Kitchen remodel - reuse cabinets or not? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Default Kitchen remodel - reuse cabinets or not?

I have to do a kitchen remodel at some point and since I got laid off, I'm trying to save as much money as I can. Cabinets are a likely target. I have good quality, but old, cabinets in the kitchen. Like 1960 old. We don't want to just move them around, but also want to remove the doors on the bases and fit them with drawers. We had all drawer bases in our other house and liked them so much better than door bases, we just can't see doing this remodel and NOT having drawers again.

So here's my dilemma:
The cabinets are old Scheirich cabinets. They're in good shape for the most part, BUT the construction is such that I'd have to do a lot of work INSIDE the cabinet in order to get them ready to refit them with drawers. The sides are not thick enough to take drawer slides. I'd have to run rails from front to back and support them at the ends (front end/back end) just to have something to mount the drawer glides to. Face frames, drawer fronts and doors all appear to be maple. I have one cabinet out in the shop that we removed from over the refrigerator (fridge was too tall) and I sanded off the old finish on one of the doors. Experimentation and wife appreciation meter shows we'd like to leave them natural and just clear coat them.
That adds to the dilemma as I know I'll have to buy some new maple to do the drawer fronts. No idea if I'll be able to get a halfway decent match to the old maple.
I need full extension, heavy-duty drawer glides as some of the drawers will get dishes and stuff stacked in them. And full extension is the only way to go with this.
Some of the drawers would be for 36 inch cabinets so they'd be pretty wide and I'll have to build them kinda stout. Looks like the ONLY money I'm saving is on the carcasses themselves.
Should I just bite the bullet and build new boxes?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 09:05 AM
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Unless the cabinets exactly fit your new plan I would build new boxes....
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 09:54 AM
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You said that the boxs were to thin and you are concerned that the drawers would have to be reinforced. before spending the money that it would take to do that I would consider replacing the boxes with 3/4" that way you will not wish that you would have after you put all the work in them to reface.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Unless the cabinets exactly fit your new plan I would build new boxes....
Well we have it mapped out for "this one goes here and that one goes there" but I still wind up building one wall of cabinets. Pantry wall. About 8 ft of cabinets to ceiling height, but only 12 inches deep, except for one end that will have an 18 inch deep cabinet to house a microwave. The plan is to build those as a series of 2ft wide boxes as it will be much easier to handle for us (we're old! hehehe). Opposite the pantry wall will be a pair of 30 inch base units with a range between them and the refrigerator at one end. In the middle is a 7 foot island, 33 or 36 inches wide. The sink and dishwasher go in that island along with another drawer base for dishes. The sink base gets doors. The pantry wall of cabinets get doors. We've only got 2 upper cabinets planned. One on either side of the range. Those would have doors as well. Any of the current uppers that get reused would need sanding and refinishing but not much else. The doors are just slabs. No panels. We like them.
So I guess I'd be looking at building 3 of the drawer bases. A pair at 30 inches and one at 36. Anyone seen a 36 inch drawer base? I have concerns that it will have to be quite heavily constructed with drawers nearly 36 inches wide. And the DRAWERS will need to be pretty beefy as well.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 11:20 PM
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Well we have it mapped out for "this one goes here and that one goes there" but I still wind up building one wall of cabinets. Pantry wall. About 8 ft of cabinets to ceiling height, but only 12 inches deep, except for one end that will have an 18 inch deep cabinet to house a microwave. The plan is to build those as a series of 2ft wide boxes as it will be much easier to handle for us (we're old! hehehe). Opposite the pantry wall will be a pair of 30 inch base units with a range between them and the refrigerator at one end. In the middle is a 7 foot island, 33 or 36 inches wide. The sink and dishwasher go in that island along with another drawer base for dishes. The sink base gets doors. The pantry wall of cabinets get doors. We've only got 2 upper cabinets planned. One on either side of the range. Those would have doors as well. Any of the current uppers that get reused would need sanding and refinishing but not much else. The doors are just slabs. No panels. We like them.
So I guess I'd be looking at building 3 of the drawer bases. A pair at 30 inches and one at 36. Anyone seen a 36 inch drawer base? I have concerns that it will have to be quite heavily constructed with drawers nearly 36 inches wide. And the DRAWERS will need to be pretty beefy as well.
Yes I have made 36" cabs with drawers, the drawer bottoms in those was 1/2" baltic birch ply.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 06:06 AM
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Why a 36" instead of two 18". If economy is needed then then use stiles and rails to frame two drawer and lower door openings of 16" ( I biscuit this butt joint and saw the ears off)

If I wanted to salvage the carcasses I would try removing one cabinet you plan to relocate and attempt a refurbishing on that one only and then make my final decision.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Why a 36" instead of two 18". If economy is needed then then use stiles and rails to frame two drawer and lower door openings of 16" ( I biscuit this butt joint and saw the ears off)

If I wanted to salvage the carcasses I would try removing one cabinet you plan to relocate and attempt a refurbishing on that one only and then make my final decision.
As a dish drawer, the 36 inch drawers are far more useful than a pair of 18 inch sitting side by side. (Think dishes, bowls, sandwich plates, some serving pieces).
And I can't really remove one of the big lower cabinets right now as A) they're in use, and B) it would be tough to get it out without removing the counter top, etc.

So that's part of the problem with reusing the cabinets. I can't really begin on the refit until we're taking them out. I'm not sure I want to be in a position where I have to not only figure out what's NEEDED to do the refit, and HOW to best reuse them, but also find time to actually do the work while trying to do everything else in the kitchen like rip up the existing floor, move some electrical, install additional ceiling cans, lay a new floor, and everything else. If I just build the cabinets ahead of time, I can be ready to install them when the rest of the kitchen is ready for them.
Making them ahead of time means finding a place to STORE them when they're done and while we do everything else. Domino effect.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 08:49 AM
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How long does your WIFE expect remodel duration? Whatever she says tell her double

Built ins may be your solution. Build face frames, doors and drawer fronts and store them prior to job start. built in cabinets can be then executed after demo. That eliminates all the boxes being stored and if plywood is precut built ins save time space and money over box design. built ins also give more flexibility in floor design than manufactured boxes.

And the big plus is on a long weekend demo can be done and built in installed with usable shelving and drawers . Boxes need finish floor for installation built ins can be done first. Then doors, frames and drawer fronts can be installed while kitchen is being used. Then you can do other alterations and flooring and hopefully completed in her orginal time frame. The doubling her time is a marriage tip not a shop tip
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