Recently there was a conversation on the Yahoo half scale group about Bonnie Lavish’s kitchen cabinet kits. She discontinued these several years ago but said she would cut some for people on the list who were interested. Since I have two half scale kitchens to work on—the Fairfield and the Rosedale—I jumped at the offer! I got my kits in the mail in early September and it’s taken me a few weeks (off and on) to get the Fairfield’s built.
(Bonnie told me that she might start selling these more regularly if there’s interest. If you want more info about the kits, you can find her contact info on her website.)
The kits are modular, similar to the Houseworks Kitchen Collection kits available in 1″ scale. There are several different widths and cabinet heights available and I spent a lot of time futzing with layout ideas before placing my order. Here’s the layout I decided on.
The kits are laser cut from cherry wood. There are three different door styles available (grooved, cathedral, and traditional). I chose the grooved for the Fairfield.
I stained the cabinets with Minwax pickled oak. The stain has a white tint and I expected them to look more like whitewash but it really just gave the cherry wood a nice pinkish/brown color. Not what I was expecting, but I like it. (The picture below shows a stained front next to an unstained side.)
The cabinets are simple boxes—no backs, and the doors don’t open. I don’t have a jig and probably could have done a better job making my cabinets square. But even so, they were pretty easy to assemble.
After assembling the frame, the front is glued on. This helps a bit with keeping the sides square. I used The Ultimate glue, which dries quickly and clear.
The hardest part was to lay the top part of the toe kick in place from the inside. Not a lot of space for fingers!
Outlines for the door and drawer pieces are scribed into the front to make it easier to glue them on in the right positions. The photo below shows a cabinet with the drawers / doors glued in, next to one without.
Here are the first two cabinets I assembled, which will meet at a right angle. Notice the hole where the two toe kicks (don’t) meet. Something I’d have to come up with a solution for.
And here are all three bottom cabinets. The one next to the fridge will contain the sink, which is why it’s open on the top. In the Fairfield I’m using Acme magnets for the stove and fridge. Bonnie also offers appliance kits and I got a stove and a fridge for the Rosedale. (Unfortunately both of my kitchens are too small for a dishwasher!)
Next I moved on to the upper cabinets. Bonnie’s set doesn’t include a corner but I figured out the dimensions I needed and she cut one for me. (Three cheers for geometry!) Because of the angles these pieces were difficult to glue, so I glopped glue on the inside.
In general the cabinets are stable enough without any supports inside, but with its funny shape the corner cabinet needed some extra support, so I glued in a piece of scrap wood.
When my upper cabinets were assembled I laid them in the kitchen to make sure they fit, then glued them together.
And here it is with all of the cabinets (roughly) in place. Coming up next time: the sink, counter top, and a scratch built microwave!
September 25, 2011 at 10:54 pm
Dear Emily ,Were did you find the stove and fridge at?They look so real .I have the kitchen set from Miniatures.com .But I would like to have ones that look real. I built the Fairfield .I used the strips of wood for Greenleaf on mine.I like the way you did yours But the cabinets you used make your kitchen so real. TY, Deborah Gaffney
September 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Looks very nice! I like the grooved fronts.
In Miniature Style II
September 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm
The stove and fridge are Acme brand refrigerator magnets. I think the stove is still available at their website: http://www.acme-usa.com
These also come up on eBay now and then.