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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Default Some heresy - using prefab kitchen cabinets for your shop?

    All,

    Just a quick question on something in terms of shop organisation and fit-out.

    I am looking at a mucky corner of the garage that has a protruded corner that is about 2metres x 80cmm, and wondering how best to maximise its potential. I currently have a Festool MFT set up but I have gotten used to a system of Parf dogs and finding I don't really use anything except the MFT top (which I can replicate with the Parf guide system). What I am thinking is putting in some cabinets for wood or tool storage, and making up an replaceable MFT-style top (probably with formply) that will just sit on top. It would them become a tracksaw/assembly area.

    I am very time poor. It would probably take me months of weekends to finalise the project myself.

    One thing I am wondering is... why not just use prefabricated kitchen cabinets and set up? A little googling indicates that, frankly, I would pay less buying prefabricated IKEA units than I would myself in materials (taking into account wastage et cetera). People eye-roll at the quality but they would be solid and do the job. I assume if I got a day clear, knock wood, it would be a single day job (in the garage with everything handy).

    So the question is - apart from the slight shame in a woodworker outsourcing the task, any practical reason why not? I've looked at prices and frankly taking into account the cost of hardware it's now mentally feeling like if I did it myself I'd be paying heavily for the privilege.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    1,118

    Default

    I think it’s a great idea. I go through phases where I enjoy making fixtures and projects for my workshop. At other times it just feels like a waste of my limited time workshop time. Oddly enough, as time has progressed and I’ve developed more skills, I spend less and less time on workshop fixtures as I have the skills to make more pieces for the house or as gifts.

    I say go for it!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Hervey Bay
    Posts
    191

    Default

    Cgcc,

    Buy the cabinets and get on with the fun stuff!

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Rushworth, Victoria
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Keep your eye on FB marketplace for 2nd hand kitchens too. I have a whole row of cupboards that I use for boat building where long narrow benches are useful, good storage as well. . Bit of a hint, leave space between your cabinets where you have bench over so you can clamp stuff.
    "World's oldest kid"

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    318

    Default

    7 metre wall in my garage is Ikea kitchen cabinets wit double layer yellow tongue bench top. I have far too many jobs on my list I think it cost approx $1300 about the same cost as the melamine and hardware ( although I would have purchased a kreg cabinet jig if I went DIY, )
    I had so much stuff hanging on the floor stacked, in the way usually, and could barely put my finger on where some screws were.

    one weekend’s work and I am very happy. Wife says there is even a chance to get “both” cars in the garage at the same time, I said let’s not rush I need more tools

    setup was two doors, then one drawer two doors, rinse repeat and last gap was left as gap for my air compressor to tuck into.

    it looks good and it would have taken me a month, I had also tried to get a price for 7 x double door cabinets and hardware only, from kitchen/cabinet maker folk. One guy quoted me $7,000 another told me it should cost around $1400 but he was booked solid for 18 months and looked at me as if had two heads when I suggested he could do it as a end of shift job any day he wanted with “leftover” time and material. Apparently the “computer” does the cut list and his computer says the next available slot for anything is 18 months. I drove to ikea the next day,
    cheers

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    31
    Posts
    5,938

    Default

    Nothing wrong with that at all and, IMO, IKEA stuff is actually very well engineered.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    26,164

    Default

    Go for it - I'm a big fan of "what works . . . . ."

    In 2011 I needed storage in a hurry to get me started in the new shed extension.
    On the day after I started thinking about this I found these two wooden cabinets in a skip at work.
    Some sort of a lab refurb was going on and these apparently did not make the cut.
    The Regum slab tops were from a tree that was going right outside the old part of the shed that I had cut down about a decade earlier.
    10 years on and they are still there -
    B12.jpg

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    565

    Default

    When we bought our house, we ripped out the old kitchen and put in a new one. Most of those old cabinets have been repurposed into my workshop for storage. I put 1 inch thick plywood on instead of a kitchen counter top and they have been going strong for over a decade.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    26,164

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Morbius View Post
    When we bought our house, we ripped out the old kitchen and put in a new one. Most of those old cabinets have been repurposed into my workshop for storage. I put 1 inch thick plywood on instead of a kitchen counter top and they have been going strong for over a decade.
    Perfect.

