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Cabinet Scribe Fillers-Figuring Cutting Installing

August 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you are purchasing pre-fab cabinets from Lowe’s or some other supplier and you plan on installing them yourself, getting educated about cabinet scribe fillers is important. Installing them incorrectly can lead to a disastrous outcome in your kitchen. The walls and ceiling fillers play a very important role in how the cabinetry doors and drawers function.

Cabinet Scribe Filler Size Specifications
1) Base corner scribe standard size is 3”
2) Base corner scribes when appliances are near the corner 4” to 6”
3) Upper cabinet corner fillers 1-1/2”
4) Ceiling cabinet starter strips or scribes should be no less than ¾”
5) Base cabinets next to doorway walls need no less than 1-1/2”

Various Reasons For Size Specifications.
a) Base corners must have enough room for the handles on the drawers to clear on another.
b) Cabinets in corners near appliances must have enough space for the drawers to clear the appliances.
c) Upper cabinets just generally get 1-1/2” fillers in the corners. They can be less if necessary.
d) Wall cabinets and tall pantry cupboard storage areas must be far enough down from ceiling to clear vents for heating and air conditioning. Also, if the ceiling is out of level the cabinetry doors need enough room to clear.
e) Bases next to door casings must have enough space to allow for the drawers clear the door casings when they are opened. If there is no casing then, the scribe filler can be as small as 1/2 inch.

Cutting The Fillers

Most installers use a table saw to cut the fillers with to width and a chop saw for cutting them to length. It is possible to use a skill saw for loping off the ends of the scribe pieces or even a saber or jig saw. Belt sanders are used to fine fit cabinet scribe fillers to the various dips and humps in the walls, ceilings and floors. Free hand cutting on a table saw should only be done if you have experience in operating one in this manner.

Installing Cabinet Side Scribes
There are two methods that are used for installing cabinet fillers. The way that they get fastened to the cabinets will depend on the method that you choose to use for attaching the fillers. Many installers use screws or pin nailers to attach the pieces onto the kitchen or vanity bathroom cabinetry.

1) Attaching the scribe pieces on the cabinets before they get screwed to the walls. If this is the method that you choose to use, most installers will set the cabinet in place and see how much the scribe needs to be altered, mark it, remove the box and alter the scribe with a skill saw and belt sander.
2) Install the cabinets to the wall in the general location, allowing for the scribe/filler size and then cut the filler afterwards. Slide the filler in place; clamp it and pre-drill holes through the inside of the cabinet through the scribe pieces. Use screws to attach them with. If you’re a re using drywall screws be careful not to over tighten them because the heads may snap off.

Taking your time when you are making the cabinet wall and ceiling fillers fit is very important. Large caulk areas are not generally acceptable when installing these scribe pieces. If you tend to find yourself in a hurry and want to install a filler that was not figured correctly and is not going to look good, take a break and revisit the project after you have settled down. Figuring and cutting a scribe piece properly will really make your cabinets look outstanding in the end.

  1. Bob Pierce
    January 23rd, 2011 at 09:52 | #1

    Great article, and very truthful, time is important as is frame of mind. The pre-drill is mandatory, only thing was the 3/16 scribe is missing, this is nice for the back side of cabinets and smaller then filler size gaps.

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