Scribing to Cultured Stone

This situation should have been avoided with prior planning ó but since it was not, here's advice on scribing cabinetry to a rough stone wall.August 15, 2011

The customer has left it up to me to scribe or not to scribe. I have some end panels to possibly scribe and I insisted that the stone run behind the cabinet. Now I have a situation where if I scribe, there would be 3/4"-1" deep scribe valleys. I'm thinking of just laying it up flush and being done. Does anyone have examples of what it might look like if I attempt to scribe?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
I donít have pictures but I can tell you from experience - scribe it. If you just install the cabinet up to it, it will not look pretty. Add extra width to your end panels to accommodate the scribe with a little extra for those one or two stones that stick past all the others.

One thing Iíve found helpful is to set the cabinet up against the stone where it is going to go and using a scrap piece of 1/4 inch ply to make a scribe template. That way all your tweaking is done on scrap you can just toss if it gets goofed. Take your time. This is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

From contributor Z:
I usually cut a piece of flashing tin about four inches from the point on the scribe edge to the "V" cutout on the other end. Hold it flush on the face you are scribing and the point will ride along the edges of the stone at exactly where the face will fit. Use an angle grinder with a flap disc and a steady hand and you will have a fit made to impress.

From contributor H:
What separates the pros from the amateurs is someone having the foresight to install a board to serve as a ground for the stone mason, remove it after stone, then install the cabinet or install the finished cabinet, then install and grout the stone to the cabinet.

From contributor A:
Back in the day the scribing was done by the apprentice when he took breaks from sharpening the handsaws. Nowadays the skilled guys carefully choose the most appropriate caulk or trim molding. If no one (gc, mason, or you) did not have the foresight to install a temp filler, now the ball is in your court to show your scribing skills.

From contributor T:
Take a 1x6 of the same material as your panel (if already finished, finish the 1x6 to match). Make sure it is longer than what you need by a couple of inches. Go ahead and scribe the 1x6 to match the stone, scribing and cutting until you have it fitting nicely. Now you can rip the 1x to a minimum useable width and add to the edge of the panel. This is not the optimum way to solve this problem, but since stone is already in place, you don't have many options.