Woodworking is an interesting blend of the practical and the romantic. Like most woodworkers I swing back and forth; I love the artistic side but I also need to pay the bills or put something nice in my house that I otherwise couldn’t afford. One of the reasons I write about kitchen cabinets in addition to historical and artistic work is my personal experience in leveraging the practical to make the artistic possible. In a recent review of my new book “SketchUp For Kitchen Design” Jeff Branch puts it this way:
Our home was built about 1988 and we still have the original kitchen cabinets. These cabinets are woefully out of date and in desperate need of replacing. But buying a full set of kitchen cabinets is expensive and as a woodworker, I know I can build better cabinets than what I see in showrooms. The reason my wife and I still live with old cabinets is that the task of building new cabinets is sooo daunting. I get a headache just thinking about it.
But what if I could build my kitchen cabinets first in my computer? What if I could work out appliance locations; look at different cabinet styles and see how they fit with existing door ways and windows? That would be cool, right? Doing these things ahead of time would help make a monstrous task much more manageable. And this idea is at the core of Bob Lang’s new SketchUp book titled SketchUp for Kitchen Design.
Building your own kitchen is popular project and if you’re smart about it you can buy all the materials and the equipment you need for less than the cost of purchasing nice cabinets. But there are risks. Almost all of those can be minimized if you take the time to plan ahead. SketchUp is the ideal planning, problem solving and design tool and “SketchUp for Kitchen Design” walks you through the process. I think it’s a pretty good book but I encourage you to visit Jeff Branch Woodworking and read his take on it. While you’re there leave a comment before Wednesday, November 9 and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a free copy.
If you’re serious about building your own cabinets you should check out my print book “Bob Lang’s Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker”. That details the process of making nice cabinets in a typical small shop. It was written about 10 years ago, but the information is still relevant. After several printings an updated edition was released in 2014.