I am looking for some help. I wish to try to make my own kitchen cabinets. The cabinets are going to house some drawers at least 32" wide, by 16" high by 21" deep. They are to put pots and pans. I am trying to get some advise as to type of wood to use and type of joint to use.
1. I need to find out the pros and cons of using 5/8" MDF vs 3/4" plywood vs solid wood. The counter will either be a solid surface material or granite and will house the sink.
2. I am debating whether to use dovetail joints or rabbets or dadoes for both the carcass and the drawers.
What an ambitious project! I have done a few kitchens, so I know how much work is involved. And my own still isn't finished!
Your questions are little ambiguous. I am unclear as to whether you are asking about the cabinet box material or the drawer material in question 1. And the joinery choices in question 2 are related to the cabinets or the drawers?
Maybe I have been sitting at this keyboard too long, but I'd love to help. It's just that my brain is a little fuzzy.
I agree with Carol that the descriptions need some refining, but I will just state my views. If it is the case we are talking about, I would never use 5/8". That is low HomeDepot quality. You could use 3/4" melamine coated chipboard, 3/4 MDF or 3/4 cabinet grade birch ply. I will always opt for the latter. The dollars one way or the other cannot be the ruling factor when it comes to your name and the quality you want. All of those materials can give you a strong cabinet if you join correctly, but the birch 3/4 will be the best "quality look". Melamine coated flakeboard or MDF can be utilitarian...the white stays cleaner better than anything else.
As to drawers, I prefer to use 1/2" or 5/8" solid sides, maple, birch, poplar is my preference in that order. For shop and utilitarian drawers, I will use 1/2" baltic birch ply.
These choices are a matter of taste and budget, but for the most part, you want them to last and look great their whole life, so it makes sense to pay up front.
Good luck on the project. It is indeed quite an ambitious undertaking.
John Lucas www.woodshopdemos.com
To answer some of the questions, I am looking for advice on both the case construction and the drawer construction. I plan on useing frameless construction. I plan to use drawer slides on the side of the drawers as the drawers will be used to store pots and pans. It is an ambitious project I agree but I will persevere.
We just finished replacing our kitchen's base cabinet with sink. I appreciate more the cost of a carpenter. There's much to be said upon completion when you're resting in your rocking chair and mumbling to yourself, "I can't believe we did the whole thing! I glued every drop, nailed every nail and screwed every single screw." Such a feat is definitely worth patting yourself upon the back...repeatedly. Heck, just thinking about tackling such a project is worthy of praise...or at least a side to side head nod.
Anyway, I do honestly believe that one with such noble aspirations should seriously consider small pleasures like center mount drawer slides. Heck, each drawer mount has only two parts: one for the drawer bottom and one for the face frame vs side mounts which double that number. Furthermore, drawers for pots and pans storage is way too cool. That's next on my TTD list (things to do). Good luck and enjoy.
For regular kitchen drawers I agree with you, use center slides. I've taken that one step further and used Rockler wooden center slides (sliding dovetails). However, for large drawers that will hold heavy items, I'd think side mounted will be better, more support, won't get lop sided when items are removed, etc. Or perhaps two slides mounted underneath.