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On this page are some photos of the kitchen cabinets I built as part of our kitchen rebuilding project. It isn't a remodel because when we bought the house there wasn't anything of the originals in there, and the replacements were thoroughly screwed up. On my breakfast nook page , I have some photos of a refinished cupboard that I built into the breakfast nook. I had a somewhat more in depth article about these cabinets last year in Old House Chronicle, a web-based magazine on old house restoration. You should be able to find it if you search their index under my name or under kitchen cabinets.
But I can tell you a bit about the cabinets here as well. The doors are made with quartersawn red oak frames (white oak is just too hard to find around here) with oak plywood panels veneered with quartersawn white oak veneer on the outside. I used loose tenons for the upper doors, since it was crucial that the doors not be the slightest bit warped, since they are about four feet tall and a little bit of cockeyedness at a corner makes for a large amount of offset over that distance. You can't see it from the photo, but the top cabinets are supported by scavanged old-style metal angle brackets that are fastened also to the vertical uprights extending from the counter top to the rear bottom of the cabinets. These help make the cabinets look more like the older cabinets I have seen in unremodeled kitchens from the 1920s as opposed to the wallhung units that are more modern.
The visible surfaces have been stained with analine dyes and varnished. The top two drawers in the right hand bank of cabinets are spice drawers. Inside the spice cannisters can lay on their sides so that their contents are visible while they remain at a location handy to the stove. Yet the drawers keep the spices lower than the typical spice rack where they would get too hot due to heat from the stove.
These photos show the vintage half moon bin pulls that I recently acquired, as well as the original cabinet latches from the same era. I was able to buy a dozen of these in their original box with wrappers. Between the two I think they really make the cabinets look right for the era of the house. See a closeup of the latches
The counter top on the right side is a stainless steel shelf that I bought at the scrapmetal price of 80 cents a pound. I have attached it to a sheet of plywood underneath to support it. I designed the cabinet dimensions to fit the countertop since beggars can't be choosers. Since we did the work ourselves, the stove shown in the photo was our splurge to reward ourselves for our thrift.
In the photo here, the upper doors are not stained and varnished yet. They are really only in for fitting, which was accomplished with handplanes and much trial and error. I've included this image because it shows how small details such as the different pulls and the lack of waiscoating in this earlier shot make for a different feel to the cabinets and to the room. I found that the wainscoting linking upper and lower cabinets both contributed to a more period appropriate look, and unified the cabinets. And the half moon pulls now on the cabinets look much better to my eye than the simple knobs here which I had originally expected to look just right on an older-style cabinet.
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