    Reminds me a bit of the following.

    A few years back one of the neighbours did a major house reno including replacing the circa 1970's orange and brown laminex kitchen with tasteful white melamine cabinets and off white marble tops. A year later they sold up and moved on.

    The new owners (he was about 40 and had sort of retired after a stint as the CFO for a major music record label) came in and replaced the 1 year old kitchen with what did not look that different to me. They put the old/new kitchen cabinets on the back veranda and was talking to the lady of the house about how new it still looked and how they should be able to get something for it. "Oh we're not selling it, it's going into a studio (a shed) as the marble tops will be perfect for hubby's French clock restoration workbenches". The owners completely did the house up and I believe the spent over 100 grand just on the pocket handkerchief back yard, limestone everything, pool with marble statues, outdoor kitchen with all the mod cons etc. They wanted to spend 25 grand on a brick and stone fence between us - I said I would pay for half a Colorbond fence which did not go down well. In the end they put up a second elaborate 3.5m high lattice work fence just inside their boundary.

    They had "House and Garden" Photographers over taking photos for a couple of days and then they flogged it off. Apparently this was her thing, find an old house with potential, move in, spend loads of hubby's money doing up the place and move on. It was something like their 7th house in about 10 years. That would drive me just nuts.

    BTW the lattice work fence started falling down and was giving the current owners no end of trouble and last year they ended up pulling a section of it down.

  11. #10
    Scribbly Gum's Avatar
    Scribbly Gum is offline When the student is ready, the Teacher will appear
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Telegraph Point
    Posts
    2,819

    Default

    Yep - it's your workshop, your time and ...... well ..... who cares.
    Just do it and enjoy your woodworking.
    Life's too short to worry about what anybody else thinks
    Tom
    .... some old things are lovely
    Warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them ........................D.H. Lawrence
    https://thevillagewoodworker.blogspot.com/

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    NSW
    Age
    35
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    611

    Default

    I wish i had of seen this when I started doing up my shed. Ton's of covered in storage... just don't install the sink and for $800. people spend that on 1 tool box
    Practa Straight Line Modular Kitchen - Bunnings Australia


  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    386

    Default

    I used IKEA kitchen cabinets for one wall of my shed. Have never regretted it.

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk

  14. #13
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    Feb 2016
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    Default

    I saw this originally and my thoughts were

    1 - Prefab!
    2 - Bunnings!
    3 - MDF!

    Barely qualifies as woodwork, burn this heretic at the stake! Buttttt, its a good idea.

    I looked into doing this in my last studio - using a kitchen company. One sends all the measurements in and their flat-pack machine cuts everything and sends it to you for assembly.

    It fits the spaces you have.

    BTW, I think having an oven and sink in a workshop would be wonderful. Good for sharpening, resin casting and pies

    Oh, and a decent coffee machine

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nsw
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    Default

    I have used IKEA and Bunnings cabinets.
    What I don’t like about the IKEA ones is their fiddly DIY style metal installation brackets etc. and their 5mm backs
    I don’t use their brackets but instead buy a length of white primed 90x19 pine from Bunnings and install a hanging batten across the back top of the carcass and fix off through that like you do with traditional kitchen cabinetry

    Other than that they are fine.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer69 View Post
    I wish i had of seen this when I started doing up my shed. Ton's of covered in storage... just don't install the sink . . . .
    I reckon leave the sink in. After 10 years of use I haven't regretted installing a sink in my shed. I did my own plumbing using PVC connections to a garden tap and the waste has a diverter so it can be discharged direct into the garden.

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