxes consider pocket screws. There are easy to use and give you good results. No glue is necessary for the boxes. I normally use a screw every 8-10 inches with is 5-6 screws on each joint.

Shelves can be adjustable and Kreg makes a shelf pin drilling jig that works great. Also they make jigs for installing the hardware like knobs, pulls and drawer slides. Kreg is a great resource for cabinet tools, clamps and jigs.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#3 posted 04-28-2019 02:07 AM

On the face frames if you make individual boxes and individual face frames they make special screws to connect the frames together. There is a clamp that will clamp one face frame to the next for installation. They give you drill guides and then the screws are installed in the drilled holes.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#4 posted 04-28-2019 02:08 AM

There are many options on hinges and Kreg has jigs to help drill if you want the concealed hinges.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#5 posted 04-28-2019 02:14 AM

I had a guy from Arkansas that does custom cabinetry and fine woodworking and is also a spokesperson for Kreg Tools. You can easily find him on the Kreg Tool videos. He was a mentor for me when I was building my cabinets. I guess I am sorry of passing along the favor here as best I can. If you need to talk in person feel free to PM me your number and we can talk.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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BlasterStumps

1702 posts in 1243 days


#6 posted 04-28-2019 02:21 AM

before starting on building, i would take time to compare costs between what it would take to make your own versus what you could get ready made cabinets for.

-- "...I've been through the desert on a horse with no name." So name the damned horse already!

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CWWoodworking

871 posts in 983 days


#7 posted 04-28-2019 02:52 AM

Prefinished plywood boxes, screwed together with wood screws. Personally would skip the pocket holes on the boxes.

If you don’t have an understanding of frameless, I would go face frame.

Consider subbing out doors and drawer fronts if you don’t have the proper machinery to make them.

I just use 1×6 pine, pocket holed together with melamine bottoms for drawer boxes. I would highly recommend Blum tandems for slides and there hinges as well.

Choice of wood is up to you. Just remember a kitchen gets abused. Softer wood doesn’t hold up as well.

Good luck.

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SMP

2249 posts in 709 days


#8 posted 04-28-2019 02:56 AM



before starting on building, i would take time to compare costs between what it would take to make your own versus what you could get ready made cabinets for.

- BlasterStumps

What I usually do is look for the scratch and dent premade cabinets at the big box stores, and/or at habitat for humanity ReStore. Then I make the minor repairs and touch up or paint and they are good as new for cheaper than I could build them for and WAY less time.

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CaptainKlutz

3347 posts in 2298 days


#9 posted 04-28-2019 03:00 AM


before starting on building, i would take time to compare costs between what it would take to make your own versus what you could get ready made cabinets for.

- BlasterStumps

+1 Compare prices.

Been down the build your own home cabinet path twice. Both times the materials cost (wood, hardware, stain, top coat AND installation); was within 10-15% of ordering factory made, installed cabinets. Even if you order cabinets from someone who uses high end plywood boxes (no MDF), and dovetail drawers; the savings was only 20% with DIY.
Considering it takes a lot of man hours to produce craftsman quality cabinets for an entire home, I decided it was better to hire a professional than spend a month in wood shop making everything. Wife was happier with decision also. Kitchen went from empty to functional in 3 days.

PS – Be sure to read up on installation of natural stone countertops. They require lot of extra prep work and installation time. Granite usually adds several week delay between base cabinet installation, and final step of installing and adjusting all doors, to get ready for use. On last house we built, granite supplier was back logged due building boom; and it took them 7 weeks from measure the space in beggining to finished installation.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#10 posted 04-28-2019 03:03 AM

I just did a calculation on a 30 inch base with one drawer and two doors using oak plywood and oak face, doors & drawers and $30 for hardware. Of course if you use Blum you are going to spend much more than $30 but compared to the big box store cabinets it should be close. Rough estimate for materials from Home Depot in Virginia is $135. Cabinet from Home Depot is $185 and that is MDF and encapsulated panels. Very cheaply built.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#11 posted 04-28-2019 03:09 AM

This is from HGTV.Com “Pricing wise, they’re listed in order—stock cabinets are cheapest, at around $60 to $200 per linear foot, semi-custom cabinets will run you around $100 to $650 per linear foot, and custom cabinets usually cost between $500 and $1,200 per linear foot.”

If you want quality cabinets, the satisfaction of knowing you built them yourself and are willing to invest many man hours in them then building yourself is a great option. If you want to go from zero to finished in a few days or weeks (with new counter top) then hiring a professional company is probably the way to go. Quality custom cabinets are very expensive and you can save a lot of $ by building them yourself.

Get a quote having someone else build them and see where it takes you.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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TungOil

1382 posts in 1299 days


#12 posted 04-28-2019 03:17 AM

You should tackle an infrequently use bathroom as your first cabinet project, not a kitchen. You will quickly find that cabinets take up a lot of space so you will need a lot of room to build a kitchen worth of cabinets in a home workshop.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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MikeDilday

285 posts in 1263 days


#13 posted 04-28-2019 03:40 AM



You should tackle an infrequently use bathroom as your first cabinet project, not a kitchen. You will quickly find that cabinets take up a lot of space so you will need a lot of room to build a kitchen worth of cabinets in a home workshop.

- TungOil

I built a 22 unit large kitchen in half of a 1&1/2 car garage. You just need to do it in sections. You can stage the completed cabinets and finish them in the kitchen. That is what we did. Now my shop is dedicated 18×22. That was my first cabinet project and it turned out great. Built and installed in 5 stages.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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CaptainKlutz

3347 posts in 2298 days


#14 posted 04-28-2019 03:53 AM

Rough estimate for materials from Home Depot in Virginia is $135. Cabinet from Home Depot is $185 and that is MDF and encapsulated panels. Very cheaply built.
- MikeDilday

Yes, boxes can be made cheaper than bought.
Especially if you want oak, which is about cheapest wood for cabinets.
But your cost comparison missed: labor, stain, top coat, sand paper, router bits for raised panel doors, saw blades, transportation cost of lumber delivery, and buying or making all trim molding? What about cost of tools if OP needs bigger/better tools to process 20 sheets for plywood and several hundred bdft of hardwood for all the boxes? Does he have the space to make/store parts, and assemblies before installation?

My point: Kitchen cabinet cost analysis is always cheaper comparing just one box. :-)

Another issue for new wood worker building kitchen cabinetry is equipment and skills.
Making one box with no dead line and infinite labor is easy. Any newbie can do it with circular saw and some hand tools.
Making several dozen cabinets from scratch using quality materials, quality construction, and doing it on a schedule to complete a home is something completely different.

YMMV

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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Kelly

3050 posts in 3748 days


#15 posted 04-28-2019 05:49 AM

I built the cabinets for our kitchen using big box ply. That ran thirty a sheet.

The lower cabinets could be ply or MDO but I like the idea of plywood and dados for the uppers. I get paranoid thinking of the pound upon pound of glass they’ll hold.

Since my walls were bare, I took advantage of the fact and opened them to run power for under-cabinet lights and two outlet circuits [in addition to the fridge and dishwasher circuits]. Too, I installed horizontal 2x’s for the upper cabinets to mount on.

Because every over fridge cabinet in the world gets hidden by shtuff, I build my over-fridge cabinet the same size as the top of the fridge and installed a 30” lazy Susan in it. We LOVE it. It makes the whole thing usable. Too, because the cabinet is wider, than deep, several inches to one side work as large pan storage.

To solve the wasted blind corner problem, one lower has a Susan with pan and breadboard storage on each side, meaning I only lose a bout one foot of space. For the other side, I have a pull out cabinet which, when pulled out, reveals two LARGE drawers for those rarely used things.

The exhaust cabinet has a door and panel so works as hidden storage.

My wife wanted to go with painted cabinets, so poplar for the door frames and faces was fair game.

In the end, there is no way the price of commercial garbage [or better] could have got close in price to what it cost me just for materials. Generally, cabinets like our would run ten or more. We have less than a couple into them.

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