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I'm just at the info-gathering stage, but sometimes in the next several months I would like to start the process of replacing my kitchen. The plywood cabinets I had before the fire were great, the rebuilders snuck in these crappy replacements (while I was out of town, naturally!) and they are falling apart. Only one drawer hasn't broken, and it's the really useful one that bumps into the side of the stove when opened more than a few inches. The top cupboards are so dinky I cannot put plates in them and still shut the doors. Besides, they;re so high I can't reach more than halfway into the bottom shelf and can't reach into the top shelf without the stepstool.


So...new cabinets. What do I look for? I don't care if they're hickory or gloss white, but I want an easily cleaned surface. Deep drawers are handy, but shelves are easier to keep clean, and I put a premium on that factor. The particle-wood construction I'm looking at now has me very anti-particle. What do I need to be looking at, and looking out for?


The stove is also a gem left by the builders after I said "Don't do that." It's less than two inches from the fridge on one side and about six from the cabinet wall on the other side. Two of the eyes work. The vent is nonfuntional--it goes into a cabinet, which has no exit. I'm concerned with the wiring, or I would move the stove to the opposite wall, tucking it under the small window there. One of my ideas is to replace this standard-sized stove with a two-burner cooktop and a small baking oven, so I will have room to put a corner cabinet at that end of the cabinet wall. Much of the cooking gets done outside, except in winter. I would love to use gas, and still might. I would have been cooking with gas in this house long ago, had DX not been terrified of it. The convenience of a tank out behind the house that just needs to be filled twice a year is enticing.


Money is a factor, of course.


What am I not thinking of, that I need to be thinking of?



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I know. I've been pricing stoves too. Ouch. I'd get another used one, but I can't go to town and fetch it so have to have a new one delivered.


Have you considered building your own cabinets? They are really not difficult if you face frame them. I don't even like cabinets above because I never close the doors anyhow. I'd rather have nice shelves. Shelves are easy. Lots of how to books at the library or you can find lots of info online. I had someone build me cupboards once and they looked really nice and were tons cheaper than ready made. I was ill at the time or I'd have done it myself.

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I work in kitchen cabinet factory. I make mid level cabinets and it's what I'll put into my kitchen when I find the money to remodel. If you want to know what company PM me.
I prefer trays over shelves in the bottom cabinets.

Here are 2 very good resource to consider.


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I have been putting cabinets in my new craft room. I have been getting the unfinished ones at a local store that runs cheaper than lowes and putting them Ina nod painting them. They look great

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I don't have a clue but I'll be watching this thread. My kitchen needs a complete overhaul too. It hasn't been touched in over 30 years. I need everything! But I think I'm going to try to paint the cabinets. UGH. I'd like new ones with pull out drawers but after I get appliances, flooring and maybe a new countertop to replace the formica type one I have...I know cabinets won't be in my budget EVER.

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Be at the right place at the right time and you can salvage a lot. My friend got her 'new' kitchen with granite counter tops when an organization was remodeling. Sold old stuff to her for pennies on dollar.


My folks neighbors [new, moving in] are throwing out their kitchen. Wish we'd been at the right place at the right time. Afterall, they have to pay to get all hauled out. Sometimes you can get it free.....tho you have to make sure it hasn't been trashed when they remove the old to put in the new.


I had old cabinets salvaged by my brother [construction] when we moved into a trailer shell.....stripped out to nothing. Those cabinets were perfectly usable, especially if you faced nothing.....



MtRider -- life experiences :shrug: Good luck...sounds like you neeeeed a renewal!

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DH & MIL were going to get me a stove with an oven, 'cause our house only has a counter top stove, but, when they went looking they both were blown over by sticker shock. Instead they got me another toaster oven. LOL.


I'll be watching this thread too.

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I have worked in a kitchen cabinet factory for 29 years so here my dirt about cabinets.
This is only my opinion but I'll tell you what I want in my kitchen.
I love natural hickory cabinets but unless you are going for a strong rustic look they can be overpowering.
I will probably put white opaque as it goes well with the in your face wall color I want to in my kitchen.

Cleaning... Don't use wax products. A soft cloth and mild soap and water is all you need.

Overlay what the industry calls drawer fronts
Slab - one solid piece
I would go with this

Thermofoil- thermofoil material is applied to medium-density fiberboard (MDF) using an intense heat and pressure-bonding process to ensure durability.
Hot place freezing over no

Mitered 5 piece -
Mitered joint corners are cut at 45 degrees and glued together. They are similar to most picture frames.
inside or outside corner can open up depending on humidity
I like these but still going with slab
that way I don't have to worry about open joints

5 piece mortise and tenon - Mortise and tenon joint corners butt-fit together. The tenons on the horizontal pieces fit into the mortises on the vertical pieces.
I like these too but still going with slab

There are 2 types of panels for the 5 piece
Raised -
The edges of the center panel is routed so that they are thinner than the "raised" center portion.
In opaque this panel can be MDF. I like the look but as I want white in my kitchen and the MDF, if screws are used to attach it to the box can strip out if overtightened and falls off.

Flat panel - The center panel is thinner than the drawer edges so that the front is "recessed".
On overlays that are attached with screws to the box and are overtightened one of 2 things will happen . 1 panel will split 2 panel will strip out and fall off.
believe me I know this from lots of experience.

Where I work they pre drill holes in the box and use screws to attach the overlay. Since we have problems with overlays splitting or falling off they are going to d different way to attach the overlay but I don't know what it is yet.

