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Building kitchen cabinets.

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I been trying not to say { Pocket Screws }  LOL   What Tom posted is right on..Good vid.

Edited by mat60

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Not sure why you'd get any flak.  Some of the tools might be different, but this is the way pretty much all cabinet shops (that I know of) build their cabinets.   Maybe their are a few old school guys that M&T face frames, but every cabinet shop I know uses pocket holes for FF.  Cabinets are not fine furniture - they are a bunch of boxes screwed and glued together.  

A lot of people don't like Sommerfeld. Hence the "might get flak" Some stuff might seem gimmicky but in all honesty, at the end of the day the jigs and setup stuff does work. 

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He doesn't bother me.  I do think this guy is a goober.  The headset doesn't help!  Straight outta an infomercial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

Yea, he's definitely pushing his stuff, but can you honestly blame him? He's in the business of selling his tools and system, no different than any other company really. Snodgrass is a pretty cool guy, met him a few times at the woodworking show. Offered to cut some turning blanks round for me with their circle cutting jig on the bandsaw. Did some one on one stuff with the bandsaw and showed me a few things. Nice guy, but a salesman none the less.

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I'm in the process of designing my own cabinets too and just bought some of Sommerfeld's bits.  I don't see him/them talked about much, but from what reviews I have seen, they are of very good quality.  I also bought his arched door templates which seem pretty straight forward to use.  The T&G process of attaching the face frames intrigues me and while it may take a little time to set up, it looks like it should make building the box to it more straight forward.  One thing's for sure, there are a whole lot of different ways to go about building them.

You don't necessarily 'need' a table saw and could do everything with a track saw or circular saw and straight edge... setup might just take longer.  MrBigerock on YouTube did a whole series on building a set of cabinets using all Festool. I'd rather have a table saw to at least do the face frame and door stile/rail ripping, but it can be done.

 

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I'm in the process of designing my own cabinets too and just bought some of Sommerfeld's bits.  I don't see him/them talked about much, but from what reviews I have seen, they are of very good quality.  I also bought his arched door templates which seem pretty straight forward to use.  The T&G process of attaching the face frames intrigues me and while it may take a little time to set up, it looks like it should make building the box to it more straight forward.  One thing's for sure, there are a whole lot of different ways to go about building them.

You don't necessarily 'need' a table saw and could do everything with a track saw or circular saw and straight edge... setup might just take longer.  MrBigerock on YouTube did a whole series on building a set of cabinets using all Festool. I'd rather have a table saw to at least do the face frame and door stile/rail ripping, but it can be done.

 

I have the tongue and groove set, as well as the cove raised panel set. The setup isn't that much. I also have the setup gauge thing, which makes it quicker. You can setup some scrap blocks with tongues and grooves for setup. I used this method on this build. Stopped journaling it though. I'll have to dig through the pictures with the doors on. Still didn't make the drawers or top.

 

http://www.woodtalkonline.com/topic/17162-shop-cabinet-build/

 

 

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Thanks, I'll read through that thread tonight.

I mostly meant that the T&G is an extra step that I haven't seen anywhere else.  It looks like it will make up time on the other end though and also help line up the upright portions of the cases.  The other thing I really like about it is that you can lay things out so that the uprights on either side of your drawer banks can automatically sit flush to the face frame so you won't have to shim your drawer slides.

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Maybe try making just one cabinet box with minimal tools (track saw, pocket hole jig, shelf pin jig and drill) and then decide if you want to continue. If you do, then buy a few more tools to make the process a little easier and make the cabinet door (perhaps make door style that is relatively simple like shaker). If you are still liking the work, then build another box with 4 drawers.  After that you should have your mind made up.  If you are frugal enough, this experiment might be done for under $1500. 

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I just finished building kitchen cabinets with my son for his home. It was a great experience. We took our time and worked mostly on weekends. I would encourage you to give the project a go. He definitely saved a significant amount of money considering the quality of what he ended up with.

The build was pretty straightforward. 3/4 in plywood cases joined with pocket hole joinery. Maple face frames constructed with pocket screws and attached to the cases with biscuits. Maple rail and stiles with raised panels. 

The one suggestion I would make is to try and do as much of the project you can at one time. We tackled it is sections, upper cabinets, lower cabinets, specialty cabinets. We did this for two reasons. The first was to get him a somewhat functional kitchen as soon as possible and the the second was spreading out the cost of the materials over time. It would have been much more efficient to do it as one single build. This would have reduced time on machine set up, etc. We also made a few errors that might have been avoided if we had not have to return to tasks that we had already done.

Have fun! Keep us posted on how it goes. 

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Having built two kitchens in the last 3 years, here are my observations.

- building cabinets is probably on the easy side as far as woodworking is concerned.  Building boxes is straightforward and face frames are easy using pocket hole jig.   Go frameless and you can even skip this step.  

- spend time in planning.  Draw up your plans carefully by hand or use a tool like sketchup.  Have it built in your head first before buying or cutting material. 

- saving money depends on what you do.  If you are duplicating what you could buy from a Home Depot or IKEA, you probably will cost about the same but you will probably end up with higher quality doing it yourself using better materials.  If you are building very unique cabinets then you can save a bundle as a high end cabinet shop will be pricy.  My first kitchen was in Greene & Greene style ( look for Greene & Greene kitchen in the Project Showcase section).  My second was basic (shaker stile frame and panel doors).  

- have a finishing plan.  Use prefinished ply for the boxes so you don't have to deal with that part.  There is a lot of wiping for doors and drawers so consider a spray system.  Or outsource to a finisher.  

- if you go with stone countertop and tile backsplash, that could be expensive, not counting if you buy all new appliances.  

- do a lot,of reading and research.  There are lots of ways to construct boxes.  Some are overkill IMHO.

- consider installation.  It can be a bit tricky with uneven floors and out of square and out of plumb walls (kind of a given).  Hire out for installation if your not comfortable.  

- don't demo existing kitchen until all cabinetry is done and your ready for install.  Takes pressure off the fabrication phase. 

Bottom line.  Go for it.  Take your time and have flexible schedule.  It is fun and you'll learn a boatload.  

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