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Building Base Cabinets For Kitchens

Building Base Cabinets For Kitchens - part two

 After drawing the cabinets on Auto Cadd, we use an optimizing program, (cut list pro), to do our plywood sheet layouts. This saves considerable time and wasted materials.

We go over the optimizes pages, and identify all the rips that are full length. In the case of cabinet sides, we set the rip fence to 24" to the center of the blade. (we use a Forrest Hi AT blade for all of our sheet goods cuts). With the help of our ezee-feed unit, (small plug there), we make all the rips needed for the sides. We also mark the edges that have not been ripped, as we take them off the saw. The reason for that is we'll make a second rip to clean up any problems on the edges. This second rip is the edge that becomes the front edge of the cabinet, as it's a cleaner, straighter cut.


Using a Cut List Software Program

Note: Cut List Pro has an parts list sheet, and a labels program, built in. Use Avery temporary labels. The permanent ones are a B***H to remove. As we rip the sheets, we highlight the cut that has been made, on both the optimized sheet, and the parts list. We also stick the labels on at the same time. This really helps to keep track of your progress. The parts sheet also notes which type of edge treatments are required for each piece. (rabits, edge banding etc...).

Next we complete the rest of the full length rips, for Cross members etc... We rip the cross pieces as a unit, for example if we need three, 2 1/2" cross pieces, we'll rip it as one 9" piece. This way, when we cross cut them, we know they'll all be exactly the same length. Once they're cross cut, we'll rip them as needed. As shown on the next page, we use cross members at the front and rear, as well as anywhere that receives a drawer. Also shown is the locations of the biscuits we use in our construction.

Once the full length rip are completed, we set the crosscut fence on our Jet Sliding Table. If you do much work with sheet goods, this unit is the best I've seen, in the way of after market sliding tables. (it is expensive though). We set the stop on the cross cut fence and crosscut all the part that are the same length. Again, as we cut them we mark them off on the parts list, and the layout sheets. We are also to take care to keep up with putting the labels on as we go. If you've ever been in a shop with two hundred or more pieces, that aren't labeled, you'll know why we're religious about that. (wanna see my T-shirt?). We continue until all the rips and crosscuts have been made, working in such a way as to optimize set up time.

Also, when the pieces are finished being cut, they're stacked with parts that need like treatment. Edgebanding, rabits, biscuits etc...

Keep in mind, while this article is covering base cabinet construction, we're cutting the upper cabinet parts at the same time, and much of the procedure is the same, so far.

Written by: Lee A. Jesberger © 2006 - 2013
Inventor of: Ezee-Feed Systems ®


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Whether you're planning to replace your old kitchen cabinets or install new ones, this Fine Homebuilding DVD is a must. Master carpenter Tom Law demonstrates all of the cabinet installation basics.. 

Installing Kitchen Cabinets, Fine Homebuilding DVD


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