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How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step

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How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step

Label your face frame parts first Match color and grain Dry-fit face frame parts so the best side of all the boards will be seen, avoiding stark grain color variations at joints. Label all the pieces with a pencil so the frame goes back together the same way you laid it out. The pencil marks also come in handy when you’re ready to sand the assembled frame. You’ll know you have flat joints when the pencil marks disappear. Build the Cabinets, Buy the Doors Building cabinet doors is doable but can be tricky. It sometimes requires powerful and expensive wood-shaping equipment. And if you have a bunch to build, you’ll need a lot of clamps and even more space. Unless you have unlimited free time, consider building your cabinets but buying your doors. You’ll find many door makers online (search for “buy cabinet doors”). Cabinet doors can be ordered in a variety of styles and in increments as small as 1/16 in. It’s always nice to be able to see and touch, so check out your local cabinet shop as well. Back to Top Video: How to Cut a Rabbet Joint with a Table Saw Back to Top Assemble the face frame with pocket screws Strong, fast joinery Pocket hole screws are a fast and easy way to join a face frame. You don’t need a lot of clamps or wood glue. A mortise-and-tenon joint may make you feel like a true craftsman, but only you will know you spent all that extra time. You can buy an entry-level pocket screw jig for less than $50, but if you plan to build several face frame projects, spend about three times that to get a top-of-the-line jig. For more on pocket screw joinery, see How to Use Pocket Screws. Back to Top Leave off the back until you apply finish Make finishing easy If you plan to finish your project before you install it, leave the back off until after you’ve applied the finish. It makes getting into all those nooks and crannies a lot easier, especially in deeper cabinets. Wood glue won’t stick to finishes, so if you want to glue on the back, use polyurethane glue. Back to Top Trim some face frames flush Make perfect edges Face frames on furniture look best when they’re flush with the cabinet sides. But it’s still better to build the face frame a little bigger (about 1/16 in.), and trim it off with a flush trim router bit. Adjust the bit depth so the cutting edges are only slightly deeper than the face frame. Flush trim bit A self-piloting flush trim bit with a bottom bearing makes the joint between face frame and box almost disappear. They’re available anywhere router bits are sold. Back to Top Gang up on your components Cut, plane and sand everything at once Even with a good table saw, it’s difficult to exactly replicate previous cuts, so plan ahead and cut all your face frame parts at the same time. Gang-planing your stiles and rails will save time and ensure all the parts are exactly the same width and thickness. Gang-sand board edges by clamping them together. That not only speeds up sanding but also keeps you from rounding over edges. And always make more parts than you need. Having extra allows you to choose the best boards. Back to Top Leave the end stile off to scribe Get a perfect fit Assemble the whole face frame on your workbench with pocket screws, then remove the last stile. That way you’ll be guaranteed a perfect fit when you reattach it after planing. Or attach it with a bit of glue and a few brads. Leave one end stile off when you install cabinets that butt against walls at both ends. With a complete face frame, you won’t be able to push the cabinet into place or scribe and adjust the stile to fit. Cut that last stile a bit oversize to leave room for scribing, and rip a 45-degree back bevel for easier planing to your scribed line. The bevel also makes it easier to twist the stile into place. Back to Top Nail the face frame to the boxes Simple attachment method One of the easiest ways to attach face frames to carcasses is with a thin bead of wood glue and an 18-gauge brad nailer with 2-in. brads. Be sparing with brads; their main duty is to hold the frame in place while the glue dries. A couple per side and wherever there’s a void should do the trick. A little putty will make the brad holes almost invisible. Back to Top Build face frames larger Leave overlaps A main function of a face frame is to hide the exposed plywood laminations. A face frame does a better job of this if it overlaps the box edges a bit. Making the face frame run past all the plywood edges provides a little wiggle room and hides not-so-perfect saw cuts on the plywood. Face frames on sides of kitchen cabinets should overlap 1/4 in. on the outside edge. This makes room for adjustments when installing them next to one another. Build the face frame so that the bottom rail (“rails” are horizontal boards and “stiles” are vertical boards) projects 1/16 in. above the bottom shelf of the cabinet. Back to Top Don’t cut rabbets if they’re not needed Time saver It’s common practice to cut a rabbet (a notch to receive the 1/4-in. back panel) on the back edge of cabinet carcasses so the back panel will be recessed. But that’s not necessary if the cabinet sides won’t be visible—the back panel edges won’t be either. Save yourself some time and just tack on the back panel with a brad nailer. Make sure to take into account the overall depth of your cabinets—they’ll be 1/4 in. deeper if you go this route. Don’t Settle For What’s in the Home Center Home centers and lumberyards typically have only a few cabinet- grade plywood options in stock, but almost all of them can order what you need. You can order sheets with more plies for stability; pick the orientation of the wood grain; buy sheets with hardwood on one side and melamine on the other; choose marine-grade plywood for outdoor projects … the options go on and on. It takes a little planning ahead, and ask about minimum orders, but don’t limit yourself to oak if you really want cherry. Back to Top Build a separate base Level the base It’s important to use dead-straight wood for bases so it’ll be flat for setting the cabinets. Once your cabinets are installed, finish off the base front with a strip of 1/4-in. plywood that matches the cabinets. Most factory-built cabinets have a recessed “toe-kick” that’s typically about 4 in. high and deep. But you can also make a separate base that’s the total length of the cabinet assembly and build shorter cabinets to make up the difference. With this method, you won’t have to mess around with figuring out and cutting toe-kick profiles on your cabinets. This is also a handy technique when you have an uneven floor because you need to level and shim only one base instead of several individual cabinets. Back to Top Build individual boxes Easier installation Moving and installing long one-piece cabinets can be a tough job, and it may not even be possible to get the assembly into the room. Instead of creating such a monster, build individual cabinet carcasses. Add the face frame after they’re all in place. Back to Top Cap end cabinets Hide fasteners If you cap the end cabinet with 1/4-in. plywood, you don’t have to hide the fasteners you used to build your boxes. That means you can use large, sturdy screws without worrying about ugly putty-filled holes. You’ll also need an end cap if you choose to build a separate base. Use construction adhesive and a few small brads to fasten the panel in place, and make sure you extend the outside face frame stile an additional 1/4 in. to account for the thickness of the plywood. Back to Top
how to build kitchen cabinets step by step 1

