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Squaring up a cabinet?

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 10-03-2014 12:34 AM 934 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1357 days


10-03-2014 12:34 AM

Hello all. I’m working on trying to finish up my tool cabinet. Have fun into a snag.

It’s all glued together, most of it is square. Except one spot.

I have two spaces on the top half. 15 inches to the left of the middle divider is shelves with a door, to the right is a space for the planes.

Upon installing the door i noticed a gap at the top corner/side. I figured it wasn’t possible to get it in square. I put a clamp on it in a wracked manner and it pulled it square. I figured removing the back cleats and re-installing them with it racked would hold it in square. Not true…

What could i do to keep it square?


11 replies so far

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firefighterontheside

13529 posts in 1324 days


#1 posted 10-03-2014 12:43 AM

Not exactly sure of the problem. Typically as long as measurements are correct and the sides and shelves are square, it is the back that pulls everything into square. Is the back on permanently or can you remove it and resquare. Attach one side all the way along it and then measure for square. Use a clamp to pull it square and then attach all the way around.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#2 posted 10-03-2014 12:52 AM

I’m have trouble understanding it as well. What’s keeping it out of square?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1357 days


#3 posted 10-03-2014 12:53 AM

I dont understand either lol.

All dividers and dados etc were cut at the same time. I know all measurements are the same.

There is no back, as i needed room for a cleat. I have a 10” wide cleat. Refer to the bottom picture.

The white piece of wood is the back i guess? its the cleat and its screwed in. The bottom piece is a back for the bottm portion.

As one half of the cabinet is plane till, i didnt need a back so thats why there isn’t a full back piece.

The cabinet is square except the top bit. Dont know why. If i use a clamp at the top and put it at an angle and clamp it it goes square.

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firefighterontheside

13529 posts in 1324 days


#4 posted 10-03-2014 01:01 AM

I’m guessing there was a piece of plywood that had a bow to it.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1357 days


#5 posted 10-03-2014 01:02 AM

Fire- I think you’re right. I think the middle divider running vertical has a bow. I tried re-affixing the back cleat/bottom cleat but it didn’t work.

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1357 days


#6 posted 10-03-2014 01:05 AM

Heres a sketchup image of the back as it sits. The areas in “yellow” are the back panels. The top piece is the cleat for hanging. The half section below that is an additional piece to affix the back piece for that side of the cabinet. The left side didn’t need one as there is a ramp for planes so it wasn’t “visually” necessary.

The bottom section of the cabinet has a full back.

Is it because the top section doesn’t have a full back? Would making a full back section help keep it square?

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Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#7 posted 10-03-2014 01:06 AM

you can’t have all measurements the same and one corner out of square. If you clamped and racked it square, 2 corners were out.

A picture overall would help I think,

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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firefighterontheside

13529 posts in 1324 days


#8 posted 10-03-2014 01:16 AM

I think a full back would hold it square. It doesn’t need to be 3/4 plywood. 1/4 luan would hold it, but it wouldn’t be adequate for hanging it.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1357 days


#9 posted 10-03-2014 01:20 AM

Don- Basically what is happening is the top half of the cabinet, is leaning to the right. So it’s “racked” to the right. But offsetting the clamp heads, it pulls them to the left thus making it square.

Which leads me to believe Fires aforementioned comment of something being bowed. Then again, I am by no means a “Cabinet maker” As this is the first cabinet I’ve built.

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1357 days


#10 posted 10-03-2014 01:28 AM

This is the face of the cabinet Don.

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Don W

17971 posts in 2035 days


#11 posted 10-03-2014 11:23 AM

Got it. I agree with Bill. Put a back on it. I usually datto it in. 1/4” ply would probably work. For hanging add a stiffener inside.

If can’t or don’t want a back, some corner brackets would work.

Another option would be a face frame.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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