Major kitchen cabinet install gap problem? (w/pics)

Hello everyone,
I made the mistake of installing all my cabinets level and true in a kitchen that is anything but.
The old cabinets were pushed flush with the ceiling and had quarter round between them and the ceiling. Things rolled around in the old cabinets.
I now have the dilemma of how to fix this random gap between the tops of my cabinets and the ceiling. In some places the cabinets touch the ceiling and in other places there is a 3/4" gap. The face frame exposure above the doors is about 7/8".
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/cabprob1.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/cabprob2.jpg
Hindsight tells me I should have figured out the difference in level in the ceiling and made the face frames and side panels large enough to allow for scribing.
Any ideas how to fill the gap? Somehow I don't think caulk and paint is the answer. Neither is fixing the ceiling an option.
I am trying to think of some sort of trim design/style that I can put up there to fix things that won't look all stupid being made of various widths. I was thinking of making some sort of trim starting with a min height of 1/2" where the cabinets are flush, expanding to 1-1/4" at the worst gap. Add to this the fact that I deliberately made the face frame sides proud of the side panels, and that issue needs to be dealt with (mitre, mitre, mitre, another mitre, mitre, mitre, another mitre....).
I am thinking 1/2" trim with maybe a 3/8" quarter round with bead on both sides to mimic the doors. In order to do this with speed. I would prepaint the trim, scribe it and hang it with 23g pins
To make matters worse, time is seriously of the essence. I take possession of my new house in a little over three weeks and I really need to get this done ASAP!
Finishing the kitchen is one of the many jobs that needed to be done last month :(.
HELP!
David
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I think the cabs are out of square.. ;~)
Seriously, think about a "crown type" molding that attaches to the fir down above the cabinets and extends down deep enough to cover the gaps. Then use a smaller molding to close the "hopefully more consistent gap" between the bottom of the crown and the cabinet face frame. Basically, don't try to fill the gap, cover it up like a base board molding covers the gap between the floor and the wall.
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<snip>

I think Leon's right. Finish carpentry has to deal with this all of the time. The trick is to get it done effectively and quickly.
Don't you have a customer at the shop you can sub this to? Seems like 2 hours to a pro, and two Saturdays to a guy in your shoes.
Houses may start out square and plumb, maybe, but they almost never stay that way.
Patriarch
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Seldom, really.
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David F. Eisan wrote:

Taking down the cabinets and building the soffit down to a level line, and then reinstalling the cabinets, would take at most a day. That's using setting type joint compound and taking the requisite number of breaks to step back and admire your work. This would be the slowest (by a couple or three hours) but most factory solution.
Your trim option seems workable, but not having a real idea of the size of the discrepancies, I can't tell for sure. This, of course, would probably be the fastest and easiest option. Also probably the least likely to look factory. You're working with small trim and fair sized gaps - something will look off.
Another option, and I'm not necessarily sold on this one, would be to use low-expanding foam (protecting adjoining surfaces first of course), slicing it back flush with the face of the cabinet, then spackling and painting. That might be the fastest and look factory, but I haven't experimented do such things to provide a smooth transition to a wall surface while filling a substantial gap.
R
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"David F. Eisan" wrote...

IMO, the fastest & easiest fix that will still look good is:
Make a molding similar to a shoe molding - 1/4" thk X 1-1/2" high with a radius on one edge. Prepaint, scribe to fit, and nail with pins as you suggested. Should look fine, they'll never know, etc.
Making the molding as dainty as possible will help keep it from being noticable.
For the sides, make the molding thicker to compensate for the faceframe offset, and undercut it where it goes over the faceframe edge, so the thickness at the faceframe edge is the same as the thickness at the fronts of the cabinets.
-- Timothy Juvenal www.tjwoodworking.com
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I would start with a flat piece of trim, like screen mold, and hold it up there to see how it looks. Don't do anything that scars the fir downs (sp?) until you settle on what you want. Try different moldings until you find what looks right. A 1/4"X1" flat molding, painted to match the cabinets probably won't be noticeable. A molding that attracts attention is not something I would do.
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On Wed, 4 Jul 2007 22:10:01 -0700, "David F. Eisan"

My suggestion would be to use a piece of molding (maybe base turned upside down) or something from stock that you make to your own design. Rip it to the width of your largest gap plus enough more to nail to the cabinets. Scribe as you go maintaining the same reveal between your molding and the cabinet doors. Paint and most people will never notice. I would not use one application on top of another to remedy this problem. While that solution might look better on a fairly straight soffit, more layers will accent your problem as the lines will move closer to the soffit.
Mike O.
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