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How to Make European Cabinets-Cutting the boxes

October 5th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I am writing this article because I just read an atrocious entry at eHow. Someone wrote a post on how to build your own European cabinets and totally mixed up all of the information that they were stealing from another author. I can tell how not to make them. Do not follow the advice on eHow.

Most hinges work off of a 5/8” overlay design. So, I suggest that you use five eights thick materials for the cabinet tops, sides and bottoms. The doors can be three quarters thick if you desire. The backs can be fabricated out of either one eight inch thick masonite to five eights thick melamine. Any sized coated board in between these two dimensions will do just fine for the task. Read
You will need to make a cut list of the sized cabinets that you need. Group them together as to what style you are cutting. As an example, all of the vanities should be grouped together, base cabinets together…etc. Basically, just remember that the cabinets which are the same depth should be listed together.

Your List Should Look Like This

Kitchen Base Cabinets 24” Deep 30” High

1@ 30” wide drawer over door with adjustable shelf
1@ 36” wide sink cabinet
1@ 24 ¼” wide three drawer stack with 1-1/2” scribe right

Upper Cabinets 12” deep 30 “ High

1@ 23-1/4” with 1-1/2” scribe right
1@ 15” finished side on left

How you make European cabinets will depend on the materials that you choose to use and the style cabinet you want to build. Some people like to have heavy solid backs with no scribes behind and others like to have some scribing room in case the walls are not straight when the cupboards are installed.

Pre-rip all of the stock depth rips that you will need for the entire project. Pre-rip all of the rails and cut the back rips to the various height cabinets you will be building. The idea here is to have all of the materials ripped and ready to cut to the correct width for the cabinet size you are working on.

Cut all of your cabinet sides first unless you have to skimp on materials. This way you can drill them for adjustable shelves or attach the drawer slides to them in one focused operation for preparing all of the cabinet sides prior to assembling the parts.

Cutting the European Cabinet Box Parts

Let’s use a 36” base sink cabinet as an example

1) Cut the back to 36” length
2) The bottom should be cut to 34-3/4” wide
3) The sink blind should be 34-3/4” wide
4) Back nailer 36”

Start by stacking the back first, then the bottom and the remaining additional parts on top. If your list shows a cabinet side scribe is needed, cut it and place it with the other parts. Cut your next box and stack it on top of the other one in the same manner, starting with the back first. It’s not necessary to pile the cabinet sides with these parts because your can pull them out as you need them when it comes time to assemble the parts.

That’s basically it for how you start making European cabinets. In order to make them correctly you must measure twice and cut once. Always double check all of your design and dimensions before you begin to make your European kitchen, bathroom vanity, or laundry room cabinets. Obviously you will have to cut all the toe parts, drawers and doors for the project.

Once everything is cut, assemble the boxes and finished them with veneer or plastic laminate and deliver and install.

Categories: Cabinet Making
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