I am seeking to make a finite amount of money provide cabinets for a 50's kitchen. In San Francisco there are a number of importers of Chinese made cabinetry. The plywood construction has dovetail joints (not all) and appears as solid as Thomasville and Kraftmaid, which is about 4 X the cost. I looked into something simple made by a local carpenter and one base would use up much of the budget. The old built in base cabinets are beginning to disintegrate, so refacing is probably not an option.

I haven't got the skill to make them myself, or I would. I do believe I can finish and install them with a little help.

I had ordered a Kraftmaid Vanity (same story in the bath) from Home Depot, which came to about$1200 all told. There were problems with the delivery and I was, frankly, underwhelmed. When I asked the extremely obliging sales consultant - rather snarkily, I regret to say - why I would pay that much for this quality when I can get the Chinese produced product, he quickly (and slightly snarkily, as well) responded that the Chinese stuff was full of formaldehyde.

That would be a serious consideration, but an architect friend I ran it by simply flipped it off as "Job security" (for the Home Depot guy). Ergo..no problem.

I mentioned this to the cabinet builder who gave me a bid, and he noted that there is a new law in California prohibiting Formaldehyde after the first of the Year.
Does anyone here have any information on this.

I have also considered getting carcasses shipped with doors for the base and putting new doors on the upper cabinets (which will be murder to remove, as they are attached to inner sides of the studs). Thoughts on this as well appreciated.