Example of Kitchen Cabinets Made to Fit an Existing Space
One wall in this kitchen wall was 132 inches long. The existing 36-inch refrigerator needed to go at one end of the wall, taking up 38 inches. The other end of the wall needed to have a corner base, taking up 36 inches on the base wall and 12 inches on the upper wall. The remaining base wall space required a 30-inch wide stove and a stack of base drawers. The remaining upper wall needed to have a vent hood and door cabinets. The owner wanted the vent hood to be wider than 30 inches so the stove area would not feel crowded. If box cabinets were used, there would be either wasted space or uneven placement of cabinets because of the 3-inch increment size restriction. By using custom-made cabinets, the usable space was maximized and the vent hood was centered between equal-sized upper wall door cabinets. The solution for the base cabinets was to use a 6-inch pull-out with a 1^-inch spacer between the corner cabinet and the stove, with a stack of drawers 19% inches wide between the stove and refrigerator. The solution for the upper wall was to use a 36-inch-wide vent hood cover with short cabinets above, and a pair of 16%-inch-wide door cabinets on each side.
Wood can also be custom made for architectural distinction. In this project, American cherry was chosen for the wood because of its beautiful grain and warm color. All of the wood trim was made from solid cherry wood stock. Instead of using molding profiles, pieces of lumber were used in this project. The mantel was made from a %-inch cherry veneer plywood panel, with solid wood cherry strips added. The edges were eased with a router and sander to produce the rounded edges. The sides of the arch were made from %-inch cherry veneer plywood, cut into the arch shape. The bottom of the arch was made from %-inch cherry veneer plywood, which was flexible enough to bend into the arch. The edges of the plywood were mitered to look like a solid piece of wood. The wall paneling is made from solid stock 1 x 3 cherry for the top rail, and %-inch cherry veneer plywood for the flat panels.
The floor is made of Brazilian cherry planks. American cherry is known for its color becoming darker with exposure to light. Brazilian cherry is a darker red color, and has a different, more pronounced, grain pattern. Both varieties of cherry wood were purchased from Frank Paxton Lumber. Unusual and exotic woods such as American cherry are not available in most lumber yards.
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Veneers are cut in different methods and each method results in a different appearance. After a log’s bark is removed, the log is placed in a lathe that turns it. A knife edge saw is placed against the turning log to peel the wood off the log in a long roll. This is a rotary cut and it can produce extremely thin wood veneer. If the veneer is intended to be thicker, it will be cut by slicing the log rather than peeling the log. The grain pattern will appear different from a rotary cut than from slicing.
Usually a veneer will be laminated at a factory and produced as a piece of plywood. Plywood is comprised of thin layers of wood glued together. Each layer is placed at a right angle to the next layer, resulting in the grains running both directions. Sometimes the core will be a thicker piece of lumber or strand board. The interior plies will consist of woods that are inexpensive because they grow quickly and do not have desirable appearance, usually poplar or sweet gum. The layers are bonded by using a water-resistant glue and high pressure. Plywood always has an uneven number of layers or it will warp. Construction plywood will have a soft wood such as pine on the outside layers. One side is usually graded a higher quality than the other. Decorative plywood will have a hardwood veneer on at least one side. This is the decorative side that will be seen after installation. Plywood is normally produced in sheets 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. The thickness may vary, but standard thicknesses are 1/s inch to % inch. When a designer specifies wood veneer panels, the method of matching the panels should also be specified. If you have a large area that will be covered in wood veneer panels, the grain patterns and placement may have a dramatic effect on the look of the room. Pattern matching is best shown visually.
Particleboard is made of wood flakes or chips formed into layers and held together by resin. It is glued and heated under pressure. Because wood chips or flakes are used, it does not have a smooth surface and it does not have much strength. Particleboard is used as a substrate where strength is not required. It has a rough surface that soaks up paint or water, meaning that it should not be used around wet areas, such as a countertop around a sink. A form of particleboard developed more recently is referred to as OSB, or oriented strand board. Most of the strands of wood are oriented in the long direction of the panel, with a few layers of strands in the opposite direction. This configuration is used to give more strength to OSB than the previous particleboard had. Particleboard or OSB is produced in sheets 4 feet wide by 8 feet long.