If there was one part of this project where I really wanted to hand off some of the work, it was in building the cabinet doors, drawer boxes, and drawer fronts. For the doors, I’d have a lot of money in tools for the various profiles on the rails and stiles, and would have to make up the raised panels without a planer. Most of the drawer fronts wouldn’t have been too bad, but they also weren’t that expensive. The drawer boxes needed to be fairly precise, to make sure operation was smooth–I wasn’t comfortable cutting a lot of larger pieces with just handheld tools.
There are a number of companies that will make this stuff to order. I ended up using Barker Door for the doors and drawer fronts. They had a standard door configuration that was a pretty good match, and I was able to order online and specify all of the options I wanted. What I’ve received from them has been very well made.
For the drawer boxes, my initial plan was to use Barker. I had purchased a few from them previously, and they make a very nice dovetailed box. But once I got the cabinets finally far enough along to confirm measurements, Barker’s lead time had grown to about a month–I guess summer is a busy time. Unlike the upper cabinets, where as soon as the boxes were mounted I could put stuff away, missing drawers meant maintaining a mess. I didn’t want piles of kitchen stuff laying around for a month.
My dad told me about another company, BHK, that wasn’t too far away, and when I checked them out I learned they had a quick-delivery program. As long as you stuck to certain specifications, they would ship within 5 days. They were also close enough for normal delivery to be only one day. After a few phone calls to track down a distributor and get pricing (very reasonable, at roughly $20 per drawer), I placed my first order with them.
They weren’t going to be dovetailed drawers, instead drilled and dowelled Baltic birch. Not really a big deal in my mind, and still a big step up from the stapled particle board drawers that were in the old kitchen. BHK delivered right on time, and everything was just as ordered.
For drawer glides, I already knew that I wanted ball-bearing, soft-close, full-extension glides. I’ve used them before–the soft-close mechanism provides enough resistance when fully closed that they won’t open going down the road, and full-extension means that the back of the drawer box gets all the way to the front of the cabinet. I ordered the drawer glides on Amazon (more info here), which ended up being about the same price as buying locally. With one of the first few drawers I got impatient and bought a set of drawer glides locally–compared to what I ordered, that set was a much lighter capacity with looser tolerances–with some weight, the drawer would sag when fully extended. With Prime delivery, the good stuff was only 2 days away anyway.
Next time, I’ll show how I built a pull-out countertop extension that, as a side benefit, gives me easy access to all of the wiring near the main door.