Custom Inset Kitchen Cabinets

Our customer built a farm house several years ago but had put in temporary cabinets until they could decide on their ultimate dream kitchen.  They came to us requesting us to build a set of cabinets for them out of maple.  The first set of cabinets to be built consists of a 30″ cabinet, two 36″ cabinets, a 12″ cabinet, a sink cabinet with custom “valance” doors and a corner cabinet with a lazy susan.  The cabinets were to all have 3 drawers, except for the 12″ cabinet, which was to have a top drawer and a bottom drawer that looked like it was a door.

We used Cutlist Plus to help us determine the layout of the wood and help us manage the over 100 parts needed for the job, including providing cut diagrams and labels.

We started by breaking the pre-finished plywood down in to more manageable pieces.  The pieces were then cut into their final sizes and labels were applied.

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The sides were cut out for the toe kick using the band saw.  We used our new “Exact Width Dado Jig” from Woodpeckers to cut the dados for the bottoms of the cabinets.  The tablesaw was used to cut the grooves for the backs.

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The parts were then test fitted for one of the cabinets.

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We then turned our attention to the maple boards needed for the 3/4″ parts such as the face frames and drawer fronts.  Since the bottom two drawers on each of the cabinets had a 9.75″ front, our first obstacle to overcome was how plane the 10+ inch boards on our 8″ jointer to get a flat surface for planning.  To do this, we used the jointer to flatten the 8″ width of the jointer.  We then made a sled to attach to our Woodmaster 25″ planer that allowed the boards to ride on the 8″ planned side with the 2″ unplanned edge to hang down the side of the sled.  This allowed us to plan the opposite side of the board to get it flat.  We then removed the sled, turned the boards over and allowed the planner to flatten the remaining 2″ unplanned strip.  Once both sides where flat, we were able to take the boards down to 3/4″ thickness.

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The parts for the face frames were then cut to size and assembled.  We used pocket screws to put the parts of the cabinets together.  First cabinet assembled!

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We then turned our attention to the drawer parts, once again using the process mentioned above to flatten the boards and then planning down to 5/8″ thick,  The drawer sides were then sanded and finished with polyurethane.  The next stop is to cut the dovetails for the sides.

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The drawers were dry tested and then glued and clamped.

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Due to the width of the drawers, we added two supports to the bottom of each of the drawers.  The Blum slide adjusters were then added.  A Blum jig was used to drill the holes for the back tang of the slide that is used as one of the adjustments on the slides.  Starting to run out of space for all the parts!

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With all the regular drawers finished up, we turned our attention to the 12″ cabinet with the two self sliding drawer.  The first step was to finish up the drawer front which was designed to look like a door front.


The shelves were made using a mortise and tenon joint.  Both were cleaned up and fitted by hand.  The shelves were then checked for square and then glued and clamped.

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The front was added finishing off the cabinet.


We then turned our attention to the corner Lazy Susan cabinet.  The pie shape shelves were cut out using the table saw and the back corner angle was cut using a circular saw.  The size of the shelf was verified with the Lazy Susan,which was purchased online, and then screwed down.

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The cabinet was then put together using pocket screws.  Corner bracing was added for support and then the face frame was screwed into place.

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The sink cabinet was cabinet was assembled, except for the custom door front.  We pre-drilled the holes for the drawer hardware and the cabinets were delivered to the customer for them to paint.  The next step is to create the doors for the corner cabinet and the sink.

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The cabinets were sealed with two coats of poly and the hardware was installed.  The customer then installed and  painted them.

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We then turned to the cabinets for the dual ovens, refrigerator and microwave.


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