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Custom Built PureBond Cabinets – CHECK! | Killer b. Designs



Custom Built PureBond Cabinets – CHECK!

I am so, so SO tired right now. And yet, here I am, posting a cabinet update. Why? Because these babies are BUILT! I mentioned previously that my goal for this kitchen was to build all the cabinets ourselves, out of Purebond plywood. It was important to me because 1) I’d like to be as chemical free as possible (Purebond is a formaldehyde-free product) and 2) I wanted a quality, long-term construction from hardwood plywood. Not that cheapo pressed wood stuff. Another perk? Full customization! I was able to glean my favorite ideas from Pinterest and make them my own with no additional cost. I don’t have any “after” photos yet because I still need to sand and paint them, as well as installation. We’re about a week away from closing so that gives me enough time to work on the finishing.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Plans. I drew out a basic sketch of our kitchen using our floorplans. With everything to scale, I looked at stock dimensions to get an idea of my options. I needed 10 cabinets:

– 21″ cabinet with paper towel roll storage by sink
– 21″ double deep drawer cabinet to sort my silver & servingware upright by sink
– two 21″ standard cabinets for island center
– one 24″  cabinet with shelves for recipe books in island
– one 24″ cabinet for microwave and wine storage in island
– two 30″ standard base cabinets to flank range
– two 27″ standard upper cabinets to flank vent hood

I hit up my main gal Ana to help draw up some plans. And no worries, once I have these suckers finished & installed, I’ll take some fantastic photos for her to feature in her published plans on the website! That’s right, all these standard sized cabinet plans will be published for free over with Ana so you can build your own cabinets too! Get excited, because it’s really easy. How easy? Try 5 steps easy.

1) Get plywood ripped in 22.5″ strips at Home Depot. This ensures that they’re all identical widths.
2) Cut down your cabinet pieces (we used a circular saw) to the plan measurements.
3) We used a jigsaw to notch out the base for the kick plate.
4) KREG! This little tool is the best thing ever. I pre-drilled all my pocket holes for the shelves and supports.
5) Assemble with pocket hole screws. I marked my bases and shelves and assembled one side, then flipped it to assemble the other.
DONE! It really was that simple. I could cut and assemble a cabinet in about half an hour. The tricky part was doing the face frames, doors and drawers. But I’ll detail all that in another post.

We kicked the project off by putting together a test cabinet first. We took it all the way to the face frame stage to make sure it looked professional. And it totally did! So with that done, we dedicated one day simply to cutting down all of our strips of Purebond. Then I worked during naptimes and after my husband got home (he takes over Charlie duty until bedtime) drilling all the pocket holes. After our baby girl went to bed around 8, I’d drag him down to the workshop to help with assembly.

It was a lot of work, but not entirely difficult. With just over a week’s worth of late nights, though, my husband was about ready to throttle me! One gem from our sessions? “I know I’ll thank you when this is over, but right now I kind of hate you.” Yeah…he’s not into woodworking quite as much as I am! I spent about 3-5 hours a day working on these guys for the past week, and it was so. much. FUN! And so worth it. Just to be able to see the progress each night was addictive. I went from assembled carcasses, to face frames, to drawers and door frames in just a few days.

Even though we only had four drawers, they were pretty tough nuts to crack. One night was devoted entirely to those two island drawers. The next was spent on those deep doubles.

Once that was done, I moved on to the two uppers. And totally did my math wrong. I ended up with two 28″ cabinets, but had already pre-built my face frames at 27″. Whoops! I had to make an emergency Home Depot run to pick up some extra 1×2’s to fix and extend the frames.

And tonight we finished up by stapling the backing on the doors. I honestly cannot believe how professional they look!

I’ve never been so excited about sanding in my life 😉 Ready for the budget breakdown?

– 7 sheets of 3/4″ Purebond birch plywood (5 cut at 22.5″ strips, 2 cut at 12″ strips) & I had enough scrap to build a bathroom vanity
– 12 sets of full overlay hinges
– 17 poplar 1×2’s
– 15 poplar 1×3’s (we have 2.5 leftover)
– 4 20″ drawer slides
– 1 sheet of 1/4″ Purebond birch plywood for door backing and drawer bottoms
– 4 boxes of 1 1/4″ kreg screws


That comes to about $73 per custom cabinet. That doesn’t include paint though, which will probably add about $50 or so. There’s also the wine dividers to add to the island cabinet with the microwave, and dividers for inside the silverware drawers. I’m also planning on adding beadboard to the back and sides of the island cabinets. Still, at less than $1000 for 10 cabinets, I pretty much beat the cheapest cabinets out there, even the stock ones. Plus they are 100% custom (and awesome) and made from one of the best products on the market! That alone makes them worth their weight in gold. Oh, and the whole fact that they’re now the feather in my cap. I think I’ll start introducing myself as Brooke the Cabinet Maker! 😉



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  1. Heather

    Wow! They look awesome! I’m very impressed and empowered to do my own when it’s kitchen remodeling time. The plans sure sound easy. I can’t wait to see them finished!

  2. Katie

    Wow! They look great! I really can’t wait to see the plans so I can build my own.

  3. Kaye

    Brookie, they look great! So proud of you. Maybe I can get Richard to build some for our garage.

  4. Carol Franco

    You are amazing. I have no idea how you can move, be a mom, and do all the other stuff that needs to be done while building custom cabinets.

  5. Geek in Heels

    These are seriously KICKASS. I can’t wait to see the final product, installed in your new kitchen!

  6. Kiana

    These are so amazing!! I can’t wait to see them finished and looking forward to the full tutorial. I love your style and am so excited about your house!! You do fabulous work! One question though: are these the only cabinets you need for your kitchen?

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      Yup, they’re all we need. We are nixing a lot of uppers in favor of open shelving. I’m using some chunky reclaimed cedar from my dad’s barn and these minimal shelf “brackets” from the Container Store

  7. Amanda

    I’m SO IMPRESSED, Brooke. Seriously. You’re my hero.

  8. Jennifer Jones

    They look great! I can’t wait to see them finished!

  9. Amber (@ammybams)

    You make this sound so easy! Do you think this is something a relative beginner could tackle?

    1. Definitely! For the boxes, at least. Those are crazy easy. The doors and drawers made things a bit tricky, but I’m definitely a beginner when it comes to that too. There are a lot of places where you can just order doors pre-made. Still less expensive than assembled cabinet prices, but you don’t have to do the tough precision work. We kept our doors pretty simple, with a craftsman style. I won’t lie though, I loathe drawers. I spend hours on them and still haven’t gotten them figured out yet!

  10. jim Reeves

    very nice like them

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