Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 52

Thread: HELP choosing wood species for a "newbie" kitchen...

  1. #1

    HELP choosing wood species for a "newbie" kitchen...

    Hi, first let me say, I haven't worked much with wood in many years (35? since my teens) so consider myself a self- and internet-taught newbie and had to purchase tools like a decent table saw, routers, router table, woodworking workbench, Kreg master kit, compressor, etc. I don't have a garage or basement to work in so am using one of the living rooms to set up a temporary shop. I don't have a wife or kids to tell me I CAN'T do that, (it's just me and the dog) so I moved most of the things out to make room for the tools.

    I'm tackling my own kitchen, which is pretty small, but will end up stuffed to the gills with things like 2 pantries surrounding the fridge, a plate rack over a microwave over the range, many pullouts & drawers, etc, all designed around a quartz Kindred KGCRA/8 corner sink that will overlay an adjoining drawer base cabinet. I'm going with this sink because of its looks & features, plus it frees up enough counter space to give me a continuous 5ft+ of countertop in front of a large 54" wide window looking nowhere (at a vacant house just 8 feet away.)

    The kitchen will be a traditional faceframe type and is about 10x11ft but the chimney protrudes about 18x18 inches at one corner, and a doorway on the adjacent wall gives me little room for much more than the gas range and a 9 or 12''w base next to it. I have different options around the chimney, one being to cover it with a diagonal cabinet that would give about 6-8 inches on each side of the chimney to store things like spices or utensils.

    I started making some faceframes from hard maple as well as a 6-inch wide base cab with 5 openings like for wine bottles... you may have seen them in some cabinet sites--they cost a fortune to buy compared to standard base cabs, so I tackled it first.

    I've been designing it on & off for a few years now, I keep changing things in the software plan trying to make the best use of the space, as well as see what different species may look like. Because the sink is what Kindred calls graphite, a dark charcoal color, I think the countertops would need to be similar in color, so think the wood would need to be a light or medium color so the room doesn't get too dark. The house was built in the 1920-1940's range and the woodwork looks like ash grain with orange shellac. Some of the doors look dark like mahogany but there are no doors entering the kitchen, they've been removed many years ago. I pulled up the linoleum and the hardwood floors look like ash or oak.

    So what wood would some suggest for this project? The layout will be changed significantly so not sure if I need to match existing woods or not-- but do I need to stay light because the counters will be almost black? There will be very little areas of the walls exposed anymore, but the thinking right now is the backsplash will be orange or terra cotta subway tile.

    I am considering a rustic look but without knots, like a mix of colors like hickory or heartwood/sapwood maple. I know hickory is pretty hard and tough on tooling, but are there other reasons for a specific hardwood's use or non-use? I run across deals on cherry, mahogany & walnut all the time too. I do have some hard maple in narrow widths and in sheets I have a 4x8 mahogany and a couple 5x5 Baltic Birch sheets; I can always use them for jigs if I go a different specie.

