Drawer-ing To A Close ~ Kitchen Cabinets Are Done!

In my last post, I made and hung the kitchen cabinet doors. This time, I focused on the drawers. Now with the drawers completed, the kitchen install is drawing to a close!

I started with the drawer boards thickness-planed to 5/8″, and I cut them to a width that would allow for good spacing on the dovetails. I measured and cut all the drawer pieces to length and started making the dovetail corner joints. Here are two boards in the dovetail jig:


One of the fronts/backs is clamped into the jig horizontally and one of the sides is clamped into the jig vertically. Then the dovetails are cut with a tapered bit in the router.

P1030262-001 After I cut all the dovetails, I took the boards to the table saw and cut a one-blade-wide cut at the bottom of the pieces. This allowed me to slide the aluminum drawer bottoms into place. Here is a set of boards all ready for assembly:


I cut the aluminum sheets to drawer-bottom size. Then with a small paintbrush, I applied carpenter’s wood glue to the joints and tapped the pieces together with a rubber mallet. With this joint, no nails or screws are needed — a good thing in a tropical climate because any moisture left in the wood will rust nails and screws in short order. Here is the stack of drawers waiting overnight for final sanding of the joints:


I like kitchen cabinets that have pull-out trays at the bottom of the cabinets because it it is much easier to reach the pan in the back of the cabinet. So I made trays in the same style as the drawers. Here are the trays waiting for sanding:


Same as the doors, after a good sanding, I gave all the drawers and trays a coat of sanding sealer and two coats of polyurethane, sanding between the coats. The drawers (not the bottom trays) also needed additional drawer fronts so I made and finished those too. Finally it was time to put the drawers and trays into the cabinets. Here are some photos of the completed kitchen:


The Caoba (African Mahogany) will continue to darken over time and will develop a deep rich red-brown patina. There’s a strip of LED lights behind the sink for a gentle-on-the-eyes light in the middle of the night. Shown here, the light is reflecting off the shine of the waxed concrete countertop.



Cat BobBob needs a place to eat, too. I still have to install an LED light strip under the counter here plus caulk the corners of the aluminum.


This is the baking island — it is two-inches lower than the other cabinets which is especially useful when rolling out dough. It’s an easy-0n-the-back height.

Here is a closeup of a drawer with its attached front, one of the trays, and a door:


I used the same aluminum floor-plate that I used for the cabinet sides and shelves throughout the house. Termites don’t like aluminum, but they would do a job on plywood drawer bottoms. On the underside of the drawers, I ran beads of urethane caulk to keep the aluminum from rattling.

Here is a closeup of one of the dovetail joints:


I used Blum brand drawer slides for the drawers and trays. These slides are very nice — when you close a drawer, just push on the drawer, and at the final two-inches you can let go of the drawer and the drawer slide takes over and automatically and silently glides the drawer to its closed position. Here is a short video that I found on YouTube by Dan Lake that shows how the drawers come to a smooth and quiet closed position:

I have to say that I am very, very happy with how the kitchen turned out. Everything looks just right and my eyes are doing a happy dance. Cynthia likes it too, I just wish that there weren’t so many conflicting priorities with the house and that I could have done the kitchen a lot sooner. I still have a couple finishing details, but I’m calling the kitchen, DONE.

Not much in other news this post, except that one day, using bananas from our back yard, Cynthia made “good for you Fun Food” or baked banana bread doughnuts. Gluten-free and very delicious. I couldn’t eat just one!


Living in Latin America, it doesn’t take long before one comes across a statue or park named for a hero from distant history. Who are they and what did they do? I just finished reading the book, Bolivar: American Liberator by Marie Arana. Almost every night for a couple weeks, I would retire to the screened-in bump out in the master bedroom and read the Kindle version on my smartphone. I enjoyed the hooting of owls as I read.

Over the course of twenty-some years, Bolivar traveled 75,000 miles on horseback, fought the Spanish plus many competing forces withing South America. He made and lost fortunes and always fought for equal representation for all South Americans including freeing slaves. All this was at the same time as Washington and Jefferson and other North American patriots were fighting for freedom. It was a fascinating read.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

11 thoughts on “Drawer-ing To A Close ~ Kitchen Cabinets Are Done!

  1. Fred, these drawers and the total kitchen are beyond fabulous! Please ask Cynthia if she’d share her recipe for the yummy looking baked donuts. Thanks, Joan

    • Hi Joan,

      Thanks very much for the nice compliment! Here is the recipe:

      Banana Doughnuts
      2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
      1 tsp baking soda
      1/2 cup coconut milk
      4 eggs, beaten
      1 Tbls vanilla
      1/2 cup + 2 tbs agave syrup
      1/4 cup coconut oil melted
      1 cup coconut flour
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
      1/4 cup Warrior Blend (chia seeds, maca powder, cocoa nibs)
      Preheat oven to 350 F
      Mix wet ingredients into dry, stir gently
      Add chia mixture, stir to combine
      Use 1/3 cup size measuring cup to load mix into doughnut pan, press mixture gently into place
      Bake 10-12 minutes** (Cyn used a convection oven) or until browned.
      Turn out onto cooling rack immediately
      **Adjust cooking time based on cooking pan, ie. muffin tin**

  2. Bravo! That kitchen turned out lovely. It seems all is done, but I am curious to know how your dry closet (?) in your master bedroom turned out. Do you have a place to keep things dry in the tropics or isn’t an actual concern anymore? Oh, and I’d love to see a time lapse of the building from that set-camera position. I would imagine you’ll save it for last. ? Your journey has been fun and helpful. Thanks again. Not sure what I will do after all is said and done. Will you continue your blog with information about the area and/ or exploits way south of the border. Always fun to me.

    • Hi Steve,

      Gee. If I had only thought to set a camera for a five-year time lapse. That would have been quite a show. Maybe next time…

      We are happy to have the dry room. We keep clothes, shoes, leather, cameras (to keep the lenses from getting moldy inside), books, sheets and towels, etc. in there. It is one big walk-in closet. It is wonderful to live in the tropics. The weather, the birds and nature, and NO SNOW! But it is a climate that will eat anything that you don’t protect. The dry room and dehumidifier was a good investment. I’ll post some photos in my next blog entry.

      I get the feeling from a lot of people that the story of this house has been like a novel. Or at least a soap opera. In the States, TV soaps seemingly never end. One Life To Live ran from 1968 to 2013. But here in Latin America, we were surprised when our favorite novela, La Tormenta (The Storm), simply ended when they got to the end of the book! Then it was on to the next novela — with many of the same actors!

      In time we will all know if this blog is a soap opera or a novela. Stay tuned.

      Thanks very much for your comment. Fred

    • HI Lynn,

      Oh good. I hope that I made your day! This house has been SO MUCH WORK but also SO MUCH FUN and SO REWARDING. Cynthia walked into the kitchen this morning and said, “This is VERY NICE. But where are all the tools that I have gotten used to on the counters?”

      Thanks very much Lynn, always a pleasure to receive your comments. Fred

  3. Very impressive joinery. You are a masterful craftsman. Love the color of the mahogany against the metallic shine. I will be over for a real-time visual before Christmas!

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