Ideas for Cabinet Feet

Cabinetmakers discuss style ideas for feet on a kitchen sink cabinet. November 30, 2009

I'm trying to come up with some ideas for furniture feet on sink bases. I am trying to avoid short grain to long grain scenarios because the short grain piece often seems to attract moisture and swell relative to adjacent elements. Can anybody suggest anything better than these?

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Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor F:
What exactly do you mean by "the short grain to long grain scenario"?

From contributor R:
How about bun feet?

From contributor M:
If you're worried about cross-grain swelling against a more stable length-grain piece, avoid the wider-piece face frame scenario. But against that consideration you must remember that even a 3" or 3 1/2" face frame member won't swell that much even in a very moist climate.

I can't see much difference between your "option 1" and "option 4" choices, but if it were me, I would go with options 2, 3, or 5, since the arched base really adds design punch to this simply-constructed piece. Don't worry about the wide base pieces swelling - just attach them in a way that they can swell or shrink freely. They are against the floor, and won't open up a crack which will be noticeable from a typical line of sight.

From contributor G:
These feet are easy.

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From contributor J:
We base it on the architectural style of the kitchen - traditional, contemporary, shaker, etc.

From contributor F:
On furniture, there is often a sub bottom frame and panel. The foot design is mitered and glued to the outside edge of the frame and panel long grain to long grain and the thickness of the foot part falls outside of the carcass at the front and sides.

The carcass sits atop the frame and panel and is equal in dimension to the frame minus the thickness of the foot. A trim molding such as an ogee is then mitered and applied to the top of the foot and against the carcass front and sides. Another nice design element would be ogee bracket feet. These would take more time than the typical scroll sawn designs.

From the original questioner:
This is the short grain that I am trying to avoid.

As others have noted, the choice of furniture foot need to be appropriate to the style of work. For the most part my work has a classic/contemporary bent to it, bordering on Shaker or Craftsman style. The majority of it is kitchen cabinetry.

Context adds a couple of other variables. The furniture feet typically land on an out of level floor and have to transition to other elements in the room that are not symmetrically placed. They also have to land on a budget. This budget has to also include getting a buy-in from the homeowner/designer, getting the crew to figure out how to make it, explaining it to the contractor who is really not the guy who's going to install it and then mopping it up because the painter smokes pot and loses one of them.

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From contributor K:
Here are some decorations I have done for bumped out sink bases in the past.

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From the original questioner:
Contributor K, that's some nice work. You also have some very interesting pieces on your website. I like how you transition the baseboards on some of those rustic vanities.

From contributor P:
Here's the sink base for my own kitchen. I'm building the cabinets between projects.

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