A couple of cabinetry questions.....

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Forum topic by JoeMurphy posted 04-25-2014 06:36 PM 1019 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 1298 days

04-25-2014 06:36 PM

I built a set of cabinets for my own house. The carcases are 3/4” pre-finished birch ply. The face-frames, drawer fronts, rails and stiles are all 3/4” poplar. The panels are 1/4” MDF. I plan to paint everything not made of pre-finished ply white.

Her a re few things I am not sure about how to proceed. Hopefully the some of you guys will be able to help.

1. should I brush some poly on the edges of the ply (except where the face frames will be attached)? The edges will all either face a wall or floor or be covered by end panels. Is this a waste of time? I figure it may guard against the plys absorbing water and swelling apart in the case of a spill or plumbing failure…

2. Should I glue my face-frames on now and paint them on the box or paint them first? If I glue them on unfinished I will not have to worry about masking the glue surface. But it would be generally easier to paint them separately. What do you guys do? Note: most of the face frames have an end panel already attached to them so I will painting those at the same time.

3. I am also undecided on how to mechanically fasten the face frames to the dividers between cabinets. I am going to use pocket screws around the outside where they will be covered by counter top or facing down. I thought about biscuits but I don’t think I will be able line them up perfectly. dowels are a possibility as are fine finish nails since I am painting them. since I have many drawer banks I though it may be acceptable to use pocket screws where there will be drawers since they will be hard to see unless you take the drawers out.

Thanks in advance for any responses.


5 replies so far

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22 posts in 1298 days

#1 posted 04-25-2014 06:42 PM

There is no no toe kick because I will be building a 4” base separately with a shallow toe space even on the short ends. I wanted to get 6 sides from a sheet of ply since it is expensive.

View GregD's profile


778 posts in 2560 days

#2 posted 04-25-2014 07:08 PM

Rhett has a blog on basic cabinet construction and as I recall he also likes to see the toe kick wrap around like you are doing.

I’m just a weekend warrior and don’t really know what I am doing, but I’ve got an upper cabinet in the works with no where to hide pocket holes for attaching the face frame and I was just going to use glue and finish nails to hold it on.

I never thought to finish the face frames before attaching them. I think painting them after is pretty standard. I’m just about to painting my cabinets.

BTW, what paint are you using? I’m planning to use General Finishes Endro white pigmented poly. It is common to put clear poly over that (or so I’ve been told) but 3 coats of Enduro clear poly left the color noticeably yellow (I was using an old door for testing). Except for the fact that I need bright white I think I would go for that. I am also using this cabinet project as an opportunity to learn how to spray.

-- Greg D.

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22 posts in 1298 days

#3 posted 04-25-2014 07:47 PM

I am planning on using Graham Aqua Borne Ceramic. My local paint shop swears by it. I did my interior doors and the wainscoting in a room my 2 boys share with it. It was a long a winter with 4 kids beating on the those surfaces and it held up very nicely.

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1294 posts in 1497 days

#4 posted 04-25-2014 10:03 PM

You won’t need to seal the plywood ends (as long as the core is lumber and not chipboard or other) Unless you have REAL moisture problems in the house. In that case those need fixed first. IMO you are right on track on P-hole on the face frames and such as you mention. I think They would be fine on the sides of drawer spaces. IMO the are fine in open areas, and then plugged. You can also locate them to be covered by drawer guides, and hinge plates. A 1/4 x thickness of ply dado in the back of the frame handles alignment neatly. Seeing your carcasses and FFs already assembled this may not be the best now. But if you do the dado in the verts, and rabbet the top to the st, or set the st back, you get instant alignment, and the ability to paint the ff off the cab.

-- Who is John Galt?

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22 posts in 1298 days

#5 posted 04-26-2014 02:24 AM

Thanks Joey

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