Cottage time is almost upon us and for those that are looking for a kitchen cabinet face lift at the cottage, or new cabinets for that summer home you're going to build this year, here's a simple and elegant solution. Euro cabinets, in their most basic form, are an ideal alternative for cottage, laundry room, or the workshop. Construction techniques are simple and the material is very reasonably priced.
Melamine coated particle core board (MPCB) is used for all parts, including the doors. Exposed edges are covered with edge tape and butt joints are secured with particle core board screws.
The standard upper cabinet consists of two sides, bottom, top, and back board, plus the door. Base cabinets do not need a top board because the countertop covers the opening. I'll describe a standard 24" cabinet - all other sizes are calculated in the same manner. All MPCB board used is 5/8" thick.
Two 31" by 11 3/8" sides are needed for the upper cabinet. The bottom and top boards are 11 3/8" by 22 3/4". The back board is 24" by 31". The sides are joined to the bottom and top board giving us a cabinet width of 24" and a height of 31". Install a 31" by 24" wide back covering all edges. Two doors 31" by 11 7/8" are required.
The 24" base cabinets are assembled in the same manner but without a top board. As well, base cabinet doors should be 30" high so that they'll clear the countertop overhang. Simply add a 1 ½" piece of MPCB at the top of the base cabinet opening so that the space between the top of the door and the countertop edge is hidden.
Doors are installed with full overlay European hinges. The total door width on a 24" wide cabinet is 23 3/4" which allows for a 1/16" gap between the doors and about 3/32" on each outside edge. Tape all exposed edges on the cabinet box and doors. Additionally, there are small cover caps available that will hide the particle board screws on any exposed cabinet sides. You can easily install either fixed or adjustable shelves in these cabinets.
The final product will be a very nice looking, plain but inexpensive cabinet. If you want too add a little style, use a colored MPCB instead of white or a wood veneer covered particle board. Some of the new plastic trim that's now available at the home stores can also be used to enhance the look of your budget cabinets.
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