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Old 09-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #21
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We had to gut our whole kitchen and used Home Depot for the granite counter and cabinets...it came to $4000 (we installed cabinets ourselves), used the 10% coupon plus a sale.
Unfortunately Home Depot's estimate without installation came to around 30k more.
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The college near me offers 3 cabinet making courses. I also do woodworking as a hobby and would do as others suggested, make some garage cabinets first to test your skills.
I built or bar about 15 years ago and although it turned out well, I didn't like the quality based on my budget, joints etc. I don't think I need to do a trial run at this, I only need to know the best methods for construction as well as which materials ensure a high quality cabinet.
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I signed up for a Cabinet making course at the local community college many years ago. It was a night class and the only purpose was to allow"students" to use the shop equipment
I don't need that use of any tools as I've got the tools aspect covered and I'd rather build the cabinets in my garage so I can reference in the kitchen easily. Good idea if I didn't have all the tools at home.
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The method I learned for cabinet construction was to build individual cabinets utilizing a face frame construction and after 30+ years these cabinets are still holding up well. We would first mark out a story pole of heights in the kitchen and then make measurements of the layout. We didn't use plywood in the construction of the cabinet boxes, we would glue up poplar panels for the sides, bottom, base and use masonite for the back. For the tenon-ed face frame we would use the desired wood(I used butternut for the kitchen and redwood for the bath) and would make the face frame ~1/4" wider than the cabinet to allow for adjustment planing(rarely ever planed cabinets) during installation. We would use glue, screws and nails during the cabinet shell construction but never used nails on or in the face frame construction, only clamps and glue. When we would attach the face frame to the cabinet we would put the cabinet on its back on saw horses and attach it to the cabinet shell with only glue and clamps(had lots of pipe and parallel clamps in the shop). I have watched Norm over the years and have learned a lot but I cringe every time he nails a face frame to a cabinet. Although we did not use plywood in the construction then today I would/will use it for the cabinet shell construction, maybe a melamine or finished faced plywood for a dressier/less maintenance cabinet interior. We also built all drawers and doors(had great morticing/tenon machines, etc in the shop) and used mainly wood slides with nylon inserts, now I will probably use soft closing slides for the drawers. It also seemed that we built drawer cabinets and door cabinets separately and hardly ever a combination cabinet(sometimes vanity versions). The top cabinet would be the same width of the corresponding base. The top cabinets would be installed first to allow easier access during installation, after the base cabinet were installed we would then use a continuous toe kick to visually tie the base together. Then cabinets were also owner finished in place(I hate finishing/painting,etc).

To answer your question, maybe back issues of Fine Woodworking. Fine Home Building had sent me a DVD of all their back issues that is easy to search, maybe Fine Woodworking has a similar DVD.
Now this is the information I was hoping for, only difference is my wife wants frameless (European style), although I believe face frame is stonger. I was going to use solid wood for the drawers with dovetail joints, but I wasn't sure what joints for the upper and lower cabinets.

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May be you need to give Norm a call . Sounds like a fun project if the you have the shop, skills and maybe more so, time.
I called up Norm and he told me he doesn't cross over into Canada.....my loss. As for it being a fun project, I hope I can say that after all is said and done, since reno's of this size sometimes take a toll. Combined with this being a learning process........well let's say, I'm not thinking of all the fun I'll have until the last door is adjusted.

Thanks for all the replies and I do appreciate the time.

As a reminder I'm looking more for a source for the best cabinet construction methods as well as materials. Sorry if I didn't comunicate that well in the beginning.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:44 PM   #22
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Norm had a whole series on Kitchen cabinets. Perhaps you can find on the internet or via a library.

For example, here is refernce to part 1 New Yankee Workshop: Kitchen Cabinet Basics Part 1 DVD (Season 20) - PHONE ORDERS ONLY; do not display on ShopPBS.org - shopPBS.org

edit - here is a better link http://www.newyankee.com/index.php?i...roduct=7916589
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:15 PM   #23
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davelers.com/32mm/Basics/157.html

Good luck, friend. Also search amazon for a few books. In my youth I had a few reference books for cabinet making.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #24
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standard kitchen cabinet sizes

Kitchen Cabinet Sizes - Kitchen Cabinet Dimensions

How to Build Cabinets - Kitchen Cabinet Plans - Learn How to Build Cabinetry

http://www.workbenchmagazine.com/mai...encabinets.pdf
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #25
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Norm had a whole series on Kitchen cabinets. Perhaps you can find on the internet or via a library.
Both links work...thanks. If I still feel I need more information I'll order the DVD version as I noticed they also ship to Canada.
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davelers.com/32mm/Basics/157.html
In my youth I had a few reference books for cabinet making.
Link works and I already leaned something. Thanks
All the links are great, I did come across the first link myself and it gave me a couple idea. Thanks


I really appreciate everyone's help. I'm going to ask dw to design her dream kitchen so that it fits our kitchen footprint. Then I'll price out the material and see if it's both within our budget and she trust me to build her a new kitchen probably staring in two months. She wants me to finish all ongoing project first and the stairs are 65% done.

