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  • #16
    I agree with Daveferg, sounds like you have built in place cabinets. Not unreasonable for new construction, but having a kitchen without cabinetry for the time required to build them would get me killed by the wife.

    A reasonable writeup on frameless vs. face frame cabinets: http://www.cabinetmaking.com/cabinetfaq.htm . I have Danny's book on face frame cabinets. It is a very good step-by-step on how he builds cabinets, and he's very good indeed. If you're interested in multiple options on how to build them, don't get Danny's book, get Jim Tolpin's "Building Traditional Kitchen Cabinets" instead.

    These are both for face frame cabinets. I don't like frameless, so I don't have personal recommendations. I bet Prolx's book on them is good, though.

    Dave

    Comment


    • #17
      I don't intend to make the drawers from plywood, i did say the ones i have are that way now. I figure to use poplar as has been suggested, or i could use some of the cedar i have too. I have about fifteen poplar logs drying, they are about 12" diameter. Do you suppose there is enough good heart in them to make decent short lumber for the drawers? Not sure myself, just yet. Pine would be an option i guess, i have some very large pine logs drying now. They are about 40 ft long and three ft diameter. Have to get them sawed soon. I am in florida, they are southern long leaf yellow pine, with a lot of heart wood in the center.
      The page just referenced, on cabinet construction, is a very good explanation of face frames. Thanks for that. I expect to use a frame front and back. I don't expect to use much plywood at all, I have a lot of lumber and will be using that, i hope.
      i can build the new cabinets, remove the old cabinets, and then install them. It will be a lot better that way, i see your point. I doubt my wife would consider it a help to be without a kitchen for the time it will take me to complete this project. I do agree i will build them in the garage ( now being converted to a woodshop) and then move them into the kitchen) That is a very good point, thanks for that. I remain unimpressed with the composite boxes my wife wanted to buy. I hope to build something a lot better quality than that. I guess it would be unconventional to build them this way. But i don't have to rush, don't have to cut corners on materials or construction techniques, provided i can learn all the proper joinery techniques. I just hope the end result is the very best quality, and that will be up to me of course.
      I sure do appreciate the help. I did order two books recently on cabinet construction. One of them is the one you just mentioned here. The other is the same company, i think it was titled, Building Cabinet Drawers and Doors. Thanks for the help.
      HW
      If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!

      Comment


      • #18
        The advice given hear so far seems first rate (and I have built a lot of cabinets).

        I recently switched from face frame to frameless construction to give more open space - showing the edge of 3/4 inch cabinet walls takes less space than a 1 1/2 inch wide "1x2" frame - I get an extra 1 1/2 inches useful width in each cabinet. And the drawers are easier to install, since the guides can be attached directly to the side of the cabinets.

        The advantages noted for face frames are real. Plus one more. For one kitchen where I built 22 custom cabinets, I had limited storage space, so built the face frames, doors, and drawer fronts over several months(stored under the guest bed and other places around the house) before starting the cabinet bodies, thus dramatically reducing the disturbance to the household.

        But here is where I recently got burned.... The european hinges normally put the open doors slightly in front of the cabinet, so that they don't interfere with the next cabinet or the corner. Great. Until you build a slide-out tray in the bottom of a cabinet, or have a drawer behind the door. Then the position of the door keeps the tray from sliding out. Blum (and presumably others) have a special zero protrusion hinge that keeps the door clear of the tray (when open it doesn't protrude into the cabinet). But the zero protrusion hinge only works with full overlay doors. And the cabinet where I was burned was already built with partial overlay doors.

        Bottom line... I am sold on Blum hinges, and now prefer frameless construction BUT be sure you design all the cabinets, all the way to the door and drawer overlay and hinges, before you get started.

        Comment


        • #19
          Ow, that had to be a painful lesson to learn, Charlie.

          To tag onto the idea of designing to the last nut and bolt, if you're going to use European style hinges, get the actual catalog from the vendor of your choice. There's a world of application information in the full-line catalogs, spacing, how to avoid the problem that bit Charlie, the whole nine yards. The Blum full-line catalog is a lot bigger than, for example, the entire Woodcraft catalog.

