Steve Millican has submitted plans for a hutch to be used in the kitchen. In this case he has marvelous wood and some functional requirements driving the design. In our house, I tread lightly in the kitchen. Barb is master and commander of that ship and I know not to make stupid remarks about the geraniums she planted in her kitchen window box. The following are Steve’s comments:
First off, my client is a very important one…she is my wife! My wife loves to cook and I love to buy her tools for her kitchen. As a result, even with our decent sized kitchen, the cupboards are full – our boys and I are often confused where something is supposed to go, or how to make it fit!
For my day job, I work as an engineer. As a result, you will find my design of the hutch is very focused on utility. The hutch will be placed in our galley style kitchen. The breakfast nook falls inline with the kitchen. As the cupboards end, there is a 36-37″ space along the wall before the breakfast nook windows begin – that will the future home for our piece. So the width of our design is set at 36″. Breaking the hutch down, the lower cabinet has 3 sliding drawers. The lower two are for pots/pans etc, while the top drawer will get a built-in kitchen knife holder. Moving up, you’ll see a space between the top of the base unit and the doors. This space is sized to allow bottles or cookbooks to stored or used as decoration. Behind the doors will be two levels for holding cookbooks – each shelf has about 14″ of vertical room to hold even my wife’s tallest cook books.
For this project, we decided to go with walnut. We ultimately settled on claro walnut and proceeded to spend a good chunk of money on some really nice claro walnut boards. Overall the design of the piece follows a less is more concept. Using frame and panel construction will allow us to place the curly/marbled claro walnut on display in the panels while some nicely matching non-curly western walnut (all of which is quartersawn/rift sawn) will be used for the frames.
I would love feedback on any aspect of the design. Some specific points of question my be about the widths of the various rails/stiles, the design of the crown molding, the width of the upper cabinet, mortising the ends of the rails into the stiles vs. mortising the stiles into the rails. Given the frame and panel construction, I’m struggling to decide how best to attach the shelves – sliding dovetails was my first choice but that is compromised by the frame and panel concept I really want to stick with (I was thinking the panel can be flush with the stiles on the inner surfaces and still have a dovetail?). We don’t know what we want to do for handles/pulls. Purchase metal ones or make wooden versions. We are currently leaning towards making handles/pulls from ebony but they won’t be round – they would be some curved shape since the one machine that I don’t own is a lathe (ran out of room in my garage).