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These are various house, car, and bike projects i've done. And more!

Kitchen cabinets: remodel phase 2

Posted on February 16, 2018

When i bought my house, the worst part of the kitchen was a near-total lack of cabinets. I mean, besides the 4 doors to the kitchen and the lack of home for the refrigerator. But aside from that, cabinets. 

Built in 1909, the house likely had free-standing cabinets for most of its life. By the time i bought it the only cabinets aside from the pantry were on the wall around and above the sink.

This is how much storage and counter space we had around the stove:

Kitchen stove wall before

The narrow shelf in the left nook i built for an apartment kitchen, and it just happened to fit here. The small table on the right i built for a different apartment with the same countertop problem. It was a pretty lousy solution for the house, but all i had for several years in the house.

I wanted more cabinet space, but nothing pre-built seemed to fit. The nook at the left was a complication, but the lower right space also had a heat vent on the baseboard, and the left side of the stove had the gas line coming up through the floor.

I started with some electrical work to have new outlets installed for the microwave and counter spaces, and wiring for undercabinet lighting. Here i'm test fitting the uppers.

kitchen upper cabinets

I built everything using basic pocket screw carcasses, with maple-faced plywood and a clear poly finish. The undercabinet lighting is pretty nice to have.

kitchen undercab lights

The right lower cabinet is a bit shorter for a prep surface, easier to work on. It also has a sliding garbage/recycling center and the main silverware drawer. The left side has a drawer and 2 sliding shelves for pots and pans. The right cabinet also has an insulated tunnel to re-route the heat vent out through the kick plate.

This is the space with finished cabinets, pre-counter, but with the finished doors and drawers in place:

Kitchen stove wall after

The counter top is 2" maple butcher block, salvaged by Bauer Brothers in Mpls, and plenty big enough to fit into the space. The left side needed a little extra cutting to fit in the odd space.

kitchen maple counter

The last pieces were the spice rack on the right side, and this cover for the kickplate heat vent outlet. I couldn't find what i wanted, so i cut this out of 1/8" aluminum plate, with more hand cutting and filing than i want to admit. It's practically impossible to see now that it's installed.

kitchen vent cover

Overall, this project was easily the best and most practical remodeling project i've done on the house.