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Author Topic: Drawers or shelves with doors for lower cabinets?  (Read 1016 times)
belfert
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« on: February 08, 2014, 09:38:35 AM »

Do drawers or shelves with doors makes more sense for lower cabinets in a bus kitchen?  Drawers to me seem like they take up more space (and weight), but they do allow easier access to the contents.  Lower shelves, if full, make it hard to find anything at the rear of shelf.  People sometimes like to add slide-out trays to lower shelves which just makes it into a drawer anyhow.

My kitchen at home, built in 2001, has six large drawers in the lower cabinets on the island while the rest of the lower cabinets have shelves with doors.  I have heard the trend is to install almost all drawers in new kitchens in the lower cabinets.  Strangely enough, the shelves in my lower kitchen cabinet are only about 2/3 length instead of full length.

One of the things I plan for my bus this summer is a floor to ceiling cabinet next to the kitchen large enough to hold three full size coolers.  There will be slide-out trays each large enough to hold a full size cooler.  I travel with seven to nine guys and some of them will bring their own cooler.  They get in the way in the bus so the cabinet will help.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
TomC
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 04:06:02 PM »

On my truck conversion, I have one true drawer for silver ware. Below the drawer is an opening cabinet with three shelves. The top two shelves have a removable insert like a drawer so to take it out and place it on the dinette. Then when cooking, all utensils are easily available and not have to be constantly pulling out drawers to get to them. All other cabinets are just shelves-not as convenient to get to, but a lot more space utilization. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 04:16:07 PM »

Tom can you send me or post some pics of your truck?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Ace Rossi
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Seangie
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 08:14:14 PM »

Brian - our kitchen has 2 lower cabinets and a slide out cabinet in the middle on one side and a single section with just drawers on the other side.  The drawers are nice but you do lose a bit of space.  Not bad when its just you and the wife but with 4 kids (or all your mates) every inch counts.

The side with the 2 cabinets and one pull out are -
Kitchen sink with cabinet underneath.  Can't do anything there except for under sink organizer stuff.
Center pull out with a larger shallow cabinet (6" deep) on the front bottom and smaller shallow drawer size cabinet in the front top.  This section pulls out for additional countertop space and storage underneath  accessible from one side for things like a blender, cooktop,  canned goods...etc
The third cabinet has a drawer (for silverware)  up top and a cabinet underneath.   I added a drawer to the top part of the cabinet (you have to open the cabinet door to access it) and we store pots and pans under that.

It works well for us.  I think the only thing I would change is the four drawers in the other side to either deeper drawers or a single cabinet with a slide out shelf in the middle.  I like the single door cabinets with slide out shelves.

-Sean

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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 04:50:51 AM »

I have a few temporary cabinets now with shelves and they are absolutely jammed to overflowing with stuff.  It is a bit hard to find anything because the cabinets are so full.  The fact I only have two cabinets now is probably causing part of the issue with such limited space.

Do pull-out shelves in cabinets cause issues if the cabinets are fairly full?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 06:05:17 AM »

In my bus all my shelves are full extension pull outs. I am a cabinet maker and all my shelves I build in kitchens are 3/4 extension pull outs.The shelves I build are 2 to 3" deep.Just my way of doing it.
    Don
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Stormcloud
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 06:49:38 AM »

I built all my lower cabinets with drawers on full extension slides (except the one directly under kitchen sink).  The cabinet fronts are doors, and matching doors must be open to permit drawer operation.

I wouldn't do this any other way. The other half loves the easy access.

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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
1972 MCI-7     'PapaBus'  8v-71N MT654 Automatic
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 08:57:29 AM »

I built all my lower cabinets with drawers on full extension slides (except the one directly under kitchen sink).  The cabinet fronts are doors, and matching doors must be open to permit drawer operation.

Why do you build doors over the drawers instead of traditional drawers?  Does it save on space (and work!) of building the face frame to accommodate regular drawers?

There is a guy on Craigslist locally selling a pallet or two of drawer slides really cheap so I could get basically free drawer slides, but not sure if I am up to trying to resell the remaining drawer slides.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 10:22:25 AM »

Upper cabinets are standard construction, glued and screwed with ash cabinet fronts.

