Custom Cabinet Construction #3: Simply Turning a Corner

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Blog entry by rhett posted 06-28-2010 01:41 AM 4991 reads 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Finishing the base ends Part 3 of Custom Cabinet Construction series Part 4: Where planes soar in a modern shop »

Now that I have written about basic bases and finished ends, lets address corners. Insides corners to be exact. There are many options for what to do with this common situation, as well as many different ways to accomplish the task.

The basic three solutions include a blind corner, an open corner and a 45 degree corner. Each of these have an impact on how functional a kitchen will be. They also each have impacts on budget, or time spent on the shop. Since there are alot of different aspects to each of these designs, I have chosen to write up each one seperately.

This will be the simplest way to address a 90 degree corner in a kitchen. The blind corner, named so because the construction of this corner leaves a large blind void in the back of one of the base cabinets. There are however expensive and complicated pieces of hardware which make all of this space useable.

Whenever possible, I build my cabinets into as few sections as possible. This not only makes for nicer looking cabinets but it aids in installation and overall material costs. The downside is these can get heavy fast. This is a two part blind corner. I have colored in the FF’s for clarity.


I am going to call the smaller cabinet on the left 1 and the larger cabinet on the right 2. If you notice on cabinet 1, the left scribe is the normal 1/2” overhang. The right stile of the face frame is 3/4 shy of reaching the FXS. This gives cabinet 2 a spot to slide into upon installation. The FF is attached to an additional strip of ply screwed to the inside of the righthand BWS.

Since there will likely be drawers and doors interacting with one another in the corner, I have added an additional 1” to the normal 2” stile. This will ensure a drawer on one side will open without hitting the side of a drawer on the other.


The stile on cabinet two has an additional 3/4” added to it. This will be covered by the FF of cabinet 1 and will give you material to screw through to make an absolutely airtight inside corner joint. This also makes both stiles of the inside corner the same finished width.


The righthand BWS of cabinet 1 makes the inside wall of the blind corner. Cabinet 2 is acutally completely open on the far left side. Just be sure to attach your face frame leaving a maximum of 23” from the end of your BWS to the beginning of your 3 3/4” stile. This leaves cabinet 2 short of meeting the wall should something be out of plumb, as well as ensuring that the joint will pull tight. A notched stretcher (as can be seen in above photo) should be added to keep the space rigid and consistent.


The only other item that needs to be addressed is the TK. In building the cabinets this was, what I do is extend the TK of cabinet 1, 3” past the FF. Keep in mind the FF is 3/4” shy of the case side. Upon installation should the two pieces not fit snuggly together, check this first. Even a 1/32” extra in the TK of cabinet 1 will keep the entire corner from coming together.


Please ask questions if you need any clarity on the descriptions. Building it and trying to explain it are two different things.

Feedback is welcomed. Drawing out and logging away this info takes a bit of effort, and I am just trying to share the information taught to me by a 50+ year cabinetmaker. While this is not the one and only way to build kitchen cabinets, these are methods to build rock solid cabinetry that will last the test of time. Custom cabinetmakers are on the endangered species list. If the knowledge isn’t shared it is lost.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

1 comment so far

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3554 days

#1 posted 06-28-2010 03:52 AM

You’ve done a good job with the text and the drawings. Even though its nearly impossible to make out the dimensions on the drawings its still pretty straight forward to figure it out. This system is pretty impressive – it breaks down the construction into very manageable steps, albeit a lot of them. Very cool.

-- Greg D.

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