Monday, April 11, 2016

kitchen pass through cabinetry and trim molding progress

trim molding is a deep pit to dive into, but necessary when releasing all your hard earned square plywood boxes into the unsquare, wild and wiggly world of a 105 year old house!

I chose to install these painted lower cabinets 3/4" proud of the surrounding drywall/lathplaster opening. this complicated things because the casement molding that surrounds the opening has to butt up against the face frame assy. of the cabinetry. You want to avoid having the spring of the interior curve of your casement on a lower plane than the cabinet's frame, which is exactly what I set myself up for here. The result is we'll have to fur out the casing a bit in order to make it look OK with the cabinet.

Here's what i'm driving at below. you see how i've lifted the casement molding off the wall and we'll have to lift it even further to get it looking alright. Tim and John both had mentioned just trimming the inside curve a little bit via table saw and this will help push the spring of the curve out further.

I have the mostly finished upper done today. Skrewed into the top and side with GRK cabinet screws. It is not attached to the countertop on purpose. it's just about a nickel's thickness over the countertop you see here. The idea being that I can remove the countertop and refinish it at some point (using "The Good Stuff"). also makes painting the cabinetry easier without masking tape.

I might have some little white shims under the cabinet that could also give the appearance of plinth blocks to allay any worries held by serendipitous, classically trained, neurotic guests, worrying about what i'd done...

I did not have much of an overhang on the countertop, so the "ear" you see where it overlaps the vertical trim is let into the trim a bit.
here's some more shots of the countertop construction. It's a lamination of a bunch of flatsawn sapele, ripped and turned to make it quartersawn. I chose this approach because the flatsawn boards were bound to have movement issues and i couldn't do a good job grain matching them. This way there is a sort of randomness to it, though not *too* random as I kept the strips in sequence and made sure to clock them all the same direction.

drawbore pegs driven home for that breadboard end. very satisfying indeed.

also, here you can see how the sapele is not full thickness. I figured it would be a waste and I have since attached some transverse oak battens with expansion slots for the skrews. this should help keep the board from cupping too much (i hope)


  1. I've been hearing so much about Sapele for outdoor decking and flooring. I can see how similar properties can lend themselves to a countertop and yet this is the first mention of its use as such. I hope you post some impression about its effectiveness after having used it a years or so.

    1. wow, sapele for decking? it runs around $7/bf here in Oakland, CA, USA. I'll definitely follow up on how the kitchen holds up over the next year. Everything seems nice now, but how well does it age with my typical kitchen workflow, can the doors handle being slammed after a broken bearnaise?

      By the way, intriguing blog, potomaker - iv'e subscribed via feedly. LOve it! keep it up!

      -Adam of Oakland, CA

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