          Dave

          Comment


          • #20
            Hi again Hardly, On using plywood as not what you are interested in, is something you may want to rethink. If you get a cabinet grade plywood, it will be fine because you wont see much of the sides of the cabinets after they are hung. And if you select each of the veneer(plywood)panels that you want, you will find some nice woodgrains.If you investigate cabinet grade veneers you will see the quality of the material. I understand you wanting to use solid wood throughout, but your face frames and doors are all that most people will ever see. And I would save that solid wood for your next entertainment center, and living room tables etc. Just another view thats all. Good luck

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            • #21
              Hammerman.. If i understand the cautionary statements correctly, the plywood construction requires a much greater skill.The cabinets i saw at home depot, lowes and at a cabinet shop, were plywood that was basically sawdust with a veneer on it. Most of it was a white plastic look veneer. I don't see that as a good thing. I am certain that are a lot of plywood products that i am unaware of as well. I just happen to have a lot of lumber, some of it is pretty nice stuff. I will work on the techniques a bit before deciding what is best for me. I readily admit most of it is new to me. Most of the warnings i get about skill levels, center on plywood construction methods as well. This is my bigger worry, quality of materials, as well as my own abilities to properly secure plywood so that it does not rack, as i have been warned here, or mess up in any other way as well. I stepped up to the challenge, told my wife we can surely do better than the stuff she was about to purchase. I hope to deliver on that promise. Don't want to let her down, or myself down either.
              thanks again for your help. i will have a learning curve to deal with for a while i am sure. I do now see some of it making better sense. thanks so much

              Hardly Workin
              If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!

              Comment


              • #22
                basically sawdust with a veneer on it. Most of it was a white plastic look veneer.

                What you are describing here is MCP, melamine coated particleboard. It has nothing in common with high-quality plywood, other than general shape (flat, long, wide).

                Each to their own. Making kitchen cabinets out of solids is a lot more work than I ever would be willing to invest.

                Dave

                Comment


                • #23
                  hi again hardly. We gotta stop meeting like this, my wife is starting to wonder.LOL.

                  seriously I agree with Dave. You can have your solid wood cabinets rack as well. I have tried hard rock maple cabinets as solid wood box and your assembly is no different either way. But the time and effort it takes to biscuit 3" boards together to make 12" deep cabinets, (not to mention 24" base cabinets), the number of clamps and the room to do all this. Again I agree with Dave. My maple cabinets didn't turn out like i wanted and are now my garage cabinets. once again good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    There is some learning on selecting sheet goods. As was said---plywood is actual layers of wood, with either a hardwood veneer, in various species. I think you'd find that birch ply' for interriors and cherry or whatever ply' to match your exterrior would be fine-----some have poplar cores which add a degree of strength. But there's nothing wrong with using good plywood, as to quality----in fact, I think, with the right tools, it's easier than the composites----not as heavy and you don't need special fasteners, as you would with melemine.

                    Now, one issue I think you need to address immediately---you mentioned you had "logs" of poplar and pine-----these aren't going to start seasoning/drying until you cut them into planks and sticker them for drying. I'm no expert on wood drying, but have heard air drying might take a year or more. If you're in a rush to do the kitchen, you might have to re-think using this wood.

                    As to your secondary wood for drawers----while you could use a soft wood, like cedar or pine, if you want dovetails, I think you'd find the poplar a better mate for a hardwood front.

                    BTW----the last two issues of Wood magazine featured kitchen cabinets. They had what I thought was a great idea for your corners----you might give it a look and see if it would fit your kitchen----essentially, instead of the cabinets meeting at 90 degrees, (and either wasting space or having deep, hard to reach storage) they made a corner cabinet, with a separate straight face, so the cabinets would meet, from the sides, at 45 degrees. The storage was a lot easier to access---also better than lazy susans, which I never liked. Just something else to file for future reference.
                    Dave

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I hate working with plywood. It is heavy, and gives me slivers. It isn't as much fun as hardwood. But don't forget the great strength and stability of plywood. In a set of premium bookcases I am currently building I went to walnut plywood (over $120 per sheet) for the shelves, etc. because of the stability and stiffness, but am using solid walnut for the raised panel doors. The cost is the same as hardwood (I pay $4.01/bf for Walnut), the waste is roughly the same, and the effort is comparable by the time you mill real wood, match it, and join it to the plywood to hide the core.