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Old 09-20-2012, 04:18 PM   #26
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Seems like that school would be taking on some liability issues by just letting the students go at it without some basic instruction. Anyone who has used woodworking tools knows how dangerous they can be. Did the course description state that it was use of tools only? I would have walked out and asked for my money back if there was no instruction provided.
They did provide basic safety instruction on the use of the tools. What they did in the class did not match the course description at all. This was many years ago and i just shrugged it off and used the tools. I learned a lot from watching other people try their projects.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:41 PM   #27
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Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures, any idea where you received the information on proper cabinet building?
When my husband graduated as an architect, it was the mid 70's and no one was hiring fresh grads... so he worked for a large residential construction company... nominally under the architect (for hours towards his license) but in reality under the master carpenter. He learned from him. But he'd also done construction/carpentry during summers during college... so he had the basics. Given your tools - you probably know enough and the books and sites linked should give you enough plans/ideas to use the knowledge your already have.

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Counter top with either be granite or quartz. Price we received was without appliances.

We almost did quartz. The array of colors/styles with engineered quartz is amazing. We were very close to doing a silestone that was made with recycled content. It was gorgeous and "green".

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Most likely we'll go with Quartz, Stainless although vary sanitary and durable, it scratches easily, sure I can buff it out with a polisher but why?

We embrace the scratches. Just call it patina - it's all good. LOL
We look at the kitchen for function first. We love to cook so all of our updates were about improving performance. Style was bonus. My base criteria for counters was I would divorce if tile counters with grout lines were put in. That was non-negotiable. We settled on Stainless after touring the kitchen at Hearst Castle and realizing the function could look cool too.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:25 PM   #28
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We almost did quartz. The array of colors/styles with engineered quartz is amazing. We were very close to doing a silestone that was made with recycled content. It was gorgeous and "green".
Personally I'd say the three top kitchen counter materials are Granite, Quartz and solid surface with Corian being the leader. There are advantages and dissadvantages too all three of them so it's up the consumer to decide since pricing is close in all three.
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We embrace the scratches. Just call it patina - it's all good. LOL
We look at the kitchen for function first. We love to cook so all of our updates were about improving performance. Style was bonus. My base criteria for counters was I would divorce if tile counters with grout lines were put in. That was non-negotiable. We settled on Stainless after touring the kitchen at Hearst Castle and realizing the function could look cool too.
There are so many advantage to Stainless counters especially when you use 304 grade. That's why it's number 1 in commercial kitchens. As for residential, you'd be surprised and how many peopld don't like it when the stainless starts to scratch. Most don't realize kitchen grade stainless has a grain in it and when it scratches it's not easy to polish it to it's original appearance without going over the whole section.

I've got lots of reading to do in the next while.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:16 PM   #29
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..... the stairs are 65% done.

We installed new HW floors a year ago. The estmate on the flooring installation said "don't even think about it". So did the stair estimate. I paid for the floors and did the stairs myself.

I know I don't have the tool selection you do and I doubt I have your skills. How do you like my stairs?
stairs.jpg
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #30
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I think you did a great job and I'm sure you saved a lot doing it yourself. Is it my eyes playing tricks or is the treads and riser a different stain then the balusters and handrails. It seem they're natural oak.

The project I'm presently working on is going from carpet to solid oak stairs, except mine is open on one side..
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:51 PM   #31
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The treads and risers are a much different colour. You can thank DW for that. Just kidding, but I'm no decorator. DW decided what colours would go where. The wood accents are fairly 'golden' and we replaced 'white' carpet with dark hardwood.

FWIW, the installer wanted about $3K to do the stairs. The other 1700 Sq/ft was about $1K.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:42 PM   #32
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Echoing the idea to look for stuff other than granite.

Granite is going to look dated soon enough.

We did a nice formica in our granny flat and custom stainless steel and butcher block in our house. I love-love-love the stainless steel and it's about as timeless as you get. The butcher block next to the stove is gorgeous, functional, and really warms up the kitchen. For us it was about function and ease of maintenance... I didn't want to worry about putting hot stuff on the counter (granite can crack) or sealing stones...
Silly us, we're tearing out the 40 year old formica and putting in granite.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:04 PM   #33
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Home Depot and Lowe"s prices for installation of cabinets is outrageous now. Almost as much as the cabinets. I did my kitchen about 3/1/2 years ago. My cabinets from Home Depot were just under $7,000, and my handymen hung them for me (at $25 an hour) Took him about 10 hours tops to install them.

Find yourself a good handyman that knows his stuff, then do some reading and watch video's on how to install cabinets properly, and supervise. Get your labor lined up first, then order your cabinets.

Has anyone ever installed the Ikea cabinets. Was reading on various forums, that people really like them and that they have held up well. Anyone have any experience? They are supposed to be quite easy to install using their rail system.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #34
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Has anyone ever installed the Ikea cabinets. Was reading on various forums, that people really like them and that they have held up well. Anyone have any experience? They are supposed to be quite easy to install using their rail system.
From what I've heard and read, Ikea has one of the best value in low to mid range quality kitchens. The only complaint I've heard is the door selection is limited. They have several sales during the year with different discounts and the cabinets are easy to assemble.

I think the reason why our cabinet estimate is high, maybe partially due to the fact we want veneer/plywood type cabinets, not mdf, or partical board and solid wood Oak/cherry doors, drawers with close close hinges and undermount drawer slides. There are several other options which I'm sure raises the price by several more thousands.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:51 PM   #35
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Earlier this year, we rented an apartment in Paris. The kitchen was very nice, and I was surprised to discover that it had Ikea cabinets. They had a high gloss white finish, not to everyone's taste I suppose, but they seemed quite solid and well made.

Peter
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