Joanne's brother-in-law Gene works at a company with a CNC routing machine and he graciously offered to help with the kitchen cabinets. This machine can take a 5x10 sheet of sheet stock (plywood, melamine, etc) and cut it to size according to plans programmed into the computer. It automatically drills all of the shelf and hinge holes as well as the holes for knock-down connectors and dowels (think Ikea, only much stronger). Gene programmed the kitchen according to my rough design. He also ordered us hinges, connectors, and drawer slides - and let me tell you these drawer slides are something else. They're made by a company called Blum (Austrian) and they are the Rolls-Royce of cabinet hardware. Smooth as silk and they automatically close themselves when they get to the last 3 inches of inbound travel. Sweet.
Dad and I had to make a jig to finish some of the drilling that the machine can't do but after two solid afternoons of work we have a pretty close to full working kitchen. We're just missing the hinges (on order) and one cabinet (we ran out of wood).
Joanne's favorite part is the large, tall pull-out pantry. Now we have to decide how to finish the wood. It's all Baltic birch plywood, but we're leaning towards a dark mahogany stain for the drawer and cupboard faces and Tung oil for the countertops. Tung oil is clear with a yellowish tinge.
Joanne has spent the day organizing the kitchen and has found, much to her amazement that she my actually have *gasp* too much storage space. But never fear, there are at least two more boxes of kitchen stuff at my parents.
Here are some pictures of the kitchen, and the cool machine.