Some Thoughts About Making Kitchen Interior

Introduction: Some Thoughts About Making Kitchen Interior

About: Working as a wood/metal shop teacher for kids 9-12 years old. Restoring a old house and a Saab 95 V4 1975. Currently bad at making new ibles but will hopefully find time soon...


Even although i live in ikea-land i seldom by anything there, mostly get secondhand stuff to rebuild.

I and my girlfriend are reparing a house from 1884 with an addon built 1978. The house was i pretty bad shape when we bought it and we have been taking away mouldy pars for two years now and in a year (or so) we will be ready.

The kitchen was in good shape but the smell of mould made it impossible to keep. We checked the prises for a new kitchen and quickly decided to by a used one. Since we're not so fond of the modern all-must-be-white-style and doesn't have a fortune in the bank it seemed like a resonable option. We are both quite handy and like to make things.

We got a used kitchen from 1940-50 for ~120 euros, ,a free sink, a new bench for ~150 e and some paint for 30 e.
(plus 60e for trailer rent and fuel to get it home :( )

Unfortunately the kitchen we bought lacked some parts, we need more space. I looked on ebay but didnt find anything more matching so we decided to make the rest ourselfs. After inspecting the original parts we found that it would be quite easy to copy it.

This ible' is not intended as en exact instuction but so serve as inspiration and a way out of the ikea-dependence. Building your own kitchen makes it possible to get it exactly as you want, using local, reused, or cheap material.

As usual - english is not my native language so am sorry for bad language. Use common sense when using tools.

Step 1: Planning

First we started to write down what we wanted to fit in and some demands.
No chipboard. Absolutley none - a lot of the bad smell in our house came from chipboard... It's usable for eeh, i don't know, i really dont like it. The smell of formadelyde just make me feel sick.

The bench top was bought at a local DIY-store. We chosed betveen oak from china and oak from the same part om sweden as we live in. The chinese was as usual cheaper so we settled for the swedish, there is always something strange about things from the other side of the world that can be sold cheaper than the localy made. I'am not saying that it's automatically something wrong with chinese stuff, i personally just dont wan't to support that kind of business.
The handles are original from the 1940-50 and are sometimes available om ebay.

Solid wood and some plywood and masonite. Cheap, reliable and the same materials as in the original part.

We wanted more space for spices, towels and some pans and pots.

We decided to make a frame with solid wood and masonite to strengthen it. Masonite is rader flimsy but deals quite good with sideways forces.

Step 2: List of Tools

I used these tools:
A plunge cut circular saw
A miter saw
Ryoba saw
Screwdrivers (one for drilling and one for screwing)

Screws with torx head
3x30 mm
4x40 mm
5x40 mm
4x75 mm
6x80 mm

Most of the work can be done with handtools but the electric are nice and i really like our plunge cut saw. If i cut a 20x20mm piece i usually use the ryoba saw to save time.

I always use hearing protection when using tools that sounds. A part af my work as a sloyd teacher has given me pre-tinnitus and i'am wery careful (and terrified) to provoke it to the continuous beeep in my ears as my Lotus Seven owning father has... From many tv-programs i have seen, mostly from usa, they seldom wear any decent protection at all. In sweden we have free healtcare so i don't worry about the financial part of a wound but i can imagine i damaged hand would be rather expensive to fix. Be careful and don't try to be cool or save time by not using proper tools and using them carefully.

Dont wear gloves when working with powertools, the tend to get stuck in dangerous moving parts easier.

Use eye protection and breathing mask when necessary.

Step 3: Part One - the Base.

The base was made from a 45x95 mm fir stud that was cut to 45x80mm with the plunger cut saw. It was made about eight cm smaller than the plywood base to make room for our feet when standing by the bench. The corner was beveld and smoothed with sandpaper to reduce the risk of knocking a toe on it. The base piecs was put together and secured to the floor by 6x80mm screws.

The plywood base sheet was cut 6mm smaller than the worktop on both sides.

Step 4: Part Two - the Frame

I started by attaching the corners of the frame. Predrilled throu the plywood before fastening the 20x25mm laths with two 4x50mm screws i eash corner.
The horisontal laths was simply measured by laying them betveen the laths and draw a line (see pic two) They was cut with a mitre or ryoba saw and then screwed with 4x75mm screws. I always predrill to prevent the wood from splitting.

Step 5: Part Three - Fastening the Masonite

The masonite was added to give the frame lateral strength and to stop things from falling out of the cabinet. It was simply glued and nailed in the grooves on the laths. Just nails tend to shake loose and the glue are more prone to looseing without the nails. Together they are strong.
The grooves was made with a plunge cut saw but a router could also be used.

Step 6: Part Five - the Doors

The doors was made from laths planed down to 13 mm and routed on one corner. I just glued the laths and put lot of clamps while dryeing. Since our workroom is not heated i let the parts settle for a while before glueing to even out tensions in the wood.

Step 7: Summary

We are quite happy with our added workbench, the towelhanger works fine and the spices are easily available. (the spicerack actually comes from ikea)

Most of the wood was scrap pieces we had laying around or had gotten for free. The laths cost next to nothing so the only really expensive is the top bench, the hinges, some paint and the plywood. 

We used skethup to model the kitchen before we strated building and still thinking about how the shelves chould be mounted. Use it for some days before you paint it and make sure everything works as you intended.

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    2 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Cool idea. Thanks for sharing, I wanted to do the same in my kitchen.

    The Arbiter
    The Arbiter

    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is very nice! I like what you did. Also, do not worry about your English, as it is much better than my Dutch. :)