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diy kitchen cabinet ?
Old 02-10-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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diy kitchen cabinet ?

in the process of redoing my kitchen(not by choice, foundation problem, long story.) anyway, just price the cab's, 11 ft straight, no L, so about 5 base cab and 3 wall cab's, best quote so far( material only) is about $1150 Maple (with no particle or MDF.) OK, not too bad I thought at first, about 3 days' pay after tax except I can't really justify it, I'd rather spend this kind of $ on a trip for 2 to Oahu. to me cab's are nothing more than a thing that holds empty tupperwares. so I have this 'crazy' thought of building it myself. anyone know any free plans? not looking for anything fancy, simple is the best.

I'm pretty handy, re-did most of the kitchen framing, wiring and copper pipe myself, but never done carpentry before. I'm ok with particle or mdf (except the sink base , face and doors)
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
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It can be done; after all, they're only big boxes.

But consider not only the assembly, but sanding, finishing, etc. Making drawers and doors can be complicated, as well. Don't forget to add a "toe kick", i.e. that space at the bottom of base cabinets.

Find some plans online. Kitchen cabinets are a standard height and depth, depending on whether a base or wall cabinet. Cutouts for sinks are also "standard", as are any spaces for microwaves, dishwashers, or refrigerators.

No need for expensive hardwoods in places no one can see, though I would use plywood rather than MDF or particle board, mostly for moisture resistance.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Hopefully you have the right tools to do this work. I think the biggest issue would be cost of hardware, if you don't have these, it will cost more to buy than the price you listed for your cabinets. Cabinet faces are what shows, so you have much less tolerance if a mistake is made. You'd need higher end saw blades for a table saw with a good fence, planer/jointer, shaper or a router if you're making any raised panels. Also, the joint techniques used on higher end cabinet faces require specialized bits unless you're really good at old fashioned planing and chiseling. You can also check out specialty wood supply stores that do custom work, have them do the doors, maybe even finish cabinet faces and you do everything else.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Have you looked at IKEA parts and the ideas at IKEA Hackers Some of that is quite nice (IMO).
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:46 AM   #5
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It can certainly be done, but there's a lot more to cabinetry than there is with framing-construction carpentry. I won't DIY anything in my home that I can't do at the the same level of quality as a professional, I expect to be looking at it for the rest of my life. I have built some furniture from scratch, but I wouldn't trust myself with full kitchen cabinets. YMMV

Have you priced the cost of the (comparable quality) wood, hardware (knobs, hinges, drawer slides), finishes & tools/incidentals for what you're proposing, it may be more than you expect. Usually commercial cabinet makers can offset some of their manufacturing costs because they can buy wood and hardware for far less than we can. I'm a novice woodworker, so I am not trying to discourage you, but I often find with hardwoods of the quality I'd want in my furniture, I can't do it for as much less than a commercial furniture maker as I hope.

Just buying good premade cabinets and installing them yourself will save you a bundle over having a contractor install them for you. Installation takes some skill, but minor compared to building cabinets. Best of luck whatever you decide.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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I'm in the planning stages of redoing our kitchen also and couldn't believe the pricing quoted. In the end I'm also thinking of making my own cabinets and increasing the quality also. I haven't found any ready made online plans yet but there are a couple "how to build kitchen cabinet" video's. Lucky for me I have all the tools needed except the dado jig for the drawer construction. Mind you there are other ways to build them but I find this method tends to be the strongest. Blum hinges and slides can be purchased easily online as I was looking into the slow close drawers and slides which is the Blumotion line.

If I can get all the materials within budget and my dw can design her dream kitchen then I'll start. In the mean time good luck with yours and I'll drop by once in a while to see your progress.

I do find Ikea to be very reasonably priced if you're not into the high end kitchens, although they do have quite a few options available that can give you that look.

If you want I can do a breakdown on cost when I have the numbers, again, only if asked.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
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I looked into making my own cabinets and it wasn't worth it. You could always try to resurface the existing ones tho, and hang new doors.

I ended up painting my cabinets and installing new hardware and it was a big improvement.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:19 AM   #8
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My house (which I am renting out) was built in the 50s. The kitchen cabinets were built with the house and would have been very cheap to do. They are just long shelves attached to the walls and doors and frames built to cover them. There are no separations between the cabinets; each wall is just one long cabinet with several doors
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Man, that is a big job. I've done a lot of carpentry but I wouldn't consider doing that. I don't think I could buy the materials for under $900.

But the suggestions of others are good. A recycling center many have some previously owned assemblies.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Another suggestion, something I'm considering doing as a test. Try to make the smallest door in your project and make it. If it looks like a pro job, you will now have a good estimation for the rest of the project, if it doesn't go well, you're not out of pocket much, then consider other alternatives.