    Considering cost, finishing headaches and work, what wood would you suggest? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    10-07(2x18x90)-42x30CM-DW2bGAR-CHERRY2ORANGE_p.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Broomfield, CO
    Posts
    71
    That is the style of door I want to use - also frameless. I hate flat-sawn oak, but I am considering quatersawn.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
    Posts
    3,641
    Blog Entries
    11
    I am just starting my kitchen remodel too. We chose Hickory as we have a bit of Oak overload in the rest of the house yet wanted a wood with character. Maple and Cherry is a bit monotone and Ash would look a lot like the Oak in the rest of the house. Plus Hickory is fairly inexpensive. I don't know that it is really hard on your tooling, but chip out is a problem, particularly on the router table when making rails, stiles and raised panels. Make a few extra sticks as you will loose a few to the router. I didn't want the heartache of planing all of my wood, so I had the local mill take it to final thickness. They choose to use the wide belt sander to avoid the chipout they might have encountered on the planer. I also am going frameless with 3/4" Hickory ply cabs with hot melt Hickory edge banding except shelves which will be solid edge banding. For drawers I am going with 5/8" beech, dovetailed with Blumotion tandem under mount slides. I did get some 1/2" prefinished Maple for drawer bottoms. Finishing is with 5 coats of wipeon 50/50 Pratt & Lambert #38 varnish/mineral spirits blocked after the final coat with 400 grit.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 03-04-2013 at 9:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Any of the woods you mention could work well. Maple might be lowest on my list of preferences because of difficulty in finishing in other than a clear finish. It would be light colored though. Walnut and cherry's ultimate color could be darker than you say you want.
    Hickory is cheap, machines well, finishes well and can be had in anything from a clear white like hard maple to a brownish tan. It can make attractively distinctive cabinetry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    2,759
    There's a LOT of stuff to consider when designing a kitchen and a lot that just comes down to personal choice. Other stuff comes down to thinking things through. For instance when I was still designing kitchens for a living I talked people out of those wine cubbies on a weekly basis. Yes they are very popular as people think they're 'cool'. Problem is in small kitchens they almost always end up being close to the stove, which happens to be the worst place to store wine. Most important thing about storing wine is to keep the temperature constant, hard to do in small kitchens and even harder if it's within several feet of a stove Just my two cents though so take it FWIW.

    As far as choosing a wood and finish....that's a tough call. For instance, you can absolutely go dark....if you have the lighting to pull it off. If not then lighter is a better choice. Lighter can also make a small kitchen feel bigger. Then there's the option of going for a pigmented finish instead of stain. I personally haven't done a stain grade kitchen in over 10 years. Everything custom in my area has been painted for quite some time. Best bet is to get samples of everything your considering so you can look at them and see if they work with each other. Then start making your decisions from there.

    good luck,
    JeffD

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jery Madigan View Post
    That is the style of door I want to use - also frameless. I hate flat-sawn oak, but I am considering quatersawn.
    Thanks Jery, they will be overlay doors, not sure how much overlay yet, I think they'd be easier on me than doing inset. They are a Shaker design with a center stile, similar to Mission, but the router bit is around 22 degree angle. I figured I can do either flat plywood panels or reverse Shaker 3/8" panels. All the stiles & rails will be 3" wide and almost everything will be based on 18" wide--the pantries, over-fridge cab, drawers, glass door cab between the sink & pantry (two 18" doors), the appliance garage... even the bi-fold door by the sink has one 18" door and one 6" door. The cabs above the garage and sink are 12" and the base and wall cab at the very left between the door opening and the range are 9".

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    I am just starting my kitchen remodel too. We chose Hickory as we have a bit of Oak overload in the rest of the house yet wanted a wood with character. Maple and Cherry is a bit monotone and Ash would look a lot like the Oak in the rest of the house. Plus Hickory is fairly inexpensive. I don't know that it is really hard on your tooling, but chip out is a problem, particularly on the router table when making rails, stiles and raised panels. Make a few extra sticks as you will loose a few to the router. I didn't want the heartache of planing all of my wood, so I had the local mill take it to final thickness. They choose to use the wide belt sander to avoid the chipout they might have encountered on the planer. I also am going frameless with 3/4" Hickory ply cabs with hot melt Hickory edge banding except shelves which will be solid edge banding. For drawers I am going with 5/8" beech, dovetailed with Blumotion tandem under mount slides. I did get some 1/2" prefinished Maple for drawer bottoms. Finishing is with 5 coats of wipeon 50/50 Pratt & Lambert #38 varnish/mineral spirits blocked after the final coat with 400 grit.
    Thanks Ole, and I went thru all your blog posts yesterday! My local lumberyard has great prices on plywood but they don't list hickory nor any prefinished plywoods either. I have another source locally but they don't have a price sheet, only quotes, and I hate to sound bothersome always e-mailing them for prices. In the recent past they quoted me 250 for 100BF of hickory and 285 for 100BF of hard maple. I can find air dried black cherry, hard maple or hickory thru craigslist from 1.25-1.85 per BF around here and walnut 4-5 bucks. I have even bought Goncalo Alves (Tigerwood) from a distributor selling shorts for around $1 per linear foot for 1x4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Symchych View Post
    Any of the woods you mention could work well. Maple might be lowest on my list of preferences because of difficulty in finishing in other than a clear finish. It would be light colored though. Walnut and cherry's ultimate color could be darker than you say you want.
    Hickory is cheap, machines well, finishes well and can be had in anything from a clear white like hard maple to a brownish tan. It can make attractively distinctive cabinetry.
    Thanks Paul. I have been reading as much as I can, books and mags, many found online, and hear maple, birch and cherry can be blotchy when finishing, though there are some steps like using a conditioner first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Duncan View Post
    There's a LOT of stuff to consider when designing a kitchen and a lot that just comes down to personal choice. Other stuff comes down to thinking things through. For instance when I was still designing kitchens for a living I talked people out of those wine cubbies on a weekly basis. Yes they are very popular as people think they're 'cool'. Problem is in small kitchens they almost always end up being close to the stove, which happens to be the worst place to store wine. Most important thing about storing wine is to keep the temperature constant, hard to do in small kitchens and even harder if it's within several feet of a stove Just my two cents though so take it FWIW.

