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Which way to face and back cabinets

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Forum topic by Wraypau posted 11-20-2020 02:19 PM 436 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wraypau

28 posts in 638 days


11-20-2020 02:19 PM

I am making some cabinets for my mom’s business. These cabinets will be used to hold sewing fabric. I am using 3/4” maple plywood. I cut 3/8 dados and glued shelves in.

2 cabinets are stand alone and I have no question with it. The 3rd cabinet is 84” tall and 90” wide. Since this won’t fit through the door, I built 3 boxes that are 84×30. Plan to face with hardwood stiles and rails, and I got some 1/4 backer plywood. I am going to finish in place where I can make the 3×30” cabinets 1 big cabinet and move to wall for install.

Question – should I face and back all 3 cabinets separately or should I glue/nail the boxes together, then back in 90” strips across all 3 cabinets to hold them together? If I do this approach I would put the face as one big rails and styles also. Wouldn’t this make it inherently stronger?

So do I face them all at once or face them individually then screw faces together like manufactured box store cabinets?

FYI, these cabinets will never move once installed, and plan to put whole baseboards and crown moulding around the big 90” wide cabinet.

Thanks!!!!!


16 replies so far

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Rich

6155 posts in 1505 days


#1 posted 11-20-2020 03:08 PM

It’ll definitely be easier to put individual backs on them. Regarding the face frame, it’s your call. Either way will work, although building it as one piece might be unwieldy.

Individual face frames screwed together are not specific to big box store cabinets—that is the standard installation method for sets of cabinets. I build fully custom cabinets, and my installer attaches them that way. It’s important to get them flush so they look good.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#2 posted 11-20-2020 03:35 PM

You say they’ll never move. I’ve thought the same a few times, until they needed to move. Now I try to build things modularly when possible, for the next time my wife decides she wants to move things around and change things up etc. For example in a few years you may want the cabinet 60” wide to make room for some appliance or new thing. Easy to do with the 3 30” pieces screwed together.

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BlueRidgeDog

740 posts in 695 days


#3 posted 11-20-2020 03:51 PM

From my work making cabinets (and you can do it many ways), boxes to be joined are faced individually, with a small reveal, to allow for runout/level issues and encourage the units to meet firmly at the face. You get your first square and plumb onsite, then it becomes the foundation for the others, with screws firmly joining the faces together. We always used a modular design, so that each module was structurally complete. If a unit had many modules, after the first was installed, we would deploy and shim/level/clamp the entire assembly using many clamps….once we were satisfied that the layout worked (and often it did not as a wall may move out or a floor up and force you to move the starter unit up/out) we would make is solid with fasteners.

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woodbutcherbynight

6624 posts in 3325 days


#4 posted 11-21-2020 02:32 AM


Either way will work, although building it as one piece might be unwieldy.

- Rich

It will be. My friend calls me one night and says come over I have a problem. He built the thing on the floor of the living room as one solid piece. Took 4 of us to raise it up and you could hear it creaking as it strained from the movement. Much easier to be modular like cabinets.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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LeeRoyMan

1444 posts in 643 days


#5 posted 11-21-2020 02:48 AM

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Rich

6155 posts in 1505 days


#6 posted 11-21-2020 03:16 AM

Three words, Wraypau: Listen to LeeRoy. I mean it. No one on LJ can come close. I’ve seen his portfolio and it’s mind-blowing.

I will chime in on one thing you said though. You cut 3/8” dados for the shelves. It’s a common misconception that you need to go that deep. In fact, a 1/8” dado is more than adequate, because the stress is in sheer, and you only need a shallow dado to support the load.

In fact, if you had a center support, with two opposing shelves in 3/4” stock, you couldn’t cut them to 3/8”, since it would go right through.

It’s no big deal. It hurts nothing in your current build, but if you do more cabinets in the future, it’s food for thought.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#7 posted 11-21-2020 04:14 AM

It will be. My friend calls me one night and says come over I have a problem. He built the thing on the floor of the living room as one solid piece. Took 4 of us to raise it up and you could hear it creaking as it strained from the movement. Much easier to be modular like cabinets.

