Modular vs Built in place kitchen cabinets

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following:

I'd be willing to bet the the Festeringtool trio would say that you have a Festerless problem, Mac.
Here's one solution: http://fwd4.me/OmZ
-- Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. -- John Adams, December 1770 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials'
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Hi,
    I have a sheet of 4' X 8' Styrofoam, I put down on the floor for cutting plywood. After 10 years, mine is looking a bit ragged. One nice thing about this is after the first cut, I am often kneeling on the foam which is softer than concrete.
Thanks Roger
Mac Cool wrote:

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Finished up the kitchen in our new house a few months ago. When my wife suggested IKEA, I initially shrieked and uttered expletives. After giving them a good hard look and reading a lot of reviews, we ended up going with IKEA. If you get a chance, go around a store that's had their kitchen "vignettes" installed for a while and you can pretty quickly figure out the strengths and weaknesses; open the doors and drawers poke around inside and look for any rub spots etc. These things see quite a bit of wear; especially on the "oh honey, this blobbity blob cabinet is neat ones" -- i.e. corner lazy susan's, tall pantries, tall drawers for garbage cans etc). The closest IKEA to us was just about to undergo a complete overhaul when we were looking around -- so everything had been well pretty abused without too much obvious effort at repair.
Sure, IF I had time I could have built very nice cab's for about the same money (depending on how you reckon the value of time). And yes, if built them there would be more plywood and less particle board. And yes there are better cabinets that can be had COTS for a lot more money. Had a friend who work in a cab shop by and his opinion was that they would really have to struggle to get comparable cabs at comparable price. To loop back to Robatoy's post, after building up a kitchen-full, there's a lot of optimized engineering going on that makes it easier to get a good installation. Particularly I like the way the upper cabinets are mounted to a steel T-track which you can really lag to the studs; lift the uppers into place, tie them together, fine tune the lateral adjustment to your hearts content, level everything then torque the t-bolts down. Maybe this has become standard and I don't realize it. But there are lot of "howto's" that still have people setting cabinets up on temporary rails and blocks before they are screwed to the studs. All the hardware is Blum- branded and almost all the doors (and all the drawers) have soft close dampers by default. Dampers aren't available for some of the frankenstein double hinge corner doors. I'm still undecided about the drawer box construction (metal sides, melamine coated particle board bottoms) but the easy drawer front adjustment (metal screws in metal hardware) is nice given that the design is frameless. One other nice feature is that all the insert gadgets are designed to play together and are pretty well thought out.
Somewhere else in this thread it was pointed out that there's only one style of cabinet. That's probably true, but the "style" referenced is the base carcass, there are quite a few door drawer front styles.
We'll see how I feel about the cabinets in a few years, but so far I'm not unhappy with them.
hex -30-
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com:

Lots of good points, thanks.
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IKEA has come a long way. Their famous schlock is harder to find, and better products from them have been on the market for at least a decade. But it is hard to shed a poor reputation. The kitchens I have seen from them are as good as most mass-produced cabinets out there. The doors, drawer fronts and end panels are finished expertly with very durable finishes. The range of colours is pretty good too.
Their kitchen sinks are 20 ga and you might as well make them yourself from a roll of tin foil. Crap.
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Mac Cool wrote:

I've done both. In fact, I am nearly finished with a built in place cabinet on my screen porch.
I can't see that you would save much in sheet goods. OK, you can skip a back but you can do that with modular ones. You also wouldn't need inside ends; that too could be skipped in modular ones but you'd have to have open frames to attach one to another. Built in place ones should have them too for strength if the cabinet is of any size.
Built in place means the horizontal pieces are going to be a PITA to fit because if there is a side as well a back wall because of the corner taping.
As you can see, I think modular is easier. I *do* build an in place plinth to set them on so I can avoid making toe kicks on the cabinets.
--

dadiOH
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Oh yea... do the plinth routine. MUCH easier and faster. Just level the 'platform' and the rest falls into place.
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Robatoy:

By plinth you are referring to the adjustable feet, correct?
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A plinth is a platform, the height of a kick 4". Made as a frame, it can be scribed and shimmed so that it is level. Then the cabinets sit on top and overhang in the front by about 3.5". Here's 2000 words:
http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/Bottomdetailback.jpg
http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Robatoy/Floatingkick2.jpg
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Mac Cool wrote:

As Robatoy showed. Except they don't have to be that fancy, depending on what you are doing.
Mine are PT 2x4s front and aft Tapconed vertically to the slab with PT cross pieces nailed to the fore and aft. There are two more PT 2x4s screwed horizontally on top of the vertical ones. All "show" edges have 1/4" cement board nailed/screwed to the 2x4s. Why? Because I put Saltillo tile on the floor AND on the vertical sides of the plinth.
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dadiOH:

Okay, thanks, good advice.
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On 5/13/2010 7:55 PM, Mac Cool wrote:

A set of well built shop made "modular" kitchen cabinets will generally outlast the house. I've yet to see a set of "built-in" kitchen cabinets, ten years later, that has stood the test of time with regard to things like doors and drawers still fitting like new.
That's not to say that built-in's can't be every bit as long lasting as shop built, but, IME, it is relatively rare to see it these days, mostly due to lost skills in the workforce.
BTW, should you be looking some design and planning tools for your cabinet project, you may find something useful in my "Kitchen Cabinet Components and Models" link below, particularly with the dynamic wall and base cabinets which can be re-sized to fit available space:
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/cldetails?mid f1c8d44f47cba8b2c2cd006d206129&prevstart=0
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
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