Category Archives: Cabinets

I lied when I said flaws are charming

I’ve got both corner cabinet doors installed.  The lower door went on over a week ago and was fabulous.  I just finished tightening the last screw for the upper corner door and it is so crooked that you can see into the cabinet with the door closed.

You see, the stile is crooked.  Yet, the level insisted that it was plumb.  Even when my eyes were telling me it was crooked.  On the lower door, the same thing happened, but a little wiggling of the hinge and all was right with the world.  I was cocky with the upper door – I didn’t do a test install before I refaced it like I did for the bottom.    At this point, I’ve gone back and wiggled the hinges out so this door doesn’t hit its partner door next to it by much.  I’ve leveled to my eye rather than the tool.  You can’t see into the cabinet anymore.

This may be a flaw that will drive me nuts enough to need to fix it.  I’m going to think about this one for a few days and hope that an elegant solution comes to me that WON’T require ripping the veneering off the stile.



Filed under Cabinets, Kitchen

But YES, the Hippopotamus!

I’ve been having trouble sleeping off and on for the last couple of weeks.  This is different from my usual insomnia because I don’t wake up at witching hours (2:00am to 4:30am), but rather just wake up around 4:30 or 6 and can’t get back to sleep.   My brilliant solution for how to install the drawer fronts came to me at 4:30am last Saturday morning.

Normal drawer front attachments are done by taking the drawer out, clamping it evenly on the drawer face, making holes for the handles, installing said handles, and putting it back in place.  I couldn’t do this because the drawers themselves are uneven and the openings are also out of square.  I needed to mark off where to attach them while they were in place.

Since the doors below the drawers are in place and are level, I had a good starting point.  I needed to use a spacer of sorts to hold the drawer front in place while I used an awl to poke a hole through the holes for the handle all the way to the existing drawer front.  All my carpentry levels were too thick – I needed a spacer that was about a 1/2 inch thick.  Enter Sandra Boynton at 4:30am.  I decided to use one of the little girl’s old board books, figuring the thickness to be about right.  Went into the bookcase looking for “But Not the Hippopotamus” (my favorite, not hers) and found “Blue Hat, Green Hat” instead.  Impulsively, I decided I liked the irony of using a book where 25% of the words are “Oops”.

Blue Hat, Green Hat, Yellow Hat, Oops!

Used Goodnight Moon for the drawer next to the dishwasher.  I needed a little more heft on that side.

Goodnight noises everywhere...

Reading is FUNdamental. For carpentry.

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Filed under Cabinets, Kitchen

Don’t cook in the closet

So, how long have I been talking about having a broom/pantry closet(s) where I can tuck the microwave INTO the pantry closet on a shelf?  Hence having Lola move the electrical outlet to facilitate doing so?  A while.

In separate but VERY related news, I’ve been thinking about the fridge.  I don’t like this fridge.  It is a lemon.  The compressor has gone on it 3 times already.  We ended up having to continue to renew the extended warranty – something we NEVER do – because one day it will finally just give up and die.  And this is a fairly new fridge circa 2005 (I think?).  If we were to get a NEW fridge – only because this one dies – would we get a top freezer again?  No.  I’m tired of bending down to look into the fridge and our little girl is plenty tall enough to reach things in a bottom mounted freezer model.

We originally got the top mounted freezer because of the environment reports saying they are the most energy-efficient of all the styles of fridge – side by sides, the least.  The bottom mounted freezers are somewhere in the middle.  But.  They are all slightly wider than the top mounts – generally 32 inches wide compared to 30 inches wide.

Back to the closet.  I’d miscalculated how much space the fridge required when we laid the floor – I measured a generous 32 inches from the left side of the bottom cabinet.  Which was the one that I accidentally cut 1 1/2 inches from widthwise, forgetting that I couldn’t cut the same amount off its partner top cabinet.  So those two “generous extra inches” were sucked up by the top cabinet to the right of the fridge. Now I’ll need to set the right side of the closet in by another two inches to give me the flexibility of getting the fridge I want down the line.

Which makes the closet at least two inches more narrow.

Remember the IKEA Gorm closet system?  Of course I’m buying it.  If I were to build my own closet interior – it may or may not cost less but will certainly take 15 times as long.  GORM has two widths – 19 and 30.  I’m going to go with the 19 so I can still have a decent amount of broom closet space next to it.

I can’t fit my microwave onto the 19 inch shelf.  The door won’t open.

Yeah, so, it turns out the microwave is staying on the counter as far as the man of the house is concerned.  We go in waves where we use the microwave MANY times a day and then for months never touch the damn thing.  We are in a high microwave usage phase right now.  It sits on the counter above the dishwasher.  It is fine there.  It works there.

This isn’t a problem to solve.  Just keeping you in the loop on the circuitous thought process of this weekend’s project – the closet!


