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Author Topic: Basic cabinet selection.  (Read 3215 times)
robertglines1
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« on: January 14, 2011, 07:54:40 AM »

There are allot of individual choices out there . Some members are wood guys and build everything custom. Some are not so talented and must depend  on on Lowe's or Home Depot  I watch for model changes in the cabinet department and buy displays at 10 cents on dollar or do crude self done cabinet construction. Materials and construction are a major concern. We are basically building a home inside a sausage(referring to roof curve) so any standard off the shelf item will have to be adapted. I reinforce and add allot of  additional anchoring to the cabinet installation:keep it at rest.  Others  please comment on their experiences and techniques.    Bob
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 08:06:17 AM »

Even though I could have used pre made cabinets for the bottom kitchen counter, I made all mine from scratch.  Mainly because I used a 6" toe kick to facilitate the furnace ducts running underneath, the gas lines for the furnace and stove, and to have the backs open since my wires run down the outside of the lower left wall for accessability.      Also-with making your overhead cabinets yourself, you can have continuous, full length access for the entire length of the kitchen-compared to the individual cabinets you buy and bolt them together-loosing alot of valuable space, of which no bus has a lot of. 
My construction methods are simple-cut the wood to fit, then bolt them together with L brackets.  They are tight, but are not glued so there can be some movement in them without the glue or wood cracking.  Also,   you can take the entire cabinet apart at anytime, and then reassemble it again.  In the 11 years since the bus has been in use, I've not had to tighten anything, or had to rewire anything.  Use quality woods, hardware, wiring, plumbing, and you'll only have to do the job once.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2011, 08:46:09 AM »

I am a total Kreg Tool cabinet maker.  Solid oak frames and doors made to fit the interior curved walls of the RTS.
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Geoff
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 09:17:29 AM »

My thoughts are, if you are going to buy pre built cabinets get all wood "NO PARTICLE BOARD"
And if you are going to go this way and have a rounded roof, your going to have to build your uppers. Trying to modify the uppers is going to be a chore. They are glued together and don't come apart very easy. Second thought is try and find a cabinet builder or supplier to sell you faces and doors. Then you can build your own boxes for the uppers. "build your boxes before you buy faces"

Good luck

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 09:52:08 AM »

Your budget and your skills answers the question.  Non-particle-board carcasses are near impossible to find not custom made, either by you or by someone.  Most home stuff is too heavy, in my opinion, for bus work, I would prefer a face-framed and insert panel construction over 3/4" solid ply  for the  carcasses if I was doing it again.  It's so tempting to just put together the plywood boxes and lay them in place, but heavy...  I'm not a tile/granite/slate guy either...  If I could get extruded plastic countertops, I would!  Oh Oh, now I'm thinking...  this is dangerous!   Grin

Doors, face-frames and trim is where you get the biggest bang for your buck visually.  Plan it right and you pick up solid wood doors at Ikea that fit right on with no face frames, or you go the old country arts and crafts look with all fitted doors and drawers into face-frame construction, all custom.  I am moving to the Kreg system for face frames, where I used to use biscuits, but I still make doors with tongue and groove tenon solid wood frames, 1/4" plywood floating panels, solid wood drawer fronts, etc.

The biggest problem for me is time.  My schedule is project started and completed in a weekend, so you don't build a ton of cabinets in two days.  I don't like having the bus down and out of service in the summer, and in the winter it's too cold.

