Not all woodworking projects end with a sexy finish photo. Some are strictly about improving the way something works.
Our neighbor's kitchen is a dark old thing, dating back to the 60's or 70's. An inexpensive, factory-made kitchen whose every drawer is falling apart at this point and the old, single, under-mount slides are worn-out and failing. She was frustrated with how difficult it was to work in. They had the typical configuration of 'a drawer above a door' which made it more difficult to see and get to items in the bottom of the cabinet, behind the door. They really needed cabinetry where everything gets stored in it's own place and is easily accessible so they asked me to stop by and give them some advise.
They are a young couple w/ three kids and as much as they would have liked us to build them a new kitchen, it was outside their budget. So I thought about what could be done with the existing carcasses.
We designed drawers and sliding shelves to sit behind doors and we replaced the existing drawers w/ new ones that were sub-divided ( to their specifications). We added to that a cabinet to house (and hide) a good sized garbage pail and custom build a spice rack to a certain width to mount near their stove. I also explained that a good coat of paint to all the faces would help them realize their 'new' kitchen and that was something they could do themselves.
In order to best install all these drawers, we had to create internal side walls (where there were none) and filler strips so the slides were flush with the faceframe's openings (and, in a few cases, built-up an additional 1/4" of material so the slides would clear any door that couldn't be swung out fully to clear the opening).
This first shot shows what we were dealing with...
here's one of the build-up filler strips w/ a slide...
... and one of the internal side walls we created.
we built the drawers out of pre-finished maple ply.
The spice rack (still to be painted) sits within easy reach of the stove top.
... and a garbage pull-out cab (we often make these using a laundry basket / larger and stronger than the pre-made wire units. Might have been nice to create a matching door but they're budget kept everything at a functional level only.
After it was painted, their kitchen looked so much better and was a pleasure to work in.
I love making grand projects that impress people but I also get a great sense of satisfaction from simply building something honestly, that will serve people for a long time to come... much like the old village woodsmith must have done , 100 years ago...
Lots of other wooden things on our website / take a look if you'd like
I do a lot of rebuilding and refurbishing old stuff for people that can't afford to have the new fancy "TV Show" kitchens.
It gives a real sense of satisfaction.
wish I could always do the high end stuff but these days I'll do whatever it takes to feed the family / while you and I are wondering what to charge, someone on the other side of the planet is wondering if they'll eat tonight / just sayin'