Working on the Old House #10 Cabinet Start

We’ll pick up on the work in the kitchen, using some off the shelf cabinets from Home Depot, and then add a couple from the workshop.

Let’s see if we can make some sawdust, shall we?

We start with a finish for the three upper cabinets. This is a 36″ and two 21″ cabinets. I gave them a couple coats of BM flat latex in the color of Dove Wing. After sanding, three clear coats of Varathane waterbase finish goes on. More about finishing in another post – just trust me on this one…

Once the cabinet face frames are painted, it’s time to get them on the wall. First a ledger board is temporarily screwed to the wall. It is placed and leveled to rest the bottom edge of the upper cabinets.

Before the center cabinet is installed, the 7″ diameter hole for the range hood vent is marked and cut.

The two lower cabinets rest on the ledger, and the top one also rests on a ledger. Each cabinet box is screwed to the wall, slightly loose. This allows the cabinets to be slightly adjusted. Since I do everything by my self, it’s the only way to get these cabinets on the wall in the right spot. The face frames are then drilled through the sides and trim head screws are used to join the three boxes.The cabinets can then be permanently attached to the wall using wide head cabinet hanger screws.

We now run the 7″ duct up through the cabinet and out the original location for the exhaust fan.Not Ideal, but there is no other way the duct to run – so we’ll work around this issue to at least make it look presentable – I hope.

Again, because I work alone, a little improvisation is necessary to attach the duct and electrical to the hood. Anything is fair game when trying to defeat gravity.

Slow going, but eventually we have an operating range hood. As you can see in the photo, make sure the duct is always installed with the pipe inside the next in the direction of the air stream. This will prevent duct edges from catching dirt and grease.

Now to make some custom cabinets. Because the exhaust exit sits proud of the lower cabinets, we’ll have to make them deeper to hide the ductwork. Store bought uppers are 12″, custom ones need to be 16″. Here I’ve made some 3/4″ UV coated boxes. The one on the left is solid – the one with the duct is made of pieces to go around the duct work.

Now we make a couple of doors for the small cabinets. Rail and stile bits on my router table make this a quick project.

An easy way to line up the hinges on a Euro-style door is to place both hinges in the pre-drilled holes. Then use a level or a straightedge and slide up tight to the hinges. Then mark the locations for the screws – this will give you aligned hinges every time.

We attach the doors for a preliminary fit to see if any adjustments need to be made.

Since they don’t look overly stupid, we can proceed. I used a cove bit to create a profile on the outer edge of the doors to visually match the ready made cabinet doors.

So we’ll leave it here for the time being. I’ll think about some trim details and how to finish this off.

More to come.

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