For me, the kitchen is a future project, another 1-2 years, and an expensive one no matter what option I choose. I have 64 doors to replace/remodel/reface and the structure is all custom solid wood and ply. It's circa 1963 with exposed hinges and has a very dated style that's no longer used. Funny thing is, I've had 2-3 kitchen people look at it and they can't tell what species of wood it is.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:02 PM   #11
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Another suggestion, something I'm considering doing as a test. Try to make the smallest door in your project and make it. If it looks like a pro job, you will now have a good estimation for the rest of the project, if it doesn't go well, you're not out of pocket much, then consider other alternatives.

For me, the kitchen is a future project, another 1-2 years, and an expensive one no matter what option I choose. I have 64 doors to replace/remodel/reface and the structure is all custom solid wood and ply. It's circa 1963 with exposed hinges and has a very dated style that's no longer used. Funny thing is, I've had 2-3 kitchen people look at it and they can't tell what species of wood it is.
Maybe a door, but I'd recommend a working drawer, that would more difficult IMO.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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The sturdiest drawer would have dovetail joinery, which is doable with a jig and a router that accepts a collar. Time consuming, though. Half-rabbits are a good alternative if you don't already have the equipment for making dovetails. Use glue AND screws. Make sure the drawer frame is both square AND flat before said gluing and screwing...

As for doors, a simple mission-style door can be made by routing a 1/4" groove in the center on the inward side of the rails and stiles. The groove serves to hold the panel, which could be 1/4" plywood, and, after making a tenon on each end of the rails, serves as the mortices for the rail tenons.

I found this illustration: rail and stile door on the table saw #1: here's my quick cab door version , JANICE ! - by patron @ LumberJocks.com ~ woodworking community
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Check out Craigslist and Habitat ReStore.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:28 PM   #14
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Maybe a door, but I'd recommend a working drawer, that would more difficult IMO.
I'm not sure why, as long as you can make 90 degree corners, the rest of the drawer would be purchased, i.e., rotating corners, slides or rails and hinges. Even in high end cabinet stores, all the new innovations are in hardware that I've seen recently. From a home sale perspective, most people just look at the cosmetics which are the cabinet faces and doors.

Other than a simple shaker door, you need special shaper/router bits to make a raised cabinet door DIY. The bits alone will run you over $150-250 just to cut a raised panel cabinet door.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:29 PM   #15
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I've done a little woodworking, and I think most people would agree, it is more of a hobby than a proposition to save/make money.

We just put in a for a huge order of cabinets at a steep discount, but we had to leave some of it off b/c of price. My father, who works in the cabinet insudtry said there are what they call "bubba shops" which can make the cabinets much cheaper than buying at home depot or any other big box store. He did point out, their big cabinet company claims their finishes are better, not the quality. Not sure where you were quoted, but you may want to check out a "bubba shop" if you haven't already.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:55 PM   #16
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in the process of redoing my kitchen(not by choice, foundation problem, long story.) anyway, just price the cab's, 11 ft straight, no L, so about 5 base cab and 3 wall cab's, best quote so far (material only) is about $1150 Maple (with no particle or MDF.)
Do you mean material only being for the finished cabinets, and then installation is extra? I think that is a steal for finished cabinets. Send them to my house.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #17
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I'm not sure why, as long as you can make 90 degree corners, the rest of the drawer would be purchased, i.e., rotating corners, slides or rails and hinges. Even in high end cabinet stores, all the new innovations are in hardware that I've seen recently. From a home sale perspective, most people just look at the cosmetics which are the cabinet faces and doors.

Other than a simple shaker door, you need special shaper/router bits to make a raised cabinet door DIY. The bits alone will run you over $150-250 just to cut a raised panel cabinet door.
Not worth debate, but the drawer face construction would be almost the same as a "cosmetic" door face PLUS possible dovetail joints unlike a door, and then mounting slides to match/level. I've done both and well done, smooth operating drawers were more difficult for me than doors especially with all the adjustable hinges you can buy these days. Whatever...

http://www.rockler.com/articles/buil...n-cabinets.cfm
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:47 PM   #18
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You can say that again...
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #19
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I'm an amateur woodworker and built my garage cabinets and built-ins for our bedroom closet. Cabinetry takes a lot of tools, time, expensive hardware, and finer woods. I would recommend getting a few quotes, and have the cabinets made for you if you can get decent cabinets for around $1150 like your quote. You'll have more than enough fun installing them yourself.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:55 PM   #20
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yeah, already checked craigslist and the Habitat. they've a few pieces here and there, doesn't really work out.

no, I'm not building each cab individually like you'd get from the stores. I'm thinking more in the line of building one big long box frame and then divide up with plywood or some sort and maybe buy unfinished hardwood doors and then stain/varnish them.
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