Brian
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 10:27:04 AM »

We put in Lowes cabinets in our old gmc. The upper cabinets were not hard to modify for the curve. We used them and drove the bus hundreds of thousands of miles, and never had an issue with them. Sold the bus and cabinets were still in awesome shape. Looked as nice as made ones and held up. I guess if time and money is not an issue, you can make them yourself, but we were happy with those. New bus has newer style cabinets that home depot sells. Love them,and they look nice. Ken modified the drawers with a drop down when pushed in, so they dont come open going down the road.
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 10:54:03 AM »

Just thought i would add tips to building your uppers to fit your rounded roofs.
First figure out where you want your cabinets. Make a mark on the wall where you want your cabinets to be. Then make a mark at the other end of where you want it to end. Repeat this step on the roof. Then take a chalk line and snap a line on the wall then the roof. Now you can fasten a 2x2 or whatever you choose on the line, wall and roof. Then you bring the two together to a square face. Now you can get your measurement for the depth of the bottom and face. After you figure out where you want your doors you can build your face and attach face and bottom with whatever way you choose, whether it be fasting using 2x2 or smaller to glue and fasten them to, or just gluing and fasting them to each other. Then you can take a piece of cardboard and make a template for the endcap. "This way you don't wast any lumber" you can also do this for dividers. Then build your doors, easy way would be to find solid oak or whatever and cut to fit, then router your edges.
There are probably other ideas out there from other members.
Hope this helps,

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 11:19:52 AM »

  After watching a few bus crash test videos, and seeing the factory overhead luggage racks come crashing down, I would want whatever I would install to be very strong and very well secured. And I will be looking much more carefully at what I have loaded up in those cabinets. Making it through a fender bender just to have someone killed when a cabinet full of heavy crap falls on them should be avoided at all costs.
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TomC
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011, 12:36:43 PM »

Funny thing about pre built cabinets.  When I was driving truck, I made a custom sleeper out of a 8ft drom box (96" square and that high).  For my kitchen cabinets, I just bought Home Depot cheapy pre mades out of pressed wood.  I did this as an experiment to see what I actually needed-not knowing that those cheapy pressed wood cabinets would stay in over the next 12 years and over 800,000 miles of much more bounciness then a smooth riding bus.  Just a point.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 03:11:33 PM »

We bought the lowers from Home Depot due to lack of time to make them, then I custom made the uppers and the rest of the cabinets at a later date. I also am a fan of the Kreg tool, wish I would have had the time for the lowers. Lots of wasted space in my opinion.

I don't like particle board either, but that is about all there is when it comes to the box stores. The face frames and drawer fronts are solid oak though. So far they have held up nice in just over two years.

Paul
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 03:30:36 PM »

A Kreg tool is the some of the best money you will ever spend. BTW, you don't have to use their screws. I do for the important stuff, but use drywall screws for everything else.
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2011, 03:39:13 PM »

We actually manufacture doors, dwr boxes, and trim for commercial and residential. Truth is most companies don't make anything but the box. The rest they buy from someone like us. That gives them a lot more to offer their customer. If you can build a box, and curve the back of it you can build your own. Prefinished 3/4" plywood can be bought for around $45.00 per sheet. It is less than half the wt of mdf and twice as strong. As mentioned the kreg tool is a must for any cabinet frame. A good wood glue is also essential.  Having the ability to reduce width of cabinets also opens up the bus inside. Factory kitchen cabinets are 24" wide, but a custom at 20" will work as good. The options are endless, and the equipment required minimal. Just remember only the FINGERS don't get a redo, so be careful!! Just my .02 cents worth!!
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Van
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2011, 05:59:17 PM »

We did our own, no experience necessary, you'll get that as you learn lol. I felt no one was gonna put as much love into it as I wouldin making them fit and be strong enough to hang from. Kreg Tool and You-Tube got me up to speed rather quickly I might add. Here is a pic of ours good luck.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 06:02:24 PM by van » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2011, 08:41:11 PM »

Cody has done a couple here and there, he's kinda partial to dovetailing.      http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=12714.0
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 09:48:57 PM by libby » Logged
MikeH
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2011, 09:07:46 PM »

Van, those are nice cabinets.

I don't think I would want particle board. We try to avoid that as much as possible. It is full of formaldahyde and I wouldn't want that in an enclosed area like a bus. What is the difference between a nice grade of plywood and "cabinet grade" plywood, which I have seen at HD before? What grade would you guys/gals use - A/C, B/C???

