Cabinets: Box or Carcass

diancarlsonJanuary 18, 2008

We will be building kitchen cabinets for our new additon. Should we build individual boxes, (I notice Norm is doing this on his new series)or just build a long bank with face frame and only dividing panels as needed? Are there any advantages one over the other? Would it be more difficult to install drawer runners in one or the other? Thanks for your input.

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The long face frame is great for custom, built to fit applications. That design needs more bracing than just dividers, IMHO, unless the dividers are more than single thickmesses of plywood. The ease of hardware mounting is dictated by the design, but it should not be more difficult than boxes. However, individual boxes can be set on a work bench to work on more easily than a 6' long unit.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 6:05PM
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If you want to explore the built-in-place method, pick up a copy of "The Motion-Minded Kitchen" by Sam Clark. It's got a chapter describing a detailed, step-by-step method for constructing them.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 6:36PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. I will try and find the Sam Clark book. Dian

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 12:47AM
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Commercially built cabinets are nearly always built as boxes. It gives clear delineation between cabinets used for different purposes. Also, there is the issue of leveling which can be more easily accomplished with boxes.

That said, I have done them both ways. I built cabinets for a church kitchen some years back and the architect had designed carcass style base cabinets. IMO, islands work better with the carcass style.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:35AM
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In my opinion, unless you are a professional or very experienced cabinet maker, you will just be setting yourself up for an major PITA to build long cabinets in place. Individual boxes are easier, all around, hands down. Don't even waste time researching it. There are tons of good books out on cabinet building, not just a chapter in one book.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 3:49PM
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Thanks for your input folks, we are starting our dry wall this week and the cabinets issue won't be far behind. My husband does great wood work, I just wondered if one method would be simplier than another.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 5:54PM
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