The first row of drawers under the countertop are drawers on full extension slides. These drawers have ash fronts.

Below that are the matching ash cabinet doors, behind which are the drawers on full extension slides on all except the first shelf under the kitchen sink. Drawers are constructed of plywood, no fancy fronts.

To me(us), the lower kitchen cabinets 'look' better when they have cabinet door fronts and top row of drawers, rather than an entire kitchen  with nothing but drawers on the lower set..

I would definitely do it again. Lots of compliments on the cabinets and drawer design. I have seen of a few home kitchens using this exact same idea since I built these into the bus.

YMMV.

Mark


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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
1972 MCI-7     'PapaBus'  8v-71N MT654 Automatic
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 02:48:02 PM »

I do kitchens for a living and on most kitchens today all lowers are drawers other then the sink . All full extension with soft close . I do have a lot of designers that want all doors on lowers with roll outs inside ( for the look ) to me I think it's dumb but money talks . So if they want it so be it . I have repaired a lot of damaged doors ( on the inside due to roll out drawers that hit the door ) On our coach it's all drawers other then the sink cabs. The difference is the drawer comes out to you rather then you climbing in the cab. to get something

dave
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 03:50:39 PM »

I'm wondering how drawers affect weight versus just shelves and doors?  A friend of mine made large drawers for me in the rear of the bus and he used 1/2" birch ply as they are 24" by 24".  I don't think they are light.  I don't have a traditional kitchen like most buses.  I only have a microwave and a refrigerator.  There is no sink or stove.  I don't have any pots, pans, or dishes in my kitchen at all.  What we need to store in the cabinets are paper plates, plastic silverware, plastic cups, and food.  For 7 to 8 people for a week we take a lot of food.  This might change the drawers versus shelves debate.

When we get to our camping spot we set up an outdoor kitchen that is stored in the cargo bays.  We do have a full set of pots and pans in a tub down there.  We also have a large three burner stove and a full size gas grill.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 07:15:52 PM »

Brian - I made a video of our layout for you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=454oR6ivr10&fe

We have 6 fulltiming and we have had 7 on the bus for a week. We have 4 bunks and a queen bed and aa couch for sleeping space. 

Its probably slightly different then what you are doing but it is a good mix of drawers only, cabinet with no drawers, cabinet with a drawer and a pull out cabinet.

We like the way its laid out except for maybe the 4 drawers.

I'd go all cabinets for Max space.  The drawer in the cabinet lets you use the space that typically goes unused in the top area of the cabinet.

-Sean

Fulltiming somewhere in the USA
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2014, 07:59:58 AM »

We like the way its laid out except for maybe the 4 drawers.

Why do you not like the drawers?  As Dave mentioned, the current trend in stick houses is all drawers in lower cabinets, but trends in home design don't always make sense.  I'll probably see my friend tonight who will make the cabinets and see what he has to say.  The goal is the most usable space while still being able to get at things.  A shelf is no good if it is packed full and you can't get at anything in the back.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 08:16:14 AM »

Brian -

I don't like the way the drawers look and there is a lot of space lost.  Also we are limited as to what we can put in there.  I like the classic drawer in the top, cabinet in the bottom with a drawer or slide out on the top of the cabinet.  I was going to put a slide out in the bottom of the cabinet as well but we would lose all the space on the floor behind the toekick (which usually isn't accessible in house type cabinets)

-Sean

Fulltiming somewhere in the USA
1984 Eagle 10S
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 09:35:52 AM »

The reason why the all drawer system has become popular in homes is that WOMEN like it.  You can get four or five drawers in the space that would be one drawer and two shelves.  A deep drawer with dividers to hold all the pots, pans, and lids. Deep drawers that will hold boxed items on their sides. Shallow drawers for utensils. Medium depth drawers for canned goods and paper goods.  You can get so much more stuff in the same space and still find it. I have seen systems that made the drawers look like doors.  They completely cover the face frame between the drawers and the fronts look like a big door that matches the upper doors.

Cary
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