Building my first kitchen cabinet - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Default Building my first kitchen cabinet

I have been contemplating the space in our medium/small size kitchen and it's lack of cupboard space, and with the holidays coming up I have some time off, so feeling inspired to do something about it. I have found Marc Sommerfeld's site and while it is very helpful to me, but I have a concern with putting extra cabinets up in my kitchen: How does wall-mounting a cabinet affect the structural strength of a wall? Should any of the walls in my kitchen be able to support cabinets? Our kitchen is part of a early 1900's house and is plaster/ lathe construction. My previous home was brick and concrete walls in sub-Saharan Africa, so still getting used to how things work around here.

It's been about 2 years now since I bought my router, and so these ideas have been "brewing" a while, but I don't want to make any mistakes on the part of impatience.

Secondly, I may be biting off more than I can chew here, but I'm wondering how feasible this project will be with just a circular saw and a router - those are my only power tools. I will be working with a fair amount of plywood, as well as making my own raised panels, and I have a week to do it all.

I guess I'm looking for either reassurance or someone to set me straight, since my wife thinks I can, or should be able to, do anything.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 11:15 AM
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Somewhere behind the plaster and lath are the studs for the wall. Finding them may be tough. I don't know if a stud finder will work or not. You need 2 - 4 screws to mount the cabinet to the wall.

Studs in modern era houses are usually 16 inches on center. Some may be 24 inches. I have both in my house. Their main purpose is so drywall or paneling can be attached.

Questions:

What size cabinet do you have in mind?


Are you going to attempt to match the existing cabinets?

Paint or stain?

Search You tube for instructions how to build kitchen cabinets. After all, a cabinet is just a box with or without a face frame.

When I built the cabinets for our kitchen, my mom's kitchen, and brother in law's kitchen, I followed the basic workflow demonstrated by Kris Reynolds.

Dadoes and rabbets can easily be cut with your router, especially if you build an exact width dado jig like mine.

You will need some sort of guide so you can cut your plywood straight with the circular saw. Here are some helpful ideas and instructions... https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?...&hsimp=yhs-001

Here is a link to a simple cabinet I drew. I was inspired by a cabinet I saw at our local restaurant.

http://www.routerforums.com/show-n-t...y-cabinet.html

More helpful info below:

Our Buffet


Our Kitchen remodel


Post some pics of your kitchen wall where the cabinet will go.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 01:20 PM
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Rhett
Well hanging them on the wall will be no problem.
You did not say how many cabinet you wanted to build!
Basically from the information you gave me with nothing but a router any skil sw I really do not believe you could build cabinets in a week maybe one and even for an experienced cabinetmaker using nothing but a Skil saw and a hand held
router would be really tough, can it be done absolutely
But I believe you would over your head,woodworking is a very enjoyable hobby but if you start off with something that major by the time you're done you won't be a very happy.
Why not start with something a little easier ( maybe small jewelry box for the wife)
Good luck with every you choose remember the forum is here to help just ask
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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I checked my studs - they're irregular, but generally around 16 -18" apart. Apparently there used to be a door in the middle of the wall but that got moved sometime before we bought the house. I suppose that might have something to do with it.

The cabinet base will be about 6 feet long, 2 ft deep, with part of it doubling as computer workstation. I am still debating as to whether the wall cabinet should be as long, but it will be tall, with maybe a 1ft gap to the ceiling (our ceiling is around 8').

I have NO idea what kind of wood our existing cabinets are - just a reddish brown, flat panel style. I love woodworking because I love the look of plain wood finished well, so no paint here. I'd love to do something with alder/ hickory. Would my wood choice make a significant difference to final weight of the cabinets?

My first choice of counter-top would be walnut, but my boys would certainly scratch and dent them, so looking to do stone/ granite. Ultimately I will be looking to redo the rest of the kitchen cabinets, but since we're a very active kitchen, I need to get these done before attempting to do anything with the existing ones.

Picture of wall is coming soon.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:07 PM
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You can post pictures now provided they are on your computers hard drive.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the wall where the cabinet will be. The second photo shows something I had not thought about yet, and I have no idea yet how to approach this - the one wall has baseboard heat vent running along it, and both walls also have this wooden board/ wainscoting that is set at about 36" high.

Along the left wall we also have our portable dishwasher. Our existing counters are at 34 inches high, so my other motivation for redoing the cabinetry is to get this height raised to we can get a permanent dishwasher set in place (but not along this wall).

I might have to take the advice not to try get this done in a week, but this project is not going away (my Christmas week project is more likely going to be a rabbit hutch).
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:39 PM
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Just some rambling thoughts from my head...

Do NOT attempt to make a raised panel with a hand held router. You need it to be mounted under a table and have a fence to help guide the panel across the cutter. 2 1/4hp router will do the job but a 3 1/4 is mo better. I have both and have made the raised panels using each one. The big cutter is about 3 1/2 inch in diameter and would certainly be dangerous if operated hand held.

A table saw would be a big help in your preparations.

What I usually do is ask the guys at the lumber yard to cut my sheets either in half or thirds. I prepare a cut list ahead of time so I know if I need a sheet cross cut at 48, or three pieces cross cut at 32 inches. You can also get them to rip a sheet say at the 24 inch mark. That way, you can get a couple of base cabinet sides and then rip the remaining side at 11 1/4 inches to make the sides for the upper cabinets.

Some basic dimensions are :

Base cabinets w/ face frame - 23 1/4 inches deep (add a face frame of 3/4 inch thickness to equal 24 inches total) x 34 1/2 inches tall (add the countertop on top of that to equal 36 inches total).

Upper wall cabinets w/face frame - 11 1/4 inches deep (add 3/4 thickness for face frame = 12 inches total). Height depends on what your existing cabinets are and the clearance above the finished counter top (18-20 inches).

When we remodeled our kitchen I made the uppers 39 inches tall. That put them at the meeting point of the vaulted ceiling and the shortest wall.

I built my face frames first so I could guarantee they would fit the walls. I allowed a few inches on the exposed end because I planned to put up crown molding. It worked out perfect (so happy).

I use pocket screw construction to make my face frames. I have the tools to do that and they turn out nice.

BTW, we started our kitchen remodel in August and finished the week of Thanksgiving. I built everything in a one car garage. However, I do have all of the tools I needed to do the job. That may be a deal killer for you right now.

Those tools include table saw, miter saw, planer, jointer, drill drivers, random orbital sander, air compressor, 18 gauge brad nailer, glue and lots of screws and a boat load of clamps.

OK. Enough rambling for now. Holler if you have any questions.
Mike
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Last edited by MT Stringer; 12-17-2014 at 02:41 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike for help with the thought process. I have had some time to skim through the videos by Kris Reynolds and Marc Sommerfeld, and I think I may be able to tackle the job, but just not as easily as I had hoped. I have recently made advances on my router table fitted with a Bosch 1617, and loving it. I have a Kreg jig and hand saw (I do a lot of work by hand, in my freezing cold garage). I'm going to spend some time planning this one out a bit more, and maybe getting a table saw, although I have no idea where I'm going to put it (our car has never been in our garage since we bought the house). Once I have this project underway I'll be back with progress photos.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 05:01 PM
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Good luck. This will be an investment for a long time so take your time.
Feel free to browse through my projects. You might get some info and inspiration from them.

The Kreg Owners Community has a lot of info. Check it out also.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 05:35 PM
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I built my upper cabinets at 13 1/2 for 12" clear inside, It always griped me the meat platter stood on edge in every kitchen Finishing the cabinets will take as much time as building them unless you talk the little lady out of staining them

Learning is an exciting adventure
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