    As far as choosing a wood and finish....that's a tough call. For instance, you can absolutely go dark....if you have the lighting to pull it off. If not then lighter is a better choice. Lighter can also make a small kitchen feel bigger. Then there's the option of going for a pigmented finish instead of stain. I personally haven't done a stain grade kitchen in over 10 years. Everything custom in my area has been painted for quite some time. Best bet is to get samples of everything your considering so you can look at them and see if they work with each other. Then start making your decisions from there.

    good luck,
    JeffD
    Thanks Jeff. The "wine" cabinet near the stove is sitting (standing?) on the workbench for the last few months and so far is being used to store canned stuff right now, as well as dry goods like packages of spaghetti. When in place, it probably won't be used for wine then either--me & the dog gave up drinking. But I may use it for 2-liter soda bottles, canned items, or even utensils like long spoons & ladles.

    When you say everything has been painted, are you meaning solid colors or are you just referring to spraying instead of brushing or wiping? I was thinking of getting a cheaper HVLP setup if needed, I do have access to a 2hp compressor too.

    Right now the kitchen only has a single dimmable overhead round fixture with 2 CFLs in it for lighting. I didn't draw up any plans for electrical revisions yet.

    As for colors/species, I've tried a bunch of different combos in my program & will post more pics... the name/color is usually near the end of the pic's filename. As for how realistic they are I don't know...

    (KINDREDCORNERSINK).jpgCopy of 04-12(2x18x90)-42x30CM-DW2b_CORNER.jpgCopy of 04-12(2x18x90)-42x30CM-DW2b_EAST.jpgCopy of 02-01(2x18x90)-42x30CM-DW2bGAR-ALD1-ORN_p1.jpgCopy of 10-07(2x18x90)-42x30CM-DW2bGAR-JATOBAORANGE_1.jpg

  7. #7
    This isn't the style door but if I go rustic, something like this coloring would be nice... is this hickory or just paint grade maple or cherry or "unselected for color" maple?

    untitled.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,361
    The best looking home-brew kitchens I've seen are painted.

    The expense and difficulty in selecting enough material to make attractive panels is daunting.
    If you paint, it's easy to change the look of your kitchen at a later date.

    It's also easy to touch up the finish.

    My rebuild will be a false frame and panel, with plywood in poplar frames.
    The "raised" portion of the panel will be applied MDF which will be cut by a local provider so I need not deal with the dust.

  9. #9
    Mark: Looks like it could be hickory. Outside guess is soft maple with plenty of sapwood. I'd bet against cherry.

  10. #10
    Sounding my old refrain but staining cherry is something I NEVER do. Some linseed oil, a little sunshine and a clear top coat plus some more time and the rich brown-red color maple develops cannot be duplicated by any stain. Just takes time.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    The best looking home-brew kitchens I've seen are painted.

