Reply by bc4393

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Posted on cabinet problem

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76 posts in 1594 days

#1 posted 06-08-2018 07:52 PM

When putting together some shelving for my closet even though I used decent quality plywood I still had a little twist during assembly. There are more capable guys here with cabinet making so correct me if I’m wrong. Some lessons I learned and was taught.

Cut as exact as you can, check edges with a carpenter square before you assemble. (sounds like you did this)

Make sure your blade is a square 90 degrees on your saw. Use a drafting triangle or the head from a combination square. Don’t blindly rely on your table saw stops or squareness of the fence to the blade. If you use a circular saw double check the squareness. If if you use a straight edge they might still be off. I cut em a hair big and clean up the ends to square on the table saw using a miter gage (that i also double check for square.) This is why the big boys have gigantic table saws and tables to do cabinet work. Makes life so much easier.

It’s tough to assemble things on a floor which can be uneven, just not to the naked eye. Your floor is imperfect too If you rely on how the boards sit on the ground for glue/screw and the perception is they are together flush with edges etc, it’ll most likely be off.

Clamp 90 degree angle blocks between the 2 pieces you are gluing and screwing to get it to come together square. You can do one side at a time, it’ll hold while you assemble, just don’t get rough with it.

A good flat assembly table will help but it’s not in everyone’s shop. I use my my table saw top if I can. For big stuff I clamp angle plates or corner jigs like suggested to get everything nice and neat and square one piece at a time before I drill and screw it.

Even if you do the above if your lumber is twisted it’ll still bite you. I used 3/4 ACX (outdoor rated) plywood because i was painting it and it was in the closet. Not as nice as 3/4 Baltic birch (which has more plies and is more stable) but not as expensive either. So depending on your application and finish you can cut a corner with this. If you use cheaper lumber you’ll be prone to more issues especially the bigger you get. Plywood from China is generally not a good idea for anything but in your shop or stuff you’re just doing quick that won’t get any scrutiny. It’s inconsistent with it’s thickness, and can be warped pretty bad. All things that can cause you problems.

For smaller pieces this is where a jointer comes in handy for taking the twist out of boards and squaring up an edge exactly. Also cutting rabbits on the edges. will help ease of glue up but if your boards are twisted it won’t come together as nice as you would expect (regardless of the exactness of the cuts)

to dig yourself out of your current predicament like was stated already, I would glue and screw some blocks into the corners. It might twist it back to a shape that’s acceptable and hide-able with the face frame. Or if you can take the back off make sure it’s dead nuts square and clamp it in place and reattach it so youll have the face frame and the back twisting it back into square.

Agree with the above. No question is stupid. It’s how you learn and every one of us has been there. You can read all you want but unless you do it and make mistakes and dig yourself out it’s the only way to get better. Like my dad always tells me. “Slow down and use your head”

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