When back of cabinet shows?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Brian posted 08-31-2009 12:40 PM 1080 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brian's profile


79 posts in 3737 days

08-31-2009 12:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Looking for input on the best method for constructing the exposed “rear” of a portable kitchen island.
The front side will have the doors and drawers and the rear/back will have the drop leaf breakfast bar. Something similar to below.

All the carcasses I’ve previously made had hidden backs with the standard rabbet in the outside edges and the panel attached inside. This time with an exposed back I’m unsure of the best way to go.
Will be approx. 42” wide.
Has to be made of solid wood.
Thanks for any and all replies….


9 replies so far

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3920 days

#1 posted 08-31-2009 01:27 PM

I would consider either a continuation of the side panels, or two raised panel sections made like the single large raised panel door, but large enough to span the height from top to bottom. Another option might be instead of raised panels, create two panels in the same style as the drawers. The overall effect in either case would mimic the front, giving the cabinet a visual balance.

-- Sam

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3461 days

#2 posted 08-31-2009 02:02 PM

I agree with sam, but I would probably go a bit further, and make two raised panels like the door on the front, so divide the width in two, and make it so the panel goes from top to bottom.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Jeff's profile


439 posts in 3219 days

#3 posted 08-31-2009 02:20 PM

The raised panel idea is great if you already have the ability to make them. I did that on a desk for my wife. The back is never seen but I know it’s there and I made it. You could also use simple vertical boards 3-4” wide with a chamfer on each long edge to give it some character. Join them with tongue and groove joints.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3366 days

#4 posted 08-31-2009 02:57 PM

ditto with the above ,
treat it as exposed end panel .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View depictureboy's profile


420 posts in 3667 days

#5 posted 08-31-2009 03:13 PM

you could also do a back from ship lapped boards…you would leave a small gap between each board and pin the center of the bottom and top. This would allow for wood movement where a solid back panel would not. However would this fit in with the aesthetic of your cabinet? Would the recommended raised panels? If your sides had been raised panels I would opt for the raised panel in the rear, but I dont think you want to throw in too many elements at one time…its a hard call…

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View Vicki's profile


1099 posts in 3369 days

#6 posted 08-31-2009 05:27 PM

I’d go with the continuation of the side panel look for the back. I like the look of the chamfered boards or the shiplapped boards, but agree with depictureboy about using too many different elements. Aesthetically, it would look better if the back matched the sides. IMHO.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Brian's profile


79 posts in 3737 days

#7 posted 08-31-2009 05:56 PM

Some of you are saying a continuation of the side panel for the back BUT in the photo above the sides are flat.
FWIW there will be a knife block on one side and on the opposite side a towel holder/bar. So making the same type of raised panels for the back as the front will likely be the way to go. Will leave the side panels flat for the knife block and towel holder.
The island will be pushed into a small square alcove so if the bar side is facing outwards they will have to rotate it 180 degrees to access the front doors(there’ll be 2 doors) and drawers. Wondering if the bar side should also have doors below the bottom of the dropped bartop so they can access from both sides?
Thanks a bunch for all the replies so far.


View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3920 days

#8 posted 08-31-2009 08:07 PM

If you’re wanting to access from either side, you could put all raised panel doors (front and back) in the uppermost portion of the front and back face. The drawer(s) could be done at the bottom such that the same drawer can be opened from either side. There are period furniture tables (like drum tables) that utilize the same design concept. You could have 2 drawers at the bottom, i.e., two inset drawer faces at the bottom on each aide – front & back. That way you can pull out the same drawer from either direction. You could even apply the same concept to the doors, i.e. hinged on both sides to access the same space from the front or the rear.

-- Sam

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#9 posted 09-03-2009 02:27 AM

You all have come up with the options I would consider.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics