Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I was recently commisioned to build a full set of cabinets for a kitchen in an older Arts and Crafts Style Bungalow. This is a large project that I'll document here as it develops. The first step was going to the home, discussing design elements, wood species, special requests from the clients etc..After this first meeting I designed, with lots of input from the home owners, a set of cabinets that I thought would complement the Home style while incorporating the owners lifestyle. The cabinets will have a very much Arts and Crafts feel being made from Black Cherry, which I was quit happy about. Building a full kitchen is quite different than building a one-off cabinet. First of I'll be using 3/4" Cherry plywood for all of the cabinet boxes. These will be fastened using dadoes and rabbets cut into the panels to accept the mating pieces, with glue and pocket screws to fasten. All of the cabinets are furniture quality, meaning each box is it's own enclosed space seperate from the next. This is a bonus for a kitchen by way of containing any smells or spills from one area to the next. A rock-solid building method that will last for the next hundred years.
Once the boxes are built, they'll get a full solid Cherry face frame, no plywood here, just solid wood. A full 7/8" thick this will stand up to any abuse. From this point on it's all traditional joinery, frame and panel, mortise and tenon doors with centre stiles; hand cut dovetailed, solid cherry drawers with half blind dovetailed fronts. The finish is going to be a hand rubbed oil and varnish mixture. I find it really brings out the wood grain without adding too much gloss. I use a safe, non-toxic finish from a small company out of New York. Tried & True Traditional Oil and Varnish finish is a combination of highly refined polymerized linseed oil and natural-resin varnish (modified pine sap). Its high resin content produces a durable water-resistant finish that buffs to a warm semi-gloss sheen. It strictly adheres to the standards established by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and qualifies as non-toxic and safe for food-contact surfaces in both their uncured and cured (wet and dry) states. A perfect finish for a custom made kitchen.