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Old 03-22-2014, 05:56 PM
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Default Outdoor cabinets

As spring starts to (finally) roll in, I'm starting to think about upgrades to my outdoor kitchen setup. I'm thinking my next project should be to build a cabinet into the area under my oven-adjacent prep table, to store my oven gloves and grilling paraphanelia . Anyone have ideas on how to go about this?

The under-counter area gets fairly wet whenever it rains (often, during DC summers), so I need to be able to weatherproof it to protect the contents inside. One thought I had was to simply line the area with cement board, perhaps after first painting the CMU walls with Drylock or even Redguard. Since I'm planning to eventually put slate tiles on the outside of the oven stand, I had a notion to even make the doors out of cement board, and put tile on the outside. However, this is probably about five kinds of stupid...

Picture of my oven area attached; the cabinet would fill the 32"Wx30"Hx16"D space you see on the right.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Outdoor cabinets

I put three cabinets in my build. Two sealed stainless units (one drawer, one garbage can slider) and the other a home built cabinet with a stainless door.
If I had it to do over again, I would only use the all stainless units. I built a box for the third cabinet that was made of marine grade plywood and then put on a stainless door. I have all kinds of problems with moisture in that cabinet. have to keep some of those dehumidifier granules in there all winter long. The problem isn't so much the moisture coming from above, but the moisture that seeps under.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Outdoor cabinets

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Originally Posted by deejayoh View Post
I put three cabinets in my build. Two sealed stainless units (one drawer, one garbage can slider) and the other a home built cabinet with a stainless door.
If I had it to do over again, I would only use the all stainless units. I built a box for the third cabinet that was made of marine grade plywood and then put on a stainless door. I have all kinds of problems with moisture in that cabinet. have to keep some of those dehumidifier granules in there all winter long. The problem isn't so much the moisture coming from above, but the moisture that seeps under.
Hmm. I'm reluctant to do SS, mostly because of the cost. I would think that perhaps you could avoid seepage problems by elevating the floor of the cabinet, either with a toe-kick or with legs. Were you able to find shallow cabinets for your build, or did you use a full 24" depth? I can't do much about the cinderblock space being 16" deep at this point.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Outdoor cabinets

I hear what you are saying about the cost. I had 24" counters but lost some of the depth to the cladding. A few inches, not as much as cinderblock.

Elevating the cabinet will for sure help with direct contact with water, but at the end of the day - it's outside. It will be moist unless you live in Arizona or somewhere like that.

Maybe you could use cement board for the cabinet? You still get moisture but it shouldn't mildew. Also, I would recommend at a minimum to order a SS door. Those aren't nearly as expensive as the sealed cabinets.

FWIW I used this brand. They were costly, but I don't regret it.

Amazon.com: RCS: Home & Kitchen
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:31 PM
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Just thought that I might throw my 2 cents worth into the ring.
Cost is unfortunately the most contributing factor when building your oven which I will add is only the beginning of this adventure. You will put up a protective covering and add an outdoor kitchen eventually because you are proud of the build and the other half complains of the mess made in the house kitchen, you will thoroughly enjoy it and want to get the most from it by extending the useable seasons. Whether it is fully enclosed or possibly enclosable, you won't want to repair or replace cheap unsuitable cupboards due to moisture/snow penetration and cupboard degradation.
I understand that getting stainless cupboards made are expensive, or can be from commercial manufacturers but remember that by shopping around for used or units from auction houses are much better priced. Another option would be to make units that are on a castor base/trolley that can be wheeled to and fro the oven and stored in better environment for longevity. With a suitable to on it, it is also very useable for locating in more handy locations than beneath a bench.
Just a suggestion.

Neill
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Outdoor cabinets

While I am not at this stage yet, but planing the size if work areas including sink etc, I was wondering about 3 draw office filing cabinets.
Certainly would need some work on the front to fix some asthetics, but they can be had for about $40 at auctions.

Set under a concrete counter top and surrounded by block, maybe a false door across the front, they would be cheap, give access to everything from the top, have a space underneath should water intrude, lockable, and if they do rust out, another $40 and go get another one.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Wambat View Post
Set under a concrete counter top and surrounded by block, maybe a false door across the front, they would be cheap, give access to everything from the top, have a space underneath should water intrude, lockable, and if they do rust out, another $40 and go get another one.
I don't think it is really a matter of IF they will rust. More a matter of WHEN. Also, not sure they are the best size and shape for kitchen items? But everyone makes their own choices about where it makes sense to pay extra money and where not to. For instance, I would never spend more than $5 for an HDMI cord whereas some folks insist that there is some advantage to monster cable. But I was happy to pay for good quality SS cabinets. I searched around and got the best deal I could find, but end of the day I spent the money and haven't had to worry about upkeep or replacement. I live in a rainy place and it's just not worth the trouble!


Neill's suggestion is a good one. Look for used restaurant equipment is another option. But I would recommend staying away from the cheap chinese SS. I found a beverage cooler on a cart that was made in china. It's super thin metal and gets rust spots on it. I doubt the quality of the SS alloy is up to spec
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Outdoor cabinets

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Originally Posted by nissanneill View Post
You will put up a protective covering and add an outdoor kitchen eventually because you are proud of the build and the other half complains of the mess made in the house kitchen, you will thoroughly enjoy it and want to get the most from it by extending the useable seasons.

Neill
Funny you should mention it, but I do have my eye on adding on a full outdoor kitchen, with a bigger patio, another row of counters, and a sink for good measure. And without any push from the other half, as I do almost all the indoor cooking too.

But that's next year's or maybe the year after's project, as the indoor kitchen is undergoing a major remodel, and child #2 is due in June. In the meantime, I'm trying to see if there's improvements I can do myself, even though you're probably right that buying professionally made stuff would hold up better. Half the fun is in hacking it together, right? Also I'm skeptical about finding something commercially made that's the right depth.

That said, your idea about wheels may be a good one. Maybe something like a rolling toolchest? Food for thought.
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Old 03-25-2014, 03:25 AM
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Hi rsandler,


Quote:
Also I'm skeptical about finding something commercially made that's the right depth.
I'll tell you now that you will not get the right one, guaranteed, so, get the best one to fit and then you can modify it, cut the top off to your desire height, allow room for the adjustable plastic feet that you get for kitchen cupboards, drill out the spot welds holding the top onto the cut off sides and refit the top onto your cut down base unit.
Modifying the width is more difficult because you need to cut and refold both the top panel and the door affected.
Again, food for thought.

Neill
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Outdoor cabinets

I'm just in the process of doing our outdoor kitchen. I've had a masonry block base built on a 6" concrete slab. The base will have a concrete top to support the oven. To the sides of the masonry base, I'll be adding two Eldorado Outdoor cabinets. They are pre-fab masonry cabinets. I'm guessing they are a proprietary blend of concrete and fiberglass. They can be bolted together, covered with stone or stucco, and come in all sorts of sizes and configurations. I wonder if this might be a solution for you.
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