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Oven Cabinet Started

Pete Brown - 14 August 2006

Over the weekend, I assembled the carcass and face frame for the double oven cabinet for our Thermador C302BS.

This was a bit of a one-off cabinet as I had to adhere to manufacturer specs for support and spacing. The cabinet is sized exactly for that oven. You can see from some of the photos below that I used a sandwich of plywood to hold the weight of the oven. A similar support structure exists in the separately-assembled base. All that support structure meant that I had to have a narrow drawer down below. Rather than have a really wide face frame at that point, I decided that I'll let the drawer face be full width, but the box will be narrow. To hide the ugly plywood, I cut a couple small pieces which will be attached once finished. Perhaps the drawer front will be a bit weak or prone to warp because of that. TBD.

The base and oven supports are tongue and groove attached to the face frame. The face frame is assembled using pocket screws. The carcass is assembled using tongue and groove as well as pocket screws. The bottom face frame is attached to the carcass using biscuits - the boards were too unwieldy to route a tongue; the top is attached using tongue and groove. I really prefer the T&G when I can, as it is more precise and holds much better when dry.

The cabinet is currently in five main pieces - the bottom face frame, the top face frame, the bottom carcass, the top carcass and the bottom support (plus the two plywood sandwiches and the trim). Those pieces will all be attached after finishing and installation. The reasoning for the sizing is because I can't work with wood longer than about 6' 5" in my tiny workshop, and because handling a full 8' cabinet is a bit more than I care to take on by myself :-) Ideally, a single flowing face frame would have been preferred, even if the carcass was split in two.

Besides the obvious drawer and doors, I have some side trim pieces to build. In addition, the face frames still need to be hand planed, sanded, and finished. Right now, I plan to finish the face frames using oil with several coats of General Finishes Gloss High Performance Poly. The gloss will bring out some of the figure in a way satin just can't. The interiors and plywood will only be finished with the poly. The inside and outside of the oven cabinet may not have any poly put on it, as there is no real reason to do so, except perhaps to protect from errant moisture.

It has been a lot of work to get this far, but it is very rewarding to see a pile of 2 1/2" thick rough lumber cut down to this, end up as what you see on this page and in the future installments.

Oh, the plywood I ended up using is this crappy Maple / Birch plywood from Lowes. It has Maple on one side and Birch on the other. I bought a whole pallet (20 sheets) worth for about $40/sheet. That is significantly cheaper than good maple plywood (which is upwards of $100/sheet + shipping as no one stocks it locally). What you trade for price and easy of purchase, is quality and consistency. The number of plies is different from board to board, as is the thickness (minor variances, but there). Some of the maple faces have the most hideous patches (not footballs, but just a couple splinters stuck into a low spot). The plywood works, but you wouldn't want to use it for anything where you look at the plywood day in and day out. All the plywood on my cabinets will be visible only from the inside of the cabinets.

I have decided to keep the face frames relatively plain, and keep the highly wormy and colorful bits for the panels, doors and, to a lesser extent, the doors. Things will really liven up once I start putting those in there.

posted by Pete Brown on Monday, August 14, 2006
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5 comments for “Oven Cabinet Started”

  1. Romansays:
    Outstanding look thus far! The tigerwood is beautiful. I stumbled upon the 'irritatedvowel' and blog while researching pocket joinery and wound up going through all of the projects. Everything looks to be above par for the 50th percentile DIY'r and better fit and finish than many, many things I've seen contractors put in.

    I appreciate your placing the sommerfeld link and tip. That tool set opens up new ideas for me.

  2. AL SCOTTsays:

    I am a hobby wood butcher but I have been overwhelmed trying to come up with a suitable design for my wife's new double wall oven. Your design simplicity and beauty is just want I was looking for. Can't tell you ho much I appreciated your pictures!

    Thanks again,

    Fife Lake, Michigan

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  1. Pete Brown's Blogsays:
    I scribed the wall oven cabinet to the wall and permanently installed it today. After that, Melissa and