Cabinet Making 101. Julian Gonzalez El Toro High School Teacher-Woodworking. R S Cabinet Co 2020 Placentia Ave Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (949) 548-7033.
El Toro High School
I had the opportunity to visit RS Cabinet Co. on January 17,2011. This company has been in business for over 30 years. I had many questions going in on how professionals build cabinets and the techniques used in the industry .
Measurements are taken from location and drawn on ¼” grid paper. This allows cabinet makers to plan out and design each cabinet and how they are positioned in their desired location.
These drawings give valuable information on how cabinets are positioned, any obstacles or special features are needed to properly build the cabinets.
After cabinets are designed, a detailed list of all pieces needed to construct cabinets is drawn. This is a list used to give the quantity and dimensions of pieces need .
There are a variety of materials that can be used in the construction of cabinets. Every cabinet shop needs a large supply of sheet goods and hardwoods to meet the need of its patrons.
Basic woodshop tools are all that are needed in the creation of cabinets.
What gives the edge in building cabinets is the creation of different jigs that allow you to perform a certain duty easier and repetitively.
The carcase is the box or body of the cabinet. They are generally made from plywood, MDF or particle board.
Dimensions for carcase construction are generally 24” deep, With each carcase no wider than 36” wide. Height dimensions vary depending on application. With cabinets receiving counter tops set at 36” high.
Carcase construction can be done with the use of Dado and Rabbet joints or the use of cleats to hold pieces in place.
The Face Frame is the front of the cabinet it helps keep the cabinet square. It is generally made from Hardwood . It frames the carcase and covers the edges of the plywood and allows for hinges to screw into.
The face frame generally is made of 2” lumber which is either joined with pocket screws or dowel joints. They are glued and clamed together then attached to the carcase with the use of biscuits, brads, or pocket screws.
Shelves come in two ways either set in the carcase or adjustable. Stationary shelves are pieces of plywood joined on the carcase with either a dado joint or supported by a cleat. Adjustable shelves generally sit on shelf pins or tracks and are adjustable within the carcase.
Shelves are generally made from plywood because they do not sag or warp as easy as solid wood. Shelves edges are covered by either edge banding or strips of hard wood to cover the edges of the plywood.
Both doors and drawers or made off site. But there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration before they are ordered.
There are three basic options for doors and drawers.
-Full-Overlay: the full thickness of the door and drawer rest on the surface of the face frame.
-Partial-Overlay- one half of the drawer face and door thickness rest on the surface of the face frame.
-Inset- Fronts of drawer face and door rest flush with the face frame
There are a variety of doors when it comes to cabinet making.
First, the type and design of door needs to be selected. Whether it is a flat door or a raised panel door; if the panel is square or arched or if it is a glass door.
Next, the material needs to be selected. Depending on the door, plywood ,solid wood ,or particle board can be used.
Finally hinges and hardware needs to se selected and mounted
At R & S raised panel and glass doors are the norm. They use European hinges and doors need to have a counter bore made to receive the hinge.
There are a variety of ways one can build drawers. Fist material selection needs to be made. Next, choosing drawer joinery, from butt joints to dovetails and all in between. Selecting the style of Drawer front need to be made next. And finally Drawer slide selection needs to be made. Once all is selected , the measurements of the drawer opening are needed and drawer slide specifications are needed to construct drawers.
Drawer faces are generally attached to drawer box with screws from the inside of the box.
Drawer slide generally come in two pieces one attached to drawer and the other to the carcase.
Going into this I had many questions on how cabinets are made. I wanted to see what is being used in the professional world in comparison to what I teach in my classes.
After spending the day there, I was a able to see first hand the methods and techniques they use . I will now be able to take all that I learned and this presentation back to my class and give demonstrations and teach my students how to build cabinets and possibly start a cabinetmaking course at my location.
I would like to thank Casey Moir and the rest of the staff at R&S Cabinet for their time.