Archive for the ‘Cabinets’ Category

Ranch Remodel Godsend

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

After writing my previous post, it occurred to me what a godsend this built-in cabinets series is going to be for owners of Ranch-style homes. There are bazillions of them out there and I'm one. We really struggle when it comes to making this kind of house into something really special that we want to grow old in. In the past, our options have been: (more…)

“A Simple Refinishing” of your Cabinets?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Original Quote from the Indy Post:

Because the kitchen work was such a large project, the Bontragers decided to work with what was already in the master bath to control cost. They kept the cherry cabinets and enhanced their original beauty via a simple refinishing.

What could this mean? (more…)

The Right Way to “Furr Out” a Wall

Friday, August 24th, 2007

In the course of remodeling, you might have to “furr out” (or build/shim out) a wall to make it match the plane of another wall.

Typically this is done when a new wall needs to match up to old plaster and lathe or something similar.

Everybody will happily tell you that you can just use strips of sheetrock to do this build-out.

…except the cabinet man. (more…)

(Nearly) All Woodwork Depends on Glue

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Most of us have a lot more idealism in us than we realize. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

However, at times it can be a severe liability. It can make us susceptible to sales tactics that recognize and exploit those idealisms. Generally, when you are about to make a major purchase like a car or a kitchen remodel, you want to shed any simplistic notions you may have and find out “the real deal” about whatever it is you are buying.

In this case, I'm talking about buying cabinetry. Should you insist upon your cabinets being made of bona fide solid wood or is it okay if they are made of plywood? What about particle board or MDF? Plastic? Foam? Cardboard? (Don't laugh — I've seen it all) (more…)

Adding Furniture Base to Cabinets

Monday, March 12th, 2007

For some people, the Holy Grail of cabinetry is to make new cabinets look like fine and antique furniture. Here's one technique for doing that.

Furniture Base on a set of Vanity Cabinets


How Moisture and Time Affect Woodwork

Monday, February 12th, 2007

I have a sixty-something cabinetmaker friend across town who has taught me quite a bit about wood. A few years ago he said “I'm not making any more white cabinets!”

In spite of his very best efforts, the wood joints would begin to show after as little as six months: just a hairline crack at the joint. But apparently, for some customers, that was a cause for wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Well, he hasn't stopped making white cabinets, because people love white. But, (more…)

Kitchen Showrooms Sell Custom Cabinets, Right?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Generally, no. They typically sell manufactured cabinets that might be built across the country or around the world. Other posts in my kitchen category explain why this is an economic necessity and why it doesn't mean a compromise of quality.

Occasionally kitchen showrooms may commission a custom piece to complete a design, but generally they make much more money on the factory (pre-designed) woodwork.

Your Kitchen and the Mona Lisa

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

What does your kitchen have to do with Leonardo Davinci's Mona Lisa?

Answer: If you opt for a quality set of cabinets, the “Art” of your kitchen will be mounted on the same material that has allowed the Mona Lisa to stand the test of time. (more…)

Why do they call it “Veneer Core” Plywood?

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Cabinet and furniture-grade plywood is often refered to as “veneer core” plywood. This is the material used by the top-tier cabinet manufacturers, and it's what I recommend for the base material for kitchen cabinets. The alternative is particleboard. Don't go there.

This name puzzled me because I could tell that the core plys (layers) were usually made of poplar, whereas the veneer was made of oak, maple, birch, or whatever wood the project was based on.

I've since learned that “Veneer Core” does not mean that the core material is the same as the veneer material. Rather, it means that the core material is thin layers as opposed to strips of wood layed side by side, as in the material known as “lumber core” plywood. Lumber core plywood has all but passed from the scene at this point.

Of course, this seems like a misuse of the word veneer (a superficial appearance or show designed to impress one with superiority), since by definition a veneer would need to be visible. The boys at the lumber yard should have checked a dictionary before they coined this term, but I guess the inventor of something has a right to name it as he wishes.

Why Custom Cabinets for a Kitchen No Longer Make Sense

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

It is easy to idealize the past.

I remember watching the “Secret Wedding” scene of Braveheart, where the couple is wed by a priest under the moonlight, afterwards retiring to a mossy rock with a valley or waterfall, etc spread below them. They're naked, of course. They're having a grand old time, as you might imagine.

But what about the mosquitoes? (more…)