Cabinets framed…

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Perhaps nothing has caused more procrastination than my kitchen cabinets, and considering just how much procrastination I am capable of, this is really saying something. For a while my dad thought it’d be better to find someone else to make them, but Little Yellow is quite in need of her cabinets, so we have faced our fears and plowed ahead.

I bought a bunch of 1 x 3 pine to build the frame and we mostly based it on the cabinets in my parent’s house, since they are so conveniently there. This left us ripping the horizontal sections to 2″ and leaving the vertical ones as they were at just under 2 1/2″ I believe.

Have you heard of a Kreg jig? I hadn’t, but holy grandmother Moses is it a spiffy thing. My wonderful neighbor lent us his set-up and (having previously attempted dowling and biscuit joining) it was such a quick and excellent way to stick wood together that I was almost giddy during the framing stage. I think I’d like to keep this stuff on my bedside table, just for those springy, wood joining emergencies.

It is essentially a system that allows you to drill into wood at an exact angle, so by then screwing their fancy square headed screws in with a little Titebond III (great glue, strong as all heck), you effectively secure two sections. It worked really well for us and we had the frame up in no time. Before attaching it, we had to build a floor on the toe kick, make both sides with 1 x 6 tongue and groove, and stick a 2 x 2 support runner against the wall to hold the weight of the counters.

Being suckers for instant gratification, we put Flemming’s counters on as soon as we got the frame up, and what a sight. They are just breathtaking. I honestly believe they make the whole house.

Since then, my dad has started making the cabinet drawers and I’m on doors. By spectacularly fantastic luck, the 1/4″ wall paneling fits like a freakin’ dream into the groove of 1 x 6 T&G, so all I’ve had to do is rip the 1 x 6 down a little, chop saw 45 degree angles on it, stick some panels in the middle and Bob is most certainly your uncle.

I’ve been biscuit joining/ gluing them together with pretty good success, and I have to say I’m darn proud of my wee doors ๐Ÿ˜€ There are 4 on the main cabinets (one big under the sink, two smaller beside it, and one smaller still at the L corner) and 2 on the little linen closet cabinet thing I built in the space between my two tall shelves.

I decided it would be a good idea to have another closed off space for various, not necessarily kitchen related storage, so I tested out what my dad and I did for the big cabinet framing and made my own little one. I used cedar for the shelf, as I hear it’s good for such things that hold fabrics, but I’m not sure what I’ll do for the counter. Nothing can really compare to the master carpentry of Flemming’s, so I’ll likely end up doing something pretty plain.

I’m so happy to have the semblance of a kitchen!!! I simply can’t wait til it’s functioning. On the subject of kitchens, apparently I can navigate jig, miter and table saws, but those paring knives still pose a viable threat. Twice I’ve cut myself with the damned thing in the last week, twice.

I’ll put up clearer pictures of the counters soon ๐Ÿ˜€

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38 responses »

  1. Gorgeous work, but I especially enjoy how you’ve taken to the woodworking lingo. I envision a new website for little girls (as inspiration to their potential aspirations) “Backwards and in High Heels” (the Ginger Rogers reference), with a section called “Carpentry in a Skirt” with you as one of its stars. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wow, Ella, itโ€™s so coming together!! They really do make a house feel more like a HOME. Great work. You can join the local 405 carpenter’s union! You probably have all of your hours by now!! heeheeheeโ€ฆ Well, you should be proud of yourself. Keep a goinโ€™. That is an amzing feat youโ€™ve done there. I am getting closer to living what I have coined, โ€œThe Turtle Life,โ€ where I take my home with me where ever I may roamโ€ฆ. Have a fantastic summer. MFB (Tina) (couldn’t figure out how to edit my last comment, so I re-submitted with the error fixed) ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This has been a particularly interesting post! I’ve learned so much from your informative descriptions, and the great photography. What is that power tool, in the 3rd to last photograph?

  4. So is your kitchen side by side with the bathroom or on the same side behind the bathroom. Would love to see a more pantamic pic. Looking great in there!

    • The kitchen is on the same side as the bathroom, in front of it as you walk through the door. I’ll try to get a better picture. Perhaps I’ll draw up another floor plan too…

      • As spacious a kitchen as possible has been the most important design feature in my house as I love cooking, and I don’t like how little space there is to move around in that floor plan when the bathroom is only 2 feet away. I tend to spend most of my time in or around the kitchen, so I decided to make it more part of the living space than off in the back. As a result, I’ve ended up with a separate storage room in the back which brings me to feel as though I have more space than I do. I think it’s just a matter of finding what floor plan makes you feel like your house is a palace, and this placement of the kitchen is what does it for me ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I’ve never commented, but I just wanted you to know that you’ve inspired my own tiny house dream, and I’m planning on building one once I graduate from college. Also: your cabinets look really really cool.

    • How wonderful! Keep planning and don’t mind the odd looks and questions; telling people about it before you’ve started is the worst. Thanks for letting me know ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. If you have any small cupboard doors you need some ventilation with – consider adding some old tin(punched in design) or wire mesh to the centers. Gives a old-timey feel and also the needed air.
    Very impressive woodworking Ella!!

  7. It seems a shame to have to cut into those beautiful countertops but I imagine your going to have a sink and cooktop eh? Wouldn’t be a bad idea to be super careful when cutting the holes out and you could make matching sink and cooktop covers out of the scrap pieces. That would help expand your workspace when you aren’t using them.
    Your work is first rate. Keep up the good work!

  8. I’ve had a Kreg Tool for 3 years now, I love it. There is little need for gluing and leaving clamps on while waiting for glue to dry. I use my biscuit joiner as a boat anchor now.

    Go get a Kreg Tool of your own, you won’t regret it.

  9. I have still not built my kitchen at THO… I am using instead misfit habitat for humanity cabinets until I find the courage/tools/budget. It was great to see your success! They look great and you don’t look too frustrated with the process. Perhaps I will give it a stab too…

  10. Oh, Ella. Thanks for the photo journal, this is inspiring for me.

    I’ve had a half-finished little house for five years (the outside looks great! the inside looks like an empty plywood box) and let me tell you, the interior finish/cabinetry has had me absolutely frozen. (Well, that, and a half-dozen other little things, like where to park it, which has been solved three different times, but never permanently.)

    I hate to confess this, but I’d actually gotten a stupid IKEA cabinet to hold up my sink, because I evidently couldn’t live without a sink as long as I could live with my fear of cabinet-building, and I’ve regretted it ever since, ugh, the stink of the formaldehyde or whatever nastiness they marinate their wood in, that is the only offensive odor in my whole house (before the cabinet, it smelled like a lumberyard). Even if it didn’t stink, that cabinet doesn’t exactly fit what I needed for that particular use. I bought this unreasonable, ridiculous farmhouse second-hand, one with a drainboard that I absolutely love (like you, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. A lot. I’m in my kitchen right now) and the IKEA cabinet just doesn’t really fit right with it. So I kept thinking I would just take it back out, but then what holds up the sink when I do? Hmmm.

    Now you just gave me another reason to go tool shopping. :.D

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