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Installing Cabinets with finished ends



We've always built our framelss cabinets without finished ends, and installed applied panels. This way we can leave them oversize and scribe the panels to the wall and floor/ceiling for a perfect fit.

A new designer we began working for only wants cabinets with integrated finished ends. That's fine.

My idea was to extend the finished end gable past the backwall about 3/16-1/4'' and trim on-site with the router and flush trim bit. But what if the walls are out more than 1/4" which I've experienced before. If I extend the backwall more, It becomes too hard to trim with the router.

Does anyone have better ideas? I want the cabinet to fit perfectly just as when i install applied panels


5/1/16       #2: Installing Cabinets with finished e ...

I'd try to get to the site ahead of time and check things out with a straight edge and a level- even if it's in just the framed stage. (Of course, at that point anything can change- DAMHIKT ;-))
Then I can decide how big my scribe edges have to be, or whether I'll need to set up a platform base etc..
Site unseen? I'd make the scribes no less than 1/2" per 36". I make my finished end panels with veneer core and rabbet them to 3/8" thick in the shop. I use a variety of methods to cut and fit the scribe- power plane, belt sander, angle grinder, router, skillsaw, jigsaw, handsaw, block plane- depends on the situation

5/1/16       #3: Installing Cabinets with finished e ...
Leo G Member

I make my scribes 1/4" for upper and lowers and 3/8" for floor to ceiling.

If you need more then that in a new(er) home then you can blame the builder.

If I'm doing existing walls then I'll do a look with a level and determine them that way.

5/5/16       #4: Installing Cabinets with finished e ...

If the designer has specs that fall outside your SOP (for example, if you did 1/4"-1/2" scribe), the designer would have to verify the site conditions as the person taking the measurements and placing the order...

It's not only a matter of floor to ceiling, but corner to end of run (or a combo of both being off) or even walls with bows in them, that can affect a scribe...

IMHO, you're better off charging a fee for site verification or get the designer to sign off on your specs limitations for un-verified site measurements...

Person who measures the site is responsible for matching product and/or it's limitations to site conditions...

Best of luck... 8^)

5/7/16       #5: Installing Cabinets with finished e ...
Everett Andrews  Member


My first inclination is to educate the new designer on the benefits of installing the boxes, then applying panels. After that, the same principles apply, regardless of the fabrication details.

I always check out the field conditions before fabricating or ordering boxes to get a handle on plumb, level, and square conditions. On a copy of the shop drawings, document plumbing , electric, flooring, type of backsplash, etc. A level benchmark is set at 48" AFF to document floor and ceiling slope. Plumb benchmarks are set on each elevation to establish wall plumbness, plumbing, electric, etc. Appliance cuts should be available for review at this point as well. I often get more info than I need. If a question comes up or change gets made, I may have enough to avoid another site visit.

When the boxes are being custom built, I spec a 1" scribe at all walls. Even if the walls are perfect (which they rarely are), I use tape and a Razorscribe or the right size block and utility knife to scribe for a perfect fit. Just as important, is a 3/8" to 1/2" space behind all boxes. This allows the boxes to be straight and square.

Access to the jobsite, install location, and a place to set up, should be established early as well.

5/18/16       #6: Installing Cabinets with finished e ...

I always make my finished ends integrated . When I go to measure each job I bring my lazor level check room for walls for square Ness and ceiling and floor for level and wall for plumbness. I then add scribe accordingly and when wel install we use a power planer then touch with a block. Very quick and easy good luck

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