Raised-Panel Ends on Upper Cabs

Other Versions
Fast and classy construction. March 14, 2004

How do you construct your upper cabinets with exposed raised panel sides? Do you leave the raised panel exposed on the inside of the cabinet as well, or do you cover it with a skin? I want to find a fast way of attaching the end raised panel to the face frame or the box, without using clamps and without having ugly pocket holes showing anywhere. Are you better off building a box and attaching the finished end to the box? My only fear is the added weight - should I consider this? Ideally, I would build the box (pre-finished) and screw the raised panel side to the box. Is this correct?

I use 1.5" face frame and 1/2" back to attach directly to the wall. Any suggestions appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
I make my F&P end panels an integral part of the case with lock miter front corners to the face frame. For speed, you would want to simply lap the face frame over the end panel, but the inside surface is the frame and panel, no cover panel. This seems to be the fastest way to do what you are asking. Since you have to attach something for an end panel anyway, why make an interior end panel and an exterior panel? Use one for both.

From contributor J:
We make the raised panel an integral end to the cabinet. Just attach it to the back band, bottom, etc, as though it were a normal cabinet end. We also use a 5 degree inward bevel on the face frame side to insure the end meets properly.

Only issue I've had is that the raised panel gap on the rear, where it meets the face frame, leaves a space for the customer to lose things. Piece of quarter inch or appropriate stock works there.

From contributor J:

Well... my post was for base cabinets, but we do the same for the uppers, excepting the toe-kick gap issue.

From contributor B:
I use 1 1/2" stiles, too, interior flush with ff so I have 3/4" reveal. All F.E.'s are applied. Reason #1, I don't have to wait for the E.P. to arrive from the door shop before construction. #2, interior cab is consistent. #3, all cabinets are built the same, so time is cut dramatically.

I like the idea of a lock miter, though. I don't see why that method couldn't be used with my method for a clean, integrated corner... panel could still be applied later.. Anybody tried this?

From the original questioner:
If I understand you correctly, you end up with a full 1 1/2" of stock on the end that will be seen. This was something I had thought of, but was wondering about the added weight. Have you had any problems with weight? How are your cab backs constructed and how are they hung? I use 1/2" backs to eliminate the unsightly ledger board.

From contributor B:
I work mostly with 3/4 birch ply, also with 1/2" backs. Weight isn't a problem since I don't build integrated (long) runs.

There have been times when doors were late (more often than not lately), and install had to proceed to make room for next job. Applied ends are just the easiest way for me to deal with that.

From contributor M:
The weight of the cabinet should be the least of the issues. You need to be more concerned with screwing a few screws into the studs. If you screw a cabinet into the wall properly, you should be able to hang from it. (Not something you'd want to try in front of a client.)

From contributor D:
On end runs of cabinets, I use a lock miter on face frames to end panels and add the raised panel to the end, like you want to do, to resemble a door against the face frames. I use an adjustable shelf pilaster, so the screws are hidden behind them.