Kitchen cabinet bases

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Forum topic by rut posted 820 days ago 1631 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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81 posts in 1007 days

820 days ago

The book I’ve been going by to build my cabs says to make the front/rear base components = width – 1/2”.

My question to those knowledgeable is why are they not the same width so the adjoining base cabinet would but up against it. If I’m thinking right, leaving them 1/2” shorter than the face frame would create a 1” gap at the bottom of two cabs. Am I missing something here?


7 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1008 posts in 911 days

#1 posted 820 days ago

some of the face frame remains exposed past the edge of the cabinet box so you can scribe to whatever is next to it if needed. And normally, yes, you put a shim between the cabinets at the back to take up the space at install time. It also aids in making adjustments to keep the face frames in the same plane out front.

If you KNOW you’re going to join 2 cabinets, you can do what I did. Join the carcasses and THEN make the face frame for the 2 already joined.

If you look at that photo… it’s 2 cabinets. FOUR carcasses, but now 2 cabinets. The 2 bottom carcasses were joined and then I made the face frame as if it was one cabinet. Same with the top. They’re just sitting on top of each other right now, but you can see what I mean. I only did it this way because it was easier for me to handle
If you’re custom building your cabinets, you’re not bound by the “normal” rules for modular cabinet construction. For example, these were originally going to be a pair of 36 inch wide cabinets joined together side-by-side. We had to make a change and so I built them as a pair of 35 inch cabinets joined. We needed 2 inches. :)
Most folks don’t come visit me with a measuring tape in their pocket.

View RussellAP's profile


2944 posts in 911 days

#2 posted 820 days ago

Are you sure it’s not a total of 1/2 inch which equates to 1/4 per side?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View cabmaker's profile


1305 posts in 1434 days

#3 posted 820 days ago

what do you mean by front and rear componants ?

View cutworm's profile


1064 posts in 1418 days

#4 posted 820 days ago

On Kreg’s website they have a download that has some good basic info.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View BobLang's profile


98 posts in 2025 days

#5 posted 820 days ago

It sounds like you mean the plywood cabinet box should be 1/2” narrower than the face frame. That will leave 1/4” of face frame hanging past the cabinet on each side. It’s a common method called a scribe, and it allows you to fit a cabinet to an uneven wall, and to have the cabinets fit tight at the front if the wall behind them is wonky.

-- Bob Lang,

View rut's profile


81 posts in 1007 days

#6 posted 820 days ago

Makes sense. And my math was a bit off (by 1/2”). Thanks for your replies.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2604 days

#7 posted 820 days ago

Hi Rut;

Here’s a link to my site, showing how we build cabinets. For traditional (cabinets with a face frame) we use a mix of European / traditional methods. What we feel is the best of both worlds.

I hope this helps.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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