- woodbutcherbynight

I won’t embarrass myself by telling you about the hutch I built that was too tall to stand up in the room it was going in. I did final assembly on the floor in the room to make sure i could get it through the door. I must have not been paying attention in math class when they taught about arcs etc.

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Rich

6155 posts in 1505 days


#8 posted 11-21-2020 04:49 AM


I must have not been paying attention in math class when they taught about arcs etc.

- SMP

That Pythoragas dude has caused us all some woe.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View pottz's profile

pottz

12296 posts in 1900 days


#9 posted 11-21-2020 04:51 AM



Three words, Wraypau: Listen to LeeRoy. I mean it. No one on LJ can come close. I ve seen his portfolio and it s mind-blowing.

I will chime in on one thing you said though. You cut 3/8” dados for the shelves. It s a common misconception that you need to go that deep. In fact, a 1/8” dado is more than adequate, because the stress is in sheer, and you only need a shallow dado to support the load.

In fact, if you had a center support, with two opposing shelves in 3/4” stock, you couldn t cut them to 3/8”, since it would go right through.

It s no big deal. It hurts nothing in your current build, but if you do more cabinets in the future, it s food for thought.

- Rich


+1 anyone that does this for a living day in and out,ya better take heed to what they have to offer.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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SMP

2869 posts in 821 days


#10 posted 11-21-2020 04:57 AM


I must have not been paying attention in math class when they taught about arcs etc.

- SMP

That Pythoragas dude has caused us all some woe.

- Rich

I clearly remember being in math class and thinking “when am I ever gonna use this in real life?” And now the more I do with woodworking and metalwork, the more I wished I paid more attention in math and took more classes in college besides the minimum. Luckily though people like Chris Schwarz are making things like the Chairpanzee

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woodbutcherbynight

6624 posts in 3325 days


#11 posted 11-22-2020 01:47 AM



Three words, Wraypau: Listen to LeeRoy. I mean it. No one on LJ can come close. I ve seen his portfolio and it s mind-blowing.

I will chime in on one thing you said though. You cut 3/8” dados for the shelves. It s a common misconception that you need to go that deep. In fact, a 1/8” dado is more than adequate, because the stress is in sheer, and you only need a shallow dado to support the load.

- Rich

+1 on LeeRoy. Guy is a genius with design and then implementation of that design.

+1 on the depth of the dado. Just enough to set the shelf in. It will hold.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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LeeRoyMan

1444 posts in 643 days


#12 posted 11-22-2020 02:27 AM

+1 on LeeRoy. Guy is a genius with design and then implementation of that design.

+1 on the depth of the dado. Just enough to set the shelf in. It will hold.

- woodbutcherbynight


Thanks Gunny. no genius, just a descent cabinet maker that’s been doing it a long time.

Same unit as above. 1/8” is plenty. Save the meat for the screw.

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Tony_S

1362 posts in 3999 days


#13 posted 11-22-2020 11:01 AM


That Pythoragas dude has caused us all some woe.
- Rich

In the stair and railing business you get to know him very well…..Pythagoras takes no prisoners.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

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LeeRoyMan

1444 posts in 643 days


#14 posted 11-22-2020 04:39 PM


That Pythoragas dude has caused us all some woe.
- Rich

In the stair and railing business you get to know him very well…..Pythagoras takes no prisoners.

- Tony_S


Never met him, but I know his brother, ....... sketchup

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

6624 posts in 3325 days


#15 posted 11-22-2020 04:46 PM


That Pythoragas dude has caused us all some woe.
- Rich

In the stair and railing business you get to know him very well…..Pythagoras takes no prisoners.

- Tony_S

Never met him, but I know his brother, ....... sketchup

- LeeRoyMan

Dated his twin sisters, Pencil and Paper.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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