    The expense and difficulty in selecting enough material to make attractive panels is daunting.
    If you paint, it's easy to change the look of your kitchen at a later date.

    It's also easy to touch up the finish.

    My rebuild will be a false frame and panel, with plywood in poplar frames.
    The "raised" portion of the panel will be applied MDF which will be cut by a local provider so I need not deal with the dust.
    Jim, thanks but my last girlfriend said she'd leave me if I chose white painted cabinets! She left anyway, probably tired of waiting for new cabs, but she'd be upset all over if she comes crawling back!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Symchych View Post
    Mark: Looks like it could be hickory. Outside guess is soft maple with plenty of sapwood. I'd bet against cherry.
    Thanks Paul. I have to find where I got that pic, it may be from WalzCraft. I recall they had a few rustic doors, I think hickory, maple and cherry, but I don't see the cherry one anymore in their catalog and can't find their older catalog I had. But most of their newer rustics are knotty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Symchych View Post
    Sounding my old refrain but staining cherry is something I NEVER do. Some linseed oil, a little sunshine and a clear top coat plus some more time and the rich brown-red color maple develops cannot be duplicated by any stain. Just takes time.
    The biggest concern I had about cherry is the cabinets near the window, fearing they may darken more than the rest, even taking shadows. But I agree on clear coats on cherry... but what if the boards aren't 100% heartwood and contain light sapwood? What is common practice, staining the lighter areas of the board to resemble the rest, or no?

    Which brings me to walnut. I have a chance to get black walnut from a 200-yr old tree that was cut and barn stored for a few years. Most are at least 14" wide by 100 inches, I think over 40 pieces. When I asked for pics, they sent me a few and they look brown (entirely, without any lighter sapwood.) I know steaming can get the sapwood darker but doubt they did that, so I wonder if they selectively took pics only of all brown wood. Or maybe the tree was that huge that a 14" width board was all dark heartwood? I will try to post a pic. Do people make rustic cabs out of varied colored walnut boards? And on boards of mixed colors, if they aren't steamed, do you stain the lighter areas dark to match the rest? These are $5/BF...

    board face.jpgWalnut wide boards.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    2,759
    Yup, I was referring to painted cabinets. I do spray most of my work though as a lot of people like the sprayed finish. In my mind it depends on the project, some things look better hand brushed IMHO. Painted is not for everyone, but it does have it's advantages. As for staining wood I have no problem with it. I've stained cherry in all sorts of shades as well as other woods and to me it's more important to give the client what works in their situation, than what I might like for myself.

    Walnut is a dark wood when steamed and a mix of dark and light when not. Whether or not you want to stain it to get it even is a personal choice. However I would not pay $5 a bd. ft. for air dried walnut. It's been a while since I've bought walnut but I don't think it would cost me that much for kiln dried and I always look at air dried as a cheap alternative With 2 CFL's in the kitchen your going to want to either completely redo the lighting or stick with light colors. Even in a small kitchen with light colors you'll probably want more than 2 lights. I did 5 floods in mine plus the under counter and it's a pretty small kitchen.

    good luck,
    JeffD

  14. #14
    Jeff ,I like painted cabinets,too. Made same comment the other day about brushing ,texture takes light better. As for air dried there are those specs....

  15. #15
    "The biggest concern I had about cherry is the cabinets near the window, fearing they may darken more than the rest, even taking shadows. But I agree on clear coats on cherry... but what if the boards aren't 100% heartwood and contain light sapwood? What is common practice, staining the lighter areas of the board to resemble the rest, or no?"

    Given more light the color change will be faster but in the long run I haven't seen much difference. The shadier parts catch up.

    With cherry, sapwood is not considered a 'flaw' by many while others stain it to try to guess and match the ultimate color. I leave it on as is and over time it will mellow out to a honey color that is a pleasing accent to my eye. Better looking than a mismatched stain job. My own bedroom and bath cabinets all have a mix of heart and sap.
    Walnut sapwood is another story. I have usually avoided sapwood although it is very hard to find select walnut without it these days.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •