Before and After:
It finally happened: The old dishwasher gave up the ghost. It clunked and chunked, and generally didn't really clean well any more, so we had to replace it.
As you can see, the original owners simply removed some doors in order to add a huge microwave and a mobile dishwasher. the dishwasher, however, had actually been plumbed in. It stuck out from the rest of the cabinet by 7 inches, and effectively blocked off the entrance to the kitchen if you were unloading.
In order to have a built-in dishwasher, we would need to modify the cabinet, so I got to work buying MDF and constructing a standard cabinet.
I placed the cabinet so see how it fit and what blocking would be required.
The blocking was attached and the cabinet secured on both sides. I got my measurements correct, and the bracing did not interfere with the outlet.
We went with a Bosch dishwasher for a couple of reasons: a) it has a great reputation, b) it is only 22" deep instead of 24", and c) it has a metal bottom instead of a plastic one.
Next, I got to work adding wood veneer to the MDF. I used a birch, as it was the most similar to the existing cabinet.
The veneer went on smoothly and without issue, using contact cement.
The edge banding was even easier as it was the iron-on type; heat activates the glue.
Then I proceeded to cut the birch board I had purchased into various pieces to fill the gaps around the new cabinet.
The old cabinet was covered in amber shellac, so I went ahead and used it hoping to have the same results. After the first application, it was a bit more yellow, but after a light sanding and additional coats, it started to darken.
I am pretty pleased with the results. Now, I just need to find a matching copper pull and it will be complete!