Think of this course like a set of video-enhanced plans for building a piece of furniture.   In this case the “furniture” is custom designed, it’s permanently mounted to walls and offers a place to prepare and enjoy food. I’ll lead you through a very specific yet flexible approach to building traditional style face frame kitchen cabinets that are heavy on solid wood. I began using and refining my honest kitchen cabinet construction methods in 1987 and I’m still using them today. The thing I like best is the way this approach delivers the good looks of a bygone era without demanding crazy amounts of time or skill. Simple tools, basic abilities, a supply of honest materials and a reasonable amount of time are all that’s required. My approach uses real wood in all visually prominent places, including face frames, raised panel doors, end panels, beading and shop-made crown molding. I’ll even show you how to add incised carvings and lettering details to customize your kitchen if you really want to go all out.  Veneered plywood is also part of my approach, but used only in hidden places where it makes the most practical sense, as you’ll see.

A Note on Videos and Photos

It’s taken me decades to perfect the techniques you’ll learn here, and I’ve been making videos and photos to document the process since 2001. None of what you’ll see in this course are staged studio visuals. It’s all real stuff gathered in my workshop using the best cameras available at the time.  That’s why I’m younger in some videos and photos, older in others. Some of the visuals come from my own kitchen cabinets in cases where these show some technical issue best. Please excuse the bit of wear they show from having been in use for more than 25 years.

Thank you for trusting me to show you how to build the kind of kitchen cabinets that a quality-minded woodworker can be proud of.

– Steve Maxwell

Manitoulin Island, Canada


What You’ll Learn

  • How to Design Your Kitchen Cabinets
  • Cutting and Assembling Cabinet Box Parts & Shelves
  • How to Assess & Optimize Wood Grain
  • How to Choose & Rough-Cut Face Frame Stock
  • Refining Face Frame Members
  • Making End Panels & Door Panels
  • Installing Stiles, Rails, End Panels & Kick Base
  • Building & Installing Drawers
  • Building & Installing Doors
  • Carvings & Crown Moulding
  • Sanding & Completing Face Frames
  • Choosing Your Countertop
  • Finishing Your Cabinets
  • Cabinet Installation

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