Filed under Cabinets, Carpentry, Closets, Electrician, Floor, Kitchen

Really, I am still working on the kitchen

I’ve been avoiding adding new posts about the kitchen.   Crap on a cracker, this thing is taking forEVER.  We’ve been taking photos of each minor achievement, but I’m thinking no one needs to see the difference between loveliness in the freshly painted interior of the undersink cabinet compared with its pre-painted former self.  Um, ick.  So a quick catch up for you:

  1. Some cabinet doors have been hung.
  2. Of what is hanging, hardware has been added
  3. There was a small piece of veneer on the inside of where the range hood hangs that needed to be removed because I didn’t account for the width of the hood with the veneer.  This has not been repaired yet.
  4. The “wall” between the cabinet next to the sink and its partner to the left was cut to allow for a true blind corner.  This still needs to be trimmed & painted – both for aesthetic reasons and so that no one scrapes themselves on jagged wood.
  5. The cabinet above the dishwasher has been veneered.  It is my best work.  Which saddens me only because the cabinets I’ve already done aren’t.  Fortunately, since the whole “L” bottom cabinet set needs to be veneered, those will be super-nice.  Funny how doing things freehand ends up being better than following directions.
  6. Oh yes, the range hood is up and the ducting is nearly completely done.  Just some aluminum tape and we are golden.
  7. All the cabinet drawer fronts have been cut down to accept the new drawer fronts.  Those are still to be attached though.
  8. A slight bit more build out is needed for the 42 lower.  I need to add a filler piece at the corner else the knob on the adjacent cabinet will hit the drawer.
  9. The lip to set the sink into the plywood has been routed out.  This was no small feat and ended up with me attaching a patio door steel ball bearing to the bottom of the router as a guide to run it along the curve.  It totally worked.  When this is done, I will eventually take a class of some sort on how to work a router.  I have a feeling it would be fun once I get the nuances down.

Major items still to be done:

  1. Test cut the faucet holes into scrap soapstone.
  2. Cut the faucet holes into the real soapstone.
  3. Pull off sink area counters; detach sink etc…
  4. Pull cabinet away from wall and shim up.
  5. Finish dishwasher side panel to match the shimmed height (will also attach a ledger board to the wall to assist in holding up the soapstone.
  6. Install sink, counters, faucet.
  7. Rebuild soffits.
  8. Build closet.
  9. Back door.
  10. All trim.
  11. Oh yeah – THE BACKSPLASH.

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Filed under Cabinets, Carpentry, Countertop, Faucet, Kitchen, Sink

Cabinet Jewelry

Have you seen the home improvement shows where they talk about the cabinet hardware as the “jewelry” of the kitchen.


I placed the order for the door handles & knobs (finally),  so I’ll be able to attach the new drawer fronts when they arrive.  The white drawers are both driving me nuts and have become invisible to me.  Much the same way that I barely notice that we’ve been using mortar encrusted plywood countertops for months now.  Ew.

Now, I still haven’t ordered the hinges.  Why?  I’ll tell you.  Remember how I’m incorporating some IKEA cabinets into this kitchen?  I actually BOUGHT hinges from IKEA.  They are Blum hinges (same brand of hidden hinges that the cabinet door people sell).  They *seemed* to fit the exact hole on the door.  But the adjustments are a pain in the backside.  Can’t get it to sit quite right.  I’ve proclaimed that we will not do any additional messing around with those hinges until I’m absolutely sure that they are the exact right model.

So last week I purchased – with a FIFTEEN PERCENT HANDLING CHARGE OVER AND ABOVE SHIPPING COSTS – two hinges from the cabinet door people.  One for framed cabinet applications – befitting most of the doors of my kitchen.  One for frameless – for the IKEA cabinets.  The woman at the cabinet door company would not tell me the model # of the hinges – because of COURSE I’m going to scour ebay and beyond to find them cheaper.  So I wait until the box comes and THEN I’ll decide which hinges I need to find inexpensively.

Even though I included the links to these on the last set of comments, here are the pics of the knobs and handles I just ordered.

Knob for the upper cabinets

Knob for the upper cabinets

Handle for the lower cabinets

Handle for the lower cabinets

We really do plan to bust some ass this weekend completing more of the projects.  But we are also supposed to have a heat wave again, so we might wimp out.  Time will tell.  Wish us luck.

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Filed under Cabinets, Hardware, Kitchen

A place to put the crockpot!

1.  I cut the toekicks down to accomodate for the height difference we forgot about last week.

2.  We levelled and installed the 30 inch lower cabinet.

3.  I did an adequate job on the veneering for that cabinet.  Not great.

4.  Through sheer force of will, the two of us managed to carry a 300 pound slab of soapstone up from the garage and popped it on top of that bad boy.  Truthfully, he carried a much greater proportional share, but I carried enough of the weight to have me huffing and puffing and feeling a wee bit lightheaded the rest of the day.

So here you go – another glimpse of the future kitchen!  And we now have a place to put the crockpot, so it is CHICKEN GUMBO for dinner tonight!!!

The dining room floor was a waystation until we were ready.  I slipped my hands out of my gloves so we could lay it down.

The dining room floor was a waystation until we were ready. I slipped my hands out of my gloves so we could lay it down.

The adequately veneered 30" cabinet

The adequately veneered 30" cabinet

Rubbing in the mineral oil coating

Rubbing in the mineral oil coating

This stuff is CRAZY pretty.

This stuff is CRAZY pretty.


Filed under Cabinets, Countertop, Kitchen

Well that’s funny.

All set to fasten the 30″ inch bottom cabinet to the right side of the stove today.  Leveled nicely front to back and side to side.  Then I was staring at the stove.  Which was exactly the same height as the cabinet.  Hmmm.  Let’s get the soapstone sample.

Wow, that sucker is 1 1/2 inches thick – can we raise the stove?

Yes.  But then the cooktop is practically up to my chin.  And the stove now looks like it is up on stilts.  Hmmm.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah……  We raised the floor.  Like an inch or so.  What to do?

Looks like I’m cutting the toekicks down.  I think it is funny that of ALL the things I’d thought through, I never even saw that one coming.

Feh.  I’ll get to it this week.  Or Labor Day weekend.  I’ll need to sit with it a bit to decide how much to cut off the bottom.  Plenty of other stuff to get to in the meantime.


Filed under Cabinets, Countertop, Kitchen