Update on Barker Cabs

lucas_tx_gwMarch 29, 2013

Well my Barker cabinets arrived last Wed and I'm 98.9% thrilled with them. There are a couple of small issues but I've e-mailed with Chad and he says he'll work them out with us if need be.

Delivery-He puts residential deliveries on a lift gate truck and the driver was great. Backed down the driveway as far as the trees would allow then unloaded the pallets with a pallet jack and pulled them right into the garage for us.

Good thing because one pallet weighed 1100 lbs, the other weighed 540 and there was a big box of hardware and small drawers as well.

Here's how they were packed

Unpacked in the dining room

This isn't really all of it, all the trim (crown molding, etc. are in the garage at this stage)

One scratch on one of the refrigerator panels. Haven't gotten far enough into things yet to figure out if this will show. Chad says he'll replace if we can't make it work.

Slightly bigger problem, this panel and one finished end for one of the uppers are pretty seriously bowed. Was a little disappointed in the QC for this, but again, he says if we can't make them work, he'll get us some new ones out. Not ready to install yet, so have them flat with other stuff on top to see how they do. Jury still out on this.

Drawer fronts and doors are beautiful and finish is flawless (clear finish natural color cherry)

Photobucket is acting cranky so I'll go ahead and post this and then add another post with a few more pics.

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Chapter 2
Sadly, I can't actually install the cabs because we are still hunting the slab leak but that's another whole story. However we have put the bases together to dry fit them and so far, so good.

Cabs are going together well. Some percentage (10-15%) of the tops or bottoms do have some small amount of bow in them as well. In general they pull in well when you add the nailers but there is nothing in the middle of the cabs to hold make the tops and bottoms stay flat, so in some cases we have gone ahead and countersunk some small screws from the top or bottom (or both) into the nailer to pull them together more tightly in the middle of the cab.

Drawe glides are super sturdy and work great (at least without a drawer on them). Drawer glides and hinges all went on well. Haven't attached any hinges to doors, or drawer fronts to drawers yet.

The only small caution I would add and I think it's inherent to frameless cabs is the fact that all the pieces are edge banded with 0.5mm veneer and you have to handle them very carefully to avoid breaking off small pieces. I think once they are assembled, it's fine, but you have to be careful not to stand a piece on the ground and the let the edge of the veneer hit.

I'd also highly recommend assembling them on a flat solid surface well above floor height. We used a padded vinyl table cloth on a dining room table and that has really saved our backs and knees and makes it a lot easier to get screws in because your tools aren't down on the ground.

Actually the boxes look really pretty with the maple interiors and the cherry edge banding!

One final thoought for now. We are doing an OTR microwave. Don't order the vented cab for that. It's basically a wall cabinet with a wooden chimney up the middle but the location of the 'chimney' is set by Barker when they make it and unless you are just super detail oriented and have planned to the 'nth' degree, the partitions for that chimney turn out to be a PITA. Murphy's law dictates that one of them is directly over where one of the screws from the microwave has to come up through the bottom of the cab, so you'll have to notch the partition for that. Then it will dictate that one of them is directly over a stud into which you could otherwise screw the cabinet and so forth. The cabinet seemed like a good idea when I ordered it but turned out to be a time killer to get it to actually work with our wall and our MW. We had carefully checked the sizes of the MW etc. but it didn't occur to me to actually check the precise location of the mounting screws vs. where the partitions would be. Plus, I think the opening in the cab is bigger than it needs to and that's probably not a good thing in a cab that needs to be structurally sound. So in short, there is nothing wrong with the cabinet per se but the chimney doesn't really add that much and it makes an already painstaking process even more complicated.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:41PM
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I was JUST thinking yesterday, "I wonder if Lucas got his cabinets yet?" Great timing! :) Wow, that's a lot of boxes!

Thanks for posting all the pics - sorry you have the bowing issues, but hope it works out. It's nice to hear they'll take care of it if it doesn't. Appreciate the other tips as well (veneer, no micro cabinet, etc.).

Can't wait to see the final "reveal"!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:34PM
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They look beautiful so far! Keep us posted on your progress please - it's really helpful to those of us planning to use Barker cabs.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 5:34AM
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I will provide updates but it's going to be a while. If you look at the last photo above, you can actually see the damp spot in the concrete in front of the left hand cab and the blank spot where the range will be.

DH is out of town this weekend but when he gets back we'll probably assemble the rest of them but we won't be able to install any till we do round 2 with the plumber.

Good thing it's only two of us and we have the nicely functional laundry room kitchen. I can see where this would be just a miserable experience for a family with kids but for us, it's mainly just the annoyance and stress of fear of the unknown and the extra $$ the plumbers are chewing up.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 10:05AM
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