Up next drawer guides

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We've already purchased factory built, box cabinets made of oak face frames & doors for the Little House. Both uppers and lowers. The one in the corner has a lazy susan in it, which I'll enjoy because it will be next to the store stove, and I'll be able to put my spices there within easy reach. We're going with a gas stove (leaving the electric one here when we sell this house) and will purchase a one used. I want something simple, knobs on front (I don't like reaching over a hot burner...gas or electric!) but strong & sturdy burner grids because I pressure can & also use cast iron. We'll stain them to suite whatever color of flooring we're putting down as well as the new carpeting. We'll go with very neutral, warm colors because the house is so tiny. Once stained, we'll finish them with some type of clear satin finish. Mountain Main used to work in a cabinetry shop years ago, so bought some pretty nice ones that were within the price range that could be afforded. As a retired carpenter/builder he did a pretty good layout for the new kitchen when it comes together. The ONLY thing I have him the dickens for (because this was his place before we married) was that he put the sink against an inside wall and left the southern exposure window just "there". But, as he said, he couldn't remove the existing window & siding etc., to put in a smaller frame window that would fit over a sink. Alas...can't have it all :-)

Edited by Philbe
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You might could put a work surface under the windowsill.


We probably won't because we're putting a solar box in the window after all. Will build another for the southern exposure window in livingroom. Adding 20 degrees of heat will significantly reduce the time the furnace runs. Then, in summer, we'll put a window a/c in it, in the livingroom window and one in the bedroom. We've decided to stick with window units, at least for the time being. Can govern which rooms we want to cool and when...ie...not so cool in the bedroom during the day, and not so cool in the livingroom and kitchen during night.

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Sounds like you have a good plan there Philbe. Must be nice to have a handy, handy-man. They are worth their weight in gold. Literally.


I'll bet there's some other "handy men" out there Jeeps! My mom met my step dad (he's now gone on) and they married when she was in her 60's and he was in his 70's! They had 26+ years of happiness before he passed in his mid 90's. Had he been younger, he'd probably still be with her today. Aint nuttin wrong about finding somebody for companionship (so long as your core values match)!

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I've thought about that. The companionship part. I have a long 'Bucket List' of things to do and it would be fun to share it with someone. My cousin (girl) and I was going to do that with each other but she got sick and then died. I'm probably missing a lot of memory building with a special guy. I've had chances and been asked out etc. but they seem to want to get too serious. :shrug:

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I've thought about that. The companionship part. I have a long 'Bucket List' of things to do and it would be fun to share it with someone. My cousin (girl) and I was going to do that with each other but she got sick and then died. I'm probably missing a lot of memory building with a special guy. I've had chances and been asked out etc. but they seem to want to get too serious. :shrug:


Perhaps they have a bucket list too? LOL That was the BIG draw between MM and I. We had alot of traveling etc., that we wanted to do...and we have. We're a bit homebound right now, but when this place is sold and we've moved to Little House, and as long as shtf doesn't occur, lookout America...here we come!

Edited by Philbe
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I was thinking that somebody would tip you on this, but no...


And, Sorry, but I can not 'vision' buying cabinets. And it would probably be an orgnung offence anyway.


Generally, we make what you would call 'butcherblock' counter tops, from scrap, all you need is a rip circle saw with guide. To tack together, drill 1/16" holes, and use nails with the heads cut off. Seal is with your option of oil or wax. I do NOT like the wax or laminate gell (trying to remember the english word... epoxy?). I have ripped out and put in quite a few, as I like deep tops. Mine are four foot deep. A man can do the work, but normally it is a 'hen session' thing. The women get togther and 'raise' a kitchen.


When it comes to the cabinets, we always have left over 'dimensional' lumber from the block work. Drawer slides and related hardware is cheap. To color, milch. Umm... google 'milk paint'. For pigment, kaolin. Look that up, and take a good look at the wear factors, the lack of toxicity factors, etc. Got some out of date milk? Go mix your own milch. VERY cheap. And with milch, it 'melemars' (spelling?)(glues together and hides everything) nicely.


The shelves themselves are often also butcher, unless we find some scrap plywood, and that gets milched too.


Some use alternate pigments and paint the countertops to match, and they wear very well, but not for me.


There is a downside. Milch paint will not be stripped by any other paint strippers. Nor will any other paint stick to it. But I look at it as 'if paint won't stick, nothing will!'.




Stray thought... Are there multi fuel stovetops out there? Mine is a refurbished electric Queen, but two burners were converted to LP and Propane gas, respectively.


Another stray thought... What are you going to do for refrigeration/freezing? I will NOT have a freon unit with a compressor. Noisy. True, mine are smaller than standard units I have seen in the HD and Lowes stores, but I can build them in. Anywhere. Or have my man make a 'box', buying just the cooling plant. Alcohol is the normal refer agent, there is also ammonia agent ones. Power sources are AC, DC, propane, LP, oil, etc. Mine are kero/bio wick burner. We have LOADS of olive oil, and that works great.


OK, I will shut up,



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Crabgrass, depends on what you mean as 'face frame'. To me, 'face frame' means using 'face' or 'finish' lumber. So, no, as the milch hides/covers so much.


Building a kitchen is a community thing, for females. The word is put out, and we all go to help. And we drag a man or two along for sawing duty. :D Otherwise, the fitting, drilling pins, nailing, making the paint, painting, etc is 'womans work'.



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