Thanks,
Mike
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2011, 10:12:21 PM »

AC ply
But that's just me.
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2011, 03:52:53 AM »

Cabinet grade has more ply's than the traditional with less or no voids inside. You will pay a few bucks more, but it's stronger. I would choose A/C over B/C, it's exterior grade and has a better surface face.
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2011, 06:56:42 AM »

Ok, I'll try to get this straight, cody says to look for "lumber core" plywood, he says it has no veneers to be used as filler but is actual wood that is edge glued with a veneer covering, the thickness of the veneer covering, also known as the 'wear layer' determines the level of quality of that particular sheet, what he does in most cases is to build up actual panels of solid wood, instead of plywood for some of his higher priced work, he has a machine that drills a pair of holes about an inch apart every few inches along the edge of the boards and he uses spiral wound dowels not straight fluted dowels along with edge glueing to form the panels, he says that you guys would understand the process, kind of old school. Also that dovetailing the drawers makes them grow stronger as time goes by.
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2011, 07:47:25 AM »

One of the things about store bought cabinets is they almost always have a panel on each side of every cabinet.  This can add up to a lot of extra weight.  Custom cabinets can be built as a whole row of cabinets with only a single panel seperating the cabinets.

My house has store bought cabinets and my parent's house has custom built cabinets.  Most folks wouldn't know the difference by looking, but I can tell the difference in my house.  Not that my cabinets are not really nice, they are.  The builder choose some of the most expensive store bought cabinets out there.  He normally uses custom cabinets, but did not to save money on my house.  (Mine is the least expensive house the builder ever did.)
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2011, 07:49:46 AM »

Look for a local company that supplies to the cabinetmakers. They will carry the plywood you need. Where lowes charges $65.00 for a sheet of 3/4" cabinet grade oak, they should be around 45. Cabinet grade plywood is a totally different animal from ac/bc. It is presanded smooth. Run a cloth across the other and see how much fuzz is left on it. I prefer the prefinished version. It available finished on or both sides. It is finished with vu cured precat. You can pour laquer thinner on it and it will not affect the finish. If you do not put raised panels on the ends of your cabinets, you will need to put either 1/4", or3/4" raw plywood or solid on the ends. then just run the face frame a little longer to cover. The cabinet plywoods are veneered not to warp in a free standing state. Leave a pc. of bc/ac in the sun for a few hours and you will see what happens. Hope this helps.
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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2011, 09:07:54 AM »

Like Cody I go for the dowels and dovetail old school I know ,I have the dowel jig works on the same principal as the Kreg that was copied from the dowel jig for screws I just don't like the screws on the face just my way I think they are ugly when you open the doors lol I even tried to hide mine with dowels   


good luck

 
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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2011, 10:51:43 AM »

I have all dovetail drawers in my bus also. I think it is the best joint system. The Pocket screw system is my choice for assembly of face frame. As for attaching face frames to boxes, I like dowels, or pocket screws from the back side. Makes the face much cleaner.
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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2011, 10:14:26 PM »

I would tell my wife what size cabinets I needed, and she would hit Craigslist and find some that someone want to get taken out or were on the sidewalk that were at least that size and close to the right color and had to be oak and solid arch doors. I would go pick them up, cut them to fit, glue and Kreg them if needed and sand them down. re-stain to match and put them in. Made table to match and put baby lock on some so they won't come open when moving.

Ones in the bedroom I custom made the boxes with furniture grade oak 3/4" ply and found door to cut to fit. Clear laquered all in satin finish and put in SS grab handles.
Tile (Leftover from jobs) countertops. Done Cost 80.00, 2 pieces of Plywood.

Dave
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« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2011, 05:22:41 AM »

Dave,

Way to "Think outside the BOX", so to speak.

Great Idea!

Cliff
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