Lock Rabbert for Cabinet Carcass

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Forum topic by Spitfire1 posted 08-08-2016 03:43 AM 291 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 158 days

08-08-2016 03:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: joint question lock rabbet upper cabinets

I am wondering if anyone has used lock rabbets to hold together the cabinet carcass. I am building some upper cabinets to hang in my garage. This is my first real attempt at cabinets. The plans I have simply calls for pocket screws but I’ve seen in one of my woodworking books using lock rabbets. Since these are garage cabinets I thought I might give them a try but I am curious if anybody else has any experience using this joint for anything other than drawers and what are some considerations?

3 replies so far

View nightguy's profile


213 posts in 82 days

#1 posted 08-08-2016 04:14 AM

I have used them for drawers and love them, cant go wrong with pocket screws either. I use shop projects to experiment with, be it joinery or dies and stains, finishes. So go for it, live and learn, for use in a real project if it works in the shop cabinets, it will work in a commission project, if not you learned what not to do.

View rwe2156's profile


2114 posts in 900 days

#2 posted 08-08-2016 12:13 PM

Not worth the time & effort IMO.

I’m not a pocket screw guy, so if you think they work, use them.

For shop cabs (really all my cabs), I use butt joints and screws. All you’re doing is screwing boxes together.
On end cabs or where screws will show, plug holes..

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JBrow's profile


744 posts in 339 days

#3 posted 08-08-2016 03:33 PM


I like to use the locking rabbet joint on cabinet carcases, especially at the back. I like to mechanically join the back to the sides, since the cabinet back is used to hold the cabinet to the wall.

The only issue I have found is that it takes more time to spread the glue on the two mating pieces and the glue can begin to skim over. When I suspect this will be a problem, I will, for example, only glue the back to the sides and dry assemble the rest of carcase and then ensure the assembly is square. Once the glue has cured, I finish gluing the carcase together. Glue with a longer open time than typical PVA glue could allow the entire carcase to be glued together at one time.

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