                      As several have suggested, I would avoid particle board and related products in premium cabinets. I would probably use the Home Depot type of $40 birch plywood (sometimes called paint grade) for the inside shelves and hidden sides, I would buy some hardwood plywood for the few visible sides, and use your hardwood for the trim, door fronts, and doors.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I have visited Lowes and Home Depot often lately of course. I see they have oak plywood, and birch plywood. I have found no walnut or cherry plywood anywhere. I will have to ask around about that stuff of course. I agree, i am not going to use any particle board in our cabinets. Yet the stuff the cabinet shops wanted to sell my wife, was basically particle board with hardwood fronts on them. It looks great but, i don't think it is worth the money they ask for the stuff.
                        My plan was a lot simpler here. I figured to just construct an oak frame of 2X2s and 2X4s, and then joint the hardwood i have and screw it on, piece by piece. Similar to siding a barn, but with a much closer tolerance between the boards. I did not have in mind to use biscuits or whatever. I do have a pocket jointer kit now. I could use that i suppose, i have practiced with it a bit and see it does a great job.
                        I said before, i plan to use all drawers in the lower cabinets, likely poplar as has been suggested here. The upper cabinets, will have shelves, and i figure there i might have to use plywood for those shelves. I am as yet uncertain about that. The back side of the upper cabinets, would certainly be best made from plywood i agree. When the cabinet is opened, the inside of the backs will of course need to look great. If i can find the cherry plywood it would match the fronts the best i am guessing. Do you guys know a good place to get this cherry plywood? I confess i have not found any of that as yet.
                        Anyway, i hope this clears it up, i don't figure i will muff it if i use a frame of oak to keep it all square and plumb.
                        thanks again for your advice, i do appreciate it sincerely. I honestly doubt i could get all that plywood stright and plumb and joined properly.
                        i feel much better about the frame design that i see in my current cabinets.
                        thanks again;
                        Hardly Workin.
                        If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Similar to siding a barn, but with a much closer tolerance between the boards.

                          There's a reason those spaces are left between the boards. It isn't because they are on a barn, it is to allow the wood to move. Place those boards too close together and they are going to buckle and split on you.

                          Don't be fooled for a minute into thinking you can overcome wood's natural properties. Ain't gonna happen.

                          Please, don't consider going to the Borg the same as going somewhere that sells wood. I and others here could probably ask around among acquaintenances for vendors for you, but we need a much narrower target than the entire state of Florida.

                          Dave

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Place those boards too close together and they are going to buckle and split on you.
                            I put wainscoating on my dining room wall in `84. It is sitll there, the chair rail is across the top all the way around the room. Still there. No cracks, no splits. I have tounge and groove hardwood flooring i put in a few rooms in the `80s as well. Still there, still fine.
                            i don't think it will split if i put some more on the exposed outer walls on cabinets, instead of plywood.
                            No cracks between any of that lumber either. It works just fine. I am confident i can handle that.
                            The cedar, i plan to line the inside in some places. Just like my closets, they have cedar in them. I can do that, i do believe.
                            HW
                            If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Evenin Hardly. Well i read your last post and understand how you feel. If you can, go up to your home store and open and close those high priced cabinet doors. The reason is because the panel inserted in between the rails and styles on the doors are loose intentionly to allow for expansion and contraction. Some panels are not quite as thick as others, but none of the panels are glued or they would splitor or crack. And unless you glued your tongue and groove flooring, there is no reason for it to crack, because that design is made to allow for the expansion and contraction.

                              Hardly, there are a lot of guys on here who are offering you the benefit of their successes, and their "learning experiences". All we all would like to see is your post on how well your project turned out, knowing we were able to contribute to help you succeed

                              good luck and happy woodworking

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Agreed Hammerman.. i don't plan to glue it. I just figured to put it on with screws. But i am actually uncertain as to how i will end up doing it. I just know i am not going to use plywood, for the most part. Some places yes, but the basic construction, i think i will be using a frame. I explained before, i know i can get that square and in plumb. I fear i could never get such large plywood boxes all sawed, dadoes and all, nailed, glued and screwed up to a proper position. I am certain it requires a great deal more skill than i have. I do feel good about making a frame, strong and true, to hold the counter tops, and whatever i need to put in them as well. The front should end up very similar to any other cabinet, i would think. I have a book that i ordered, i think i saw it referenced here first. "Building cabinet doors and drawers". In that book it mentions not glueing the center panels of the doors, i understand that. I do not propose to glue the hardwood on the exposed ends of the cabinets, nor to the front of the frames. I figure i can fasten that just fine with screws or nails. I hope that makes better sense to you. I am seeking something better than what i see in most cabinet shops. I understand most people build the same things they build there, and that is fine. This is one reason we build our own, so we get exactly what we want.
                                I am sure it will take me awhile, but eventually i will have something we can be happy with... that is what matters.
                                thanks for your trouble, i will be very careful with the glue. I did not intend to make anyone think i was gonna glue it board by board.
                                HW
                                If it won\'t fit you need a bigger hammer!

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