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Video, Book Teach How to Build Kitchen Cabinets

February 05, 1989|DAVID M. KINCHEN | Times Staff Writer

Books are great for home improvement projects, especially if they come from a quality source like The Taunton Press.

The publisher of Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, Threads and other magazines and books is a class act, producing magazines with great layouts, good color photos, excellent sketches and well-written articles.

As if that isn't enough, Taunton produces a line of high-quality home-improvement videos. It was only a matter of time before Taunton combined the videos with the books; the first effort of this type is called "Making Kitchen Cabinets" by Paul Levine ($39.95 for the set, $29.95 for the video only (Beta or VHS format), $17.95 for the book only, The Taunton Press, 63 S. Main St., Box 355, Newtown, Conn. 06470).

Building Your Own

Levine has simplified the construction of frameless (Euro-style, 32-millimeter) kitchen cabinets as much as possible and he describes his techniques comprehensively (in the book) and quickly (in the video).

Making kitchen cabinets isn't for everyone, but if you're a reasonably skilled woodworker with a table saw, a drill press and the usual assortment of portable power tools, you shouldn't have any trouble making a good-looking cabinet at a fraction of the cost of the factory-made unit.

Unlike the traditional face-frame cabinet common to the United States and Canada, frameless cabinets are simple to construct. Levine doesn't like particle board, which is often used for cheap cabinets of both types, recommending hardwood plywood.

Levine's frameless cabinets come with hidden hinges that allow the doors to open almost flat, they have drawer slides that allow the drawer to open all the way and they have a clean look that many homeowners prefer.

If you're a professional cabinetmaker who wants to learn about the frameless system of construction, this would be an excellent book/video combo. It would also be good for an industrial arts teacher who wants to add this style of construction to his or her repertoire.

One caution: Don't order the video only; it isn't nearly as comprehensive or detailed as the book and leaves a lot of informational gaps. The price for the set is fair, considering the amount of information Levine supplies.

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