Wood Cabinets: Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

Wood Cabinets:

Fundamentals of Cabinet Making

At its most basic, cabinetry is the production of cabinets. But often what is produced would not be recognized to most people as a cabinet, but whatever you are building basic cabinet production is the same.

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  1. A cabinet or furniture piece consists of the carcase or case with two sides, top and bottom, front and back. The front can have various combinations of shelves, drawers, or doors. By varying the basic construction process the cabinet maker can produce kitchen cabinets, free standing cabinets, bookcases, desks, bathroom vanities, toy box, and more.The carcase construction can be separated into three basic types: The Case or Box - is the basic design of cabinets, bookcases, desks, bathroom vanities, and boxes.
  2. Frame-and-Panel – constituent the base of various types of furniture including the doors, side, and dust panels.
  3. Leg-and-Rail - found on tables and chairs, stools, and benches.

Cabinet Case construction can also divided into three broad categories:

  1. Base cabinet –which sits on the floor.
  2. Wall cabinet - hangs on the wall.
  3. Full-height cabinet - a cabinet sitting on the floor and extends toward the ceiling.

Cabinets may have a face frame (American style) or full access (European or euro-style). Face frame cabinets have a supporting frame attached to the front of the cabinet box. Full access or frameless cabinets have no inside edge to blocking the perimeter of the cabinet front, which allow more accessibility. While face frames cabinets can more easily hold their rigidity.

Construction methods will differ based on the level of quality and durably you are building. There are various techniques used to reinforce the case and make sure it remains rigid. A reinforcing element used is a beam brace that runs which from the front of the base to the rear along the inside side panels, or from side to side across the back. The beam brace fits into the dado slot along the side panel. Another method to of reinforce involves the use of triangular supports in the corners of the base.

The inside construction is as important as the outside not only presenting a place for drawers and shelves, but provides for greater strength and rigidity. Support for the drawer is from metal slide systems or a frame system of wooden dividers called a web frames. In well-built cabinets plywood or solid stock or is commonly used for the web frames but tends to add unwanted weight. The inside framing can use wood shelf strips to support permanents shelves or shelving standards can be used for adjustable shelves.