How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step

Next Up How to Install New Kitchen Cabinets Learn everything you need to know to install new cabinets, including how to measure correctly, basic prep and finishing touches. How to Install and Level Cabinet Doors After you’ve installed your cabinets, follow these steps to attach the cabinet doors and level them for a finished, professional look. How to Replace Kitchen Cabinets Replacing old cabinets is an expensive undertaking but is much more affordable if you do the installation yourself. Learn how to replace old kitchen cabinets with these easy step-by-step directions. Installing Kitchen Cabinets This DIY Basic will provide tips on how to install kitchen cabinets. How to Install Kitchen Cabinets Handmade cabinets add an element of style and customization to any home. Learn how to install handcrafted wooden cabinets in the kitchen. How to Install a New cabinet Cabinets can be customized to fit an individual’s needs in more ways than one. Learn how to create custom cabinets for your specific needs like this family that loves doing craft projects. How to Apply Lip Molding to Cabinets Learn how to add character to cabinet doors by applying a lip molding. Kitchen Catch-Up: How to Install Cabinets Installing kitchen cabinets is a great way to save money on a kitchen renovation. How to Install Cabinet Glass Inserts Cabinet glass inserts are a great way to turn a kitchen into a popping, contemporary treasure. Cabinet Installation A do-it-yourself cabinet remodel can save lots of money on your kitchen remodel.

How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step

How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step
How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step
How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step
How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step
How To Build Kitchen Cabinets Step By Step

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