Cut Your installation Time in Half!
Save thousands of dollars by building your own custom kitchen cabinets ' it's easier than you think with an ingenious construction system devised by Danny Proulx, a lifelong professional cabinetmaker.
Proulx's system combines the best parts of the face-frame cabinet-construction system that's common in North America and the European frameless cabinet system developed after World War II. The result is a cabinet that's easy to build, easy to install, easy to clean and looks like a traditional wooden cabinet.
As a bonus, this system is fast and doesn't require a lot of tools. A table saw and drill handle most of the chores. And once you get comfortable with the basics, you'll be able to construct a cabinet in just a few hours. Plus, after you build one simple base cabinet, you'll use the same methods to build every other cabinet in a kitchen: corner cabinets, over-the-range cabinets, refrigerator surrounds, microwave cabinets, sink cabinets and even kitchen islands.
When we first reviewed this book, we thought that surely there would be a lot of math to develop all the customized cutting lists needed for a kitchen. Boy were we wrong. Proulx has developed a series of charts that make all your cutting lists a piece of cake. First measure the room where the cabinets will go. Figure out how big each cabinet will be. Find that size on the chart and you'll see all your part sizes listed there. Set the fence on your table saw and go to town.
Hardware is the Heart
The system explained in Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets is unique because it fully exploits the versatility of modern hardware to make things faster, stronger and better. Instead of building a separate base for each lower cabinet, Proulx plugs you into the world of adjustable feet. These gizmos take just a minute to install and take most of the headaches out of installing cabinets. In fact, these legs can still keep a run of kitchen cabinets perfectly in line even if the floor is out of level by more than an 1'. Try doing that with traditional shims.
The European hinges in Proulx's system make fitting doors a breeze. Many woodworkers rightly fear the process of fitting doors. And traditional butt hinges make this tough chore even tougher. European hinges (sometimes called 'cup hinges' or 'concealed hinges') are a godsend for door installations. After the hinges are installed, you can adjust the doors in three axes using just a screwdriver. That means all the gaps around your doors are a cinch to line up. With the help of the European hinge you'll get perfect results in less time than butt hinges.
Beyond the Basics
Of course, building kitchen cabinets requires a good deal of planning. There are lots of guidelines and rules of thumb that govern how a kitchen should be set up. Whatever you do, don't even try to design a new kitchen without knowing these time-tested rules. Cabinets on top of refrigerators have to be built to a certain dimension to work. And installing your newly built cabinets is a lot easier with the proper planning and the wisdom of a guy who has done it all before.
In woodworking, there are lots of things that you can teach yourself by giving it a try and learning from your mistakes. Building kitchen cabinets is definitely not one of these things. If you're planning on building any kind of built-in storage in your home, whether it's in the kitchen, laundry room or bathroom, this excellent book will help ensure your success.