My kitchen

Project by dbray45 posted 04-22-2014 02:39 PM 13605 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was difficult because we were living in the house and had to keep a working kitchen. It took a while to complete.

The counters are solid cherry and were done by hand. They have a tung oil base finish and marine poly over that, there is no stain. They have darkened up nicely and are a great contrast to the white. The floors are also cherry.

The sink has hot and cold foot pedals so you have water on demand, even with messy hands. This actually cut our water bill in half.

The budget was not established as a fixed budget because we did this over time.

The lumber for the counter tops was around $500. I had to finish drying them in the basement. When I got them, they were about 10% MC and when done, they were at 4% MC.

The cabinet were maple birch plywood with poplar face frames and doors. All of the doors have full extension, under the drawer, soft close runners. All of the drawers and hand dovetailed.

During this project, we decided that the kitchen needed to be bigger. The back door had a lite on the left side and since the door had to be replaced, we took out the side window, put the door on the left and filled the hole on the right. This gave us an additional 18” of kitchen on that wall – a serious benefit. In the pictures, it shows a pantry cabinet there, we later put the refrigerator there and put the pantry across from it, opening the kitchen further.

This shows the change – before the insulation

From the outside, You notice that the door is taller. The original doors were 1” shorter (an added feature from the developer that built these homes. Required redoing the headers for the door – surprise!

Removing the old was a challenge. Tried to remove the back splashes but it seems that I did a really good job installing them. Ended up cutting the sheetrock and replacing it. This also made it easier to run dedicated power to the over-the-range microwave (required for the install).

While I was making the cabinets, I used the old ones as temps. I have a small shop and doing this kind of work involves a stepped approach.

In this picture, I have the upper cabinet in, less doors and a couple of the old base cabinets.

Finished base cabinet

These are some of the drawers before the drawer fronts and face frames were put on

A close up of one of the counters

It was a challenging project. My wife, while this was ongoing, said that we would NEVER do this again. Now that it is done, she has said that these cabinets WILL go into our retirement home. I guess I will be doing this again.

Thanks for looking

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

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157 posts in 2234 days

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14 comments so far

View jroot's profile


35 posts in 4332 days

posted 04-23-2014 10:02 PM

great job. I love the workmanship. I wonder how the high gloss counter top will hold out. I know my wife would cut on it, and ruin it. Hopefully your wife is more respectful. ;)

-- jroot

View reedwood's profile


101 posts in 3373 days

posted 04-24-2014 02:34 AM

Nice kitchen, David

Hand cut dovetail drawers and hidden hardware….wow. and cherry counters, you really went all out.

I’m doing my kitchen now and we have to decide what we want to do for counters. We have left over granite Corion right now that I was going to modify to fit but, it’s so 90s and…...eh.

We thought about wood counters like yours but I worry about maintenance and resale, should we move.
But they sure look fantastic.

I think we have decided to go with matt black granite that has a leather finish. very cool.

That side light sure was weird for a back door, especially if it cuts into needed kitchen space. That siding repair was pretty clever too.

Again,.... nice!

-- mark - Grayslake IL.

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2234 days

posted 04-24-2014 11:41 AM

We had some of the same discussions on the counter and here is how they went.

cutting on them – you cannot cut on: 1.) granite – dull your knives, too pores, and scratch the top, if you put a hot pan on it – it can and will break 2.) marble – dull the knives, scratch the top, too pores, stains easily, and can break 3.) soap stone – way too soft, stains, other issues 4.) Silestone – stable, not cuttable, sanitary, not as desirable as granite for resale 5,) Great Indoors, a Sears company (when in business) sold a solid laminate cherry counter (like the maple ones). For a counter as long mine, the price was $6,000 – or $1,000 a linear foot. Having 8” – 10” wide, full length boards would have been 2-3 times more for them to do it.

Mine cost me about $400 in 7/4 cherry and about 12 hours overall with hand planes, cabinet scrapers, a cup of Titebond III glue, and a bunch of clamps. The finish took about 3 weeks with a good tung oil, spar poly, 220 through 1000 grit sandpaper, #4 pumice and rottenstone. Oh, I forgot, does require a coat of a good carnuba car wax from time to time. You have to cure the finish to be non toxic, if you can smell it, it is not cured. I let it dry for 2 days and set them in the summer afternoon sun to cure for a day for each coat.

Wood – end grain – cuttable, sealable, would not use for meats (that is a “me” thing), requires maintenance Boards (like mine) cannot cut on it. Cleanable with Clorox Cleanup (with bleach), it is reparable. If you do mess it up, fix it.

My current counters are 5 years old and look better than when new (they have darkened up a bit). They have held up to the wet environment and everybody that has seen them, wants them – including my wife. When we move in about 5 years, my wife has decreed that the current kitchen cabinetry and counters go with us—period.

All in all, almost all new counters require a cutting board – unless they are end grain cutting boards. A really nice counter is sellable but if a buyer doesn’t like them, keep them and put something else on them.

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2234 days

posted 04-24-2014 11:49 AM

Mark – agreed the side lite was poorly placed. When I put new siding on (about 3 years from now, or sooner), the panel will go away.

Another thing on the cabinets – I used Rust-Oleum oil based paint. It was the only thing that I could find that was not a commercial finish that dried hard. For the insides, I used oil based poly. Water based paints do not harden.

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View a1Jim's profile


160 posts in 3887 days

posted 04-27-2014 04:33 AM

Very nice ,a super build and lots of very fine details.

-- a-1contractor.com

View Greg 's profile


32 posts in 2367 days

posted 04-29-2014 06:22 AM

Love the countertops. Cherry is my favorite and boy do they look good aged like that. Great job

-- Ferdinand and Son Construction. Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2234 days

posted 05-05-2014 01:17 PM

Thanks -

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View RoadHogg's profile


2 posts in 2220 days

posted 05-07-2014 02:38 AM

VERY nice!

View jim1953's profile


26 posts in 3817 days

posted 05-14-2014 11:57 PM

Great Lookin Job

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2234 days

posted 05-15-2014 05:12 PM

Thanks guys

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View Dustin's profile


1 post in 4183 days

posted 10-01-2014 10:55 AM

Fantastic work!

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2234 days

posted 10-01-2014 11:34 AM

Thank you,

As an updatei, the back door that shows the panel next to the door has changed and the window was replaced

Looks much better now. Funny thing is that I actually needed a helper for that job – the siding. I didn’t require help with the window. One of these days I will take a picture of the window trim on the inside.

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View sandinglondon's profile


1 post in 2031 days

posted 11-06-2014 01:35 PM

Well done! Your kitchen is amazing, especially the hardwood flooring!

-- sandinglondon.co.uk - Professional Wood Floor Restoration and Fitting Company in London

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2234 days

posted 11-10-2014 07:00 PM

Thank you

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

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