Converting Barkers cabinets to have integrated flush ends

GardenerDevSeptember 1, 2013

I'm just about ready to place an order for Barkers cabinets, but don't like the finished end panels they say to use and wonder if I can instead buy an end panel and substitute it for the intended cabinet side panel for an "integrated flush end" effect. I'm thinking I can use pocket screws from the top, bottom and back of the cabinet to attach the side, but wonder whether this will provide enough stability?

Specifically, I am hoping to do this for two upper cabinets 36" wide x 46.75" high x 14" deep, and one pantry composed of two cabinets (64" high x 18" wide x 24" deep and 36.75" high x 18" wide x 24" deep).

The upper cabinets each have one fully exposed side, while the pantry has lower cabinets and also 14" deep upper cabinets next to it, so that the exposed space on the pantry is relatively small (the 18" gap from countertop to upper cabinets, and the 10" gap from upper cabinet depth to counter depth).

I will have to get the end panels trimmed to do this, since Barkers makes them 14 5/8" instead of 14" deep, but once that's done, does my proposed change sound like it will provide adequate structural support? How far apart should I put the pocket screws / (so I can calculate how many to put along each edge)? Do you think I should use glue in addition to the pocket screws?

Many thanks!

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You don't do integrated finished sides on frameless. You do a full door overlay on top of the side. You would have to do a lot more than cut off a piece of cabinet. If you're going to do major reconstruction, you might as well build the cabinets yourself instead of ordering them. If you don't have confidence in your skills in building the whole cabinet, then altering them it's not a good idea at all. Just order the overlay and apply it. And don't forget to account for the extra 3/4" in the design. That's where most mess up the design.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Barkers are RTA cabinets, so there is no need to 'reconstruct' the cabinet, as I will be doing the initial construction of the cabinet myself anyways. However, I am interested in what you are saying about "You don't do integrated finished sides on frameless." Are you saying that it simply is not possible to get adequate structural integrity using pocket screws? The thing is that I really want everything to be symmetrical, and to have the look where the glass doors of the cabinets overlay the full frame around that cabinet. If I put an end panel on one side, then to get things symmetrical I'll have to put a matching panel or filler on the opposite side, plus moldings above and below, and if I do that then I don't know how to get hinges that will overlay not only the frame of the cabinet, but also the filler or panel adjacent to the cabinet, plus I think the double frame will look a little strange. Is there really no frameless option that can have the clean look of just a single frame, but with an exposed finished side?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 12:35AM
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Alternatively, if that's really not possible, having a face frame on these would not be the end of the world - at least it would be symmetrical and not a doubled edge - but I can't seem to find full overlay hinges for glass doors for a face frame cabinet. These are not regular doors with glass inserts, but rather doors that are fully composed of glass.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 12:48AM
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Have you considered gluing on a veneer?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 12:16AM
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Yes, but not having done it before, didn't know how successful it would be applying veneer to a whole sheet, plus a little nervous about the veneer's heat activation since it will be over the stove -.I know I can do edgebanding with an iron, but do you think I can be successful with a veneer sheet in a very visible place and that it will not start to peel even if home-applied when it's just by the stove?


    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 8:25AM
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I would think it would be ok--after all we're talking about wood here, so in the first place it shouldn't be where it might get too hot.

Check the various adhesives and see what the spec'd temps are--over a stove I'd think you'd want maybe 250-300 degrees or better. Since it's a veneer without much weight, you'd probably still be ok if you exceed the rating a little bit, since adhesives don't fail immediately when they go over their rated temp--it just that their holding power will decrease.

And if the adhesive fails, you should still be able to fix it with the same or a different one (assuming the veneer isn't scorched--and if it is, then the holding power of the adhesive isn't your problem).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Why not ask Barkers? they ought to know the strengths of what you are depends on how that end panel is constructed. not sure I'd use pocket screws for load-bearing--OTOH, couldn't you just drill dowel holes or whatever it is Barker usually uses to attach the normal cabinet side?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Ooo... didn't think of doing dowels! I'm thinking I could use those PLUS pocket screws (PLUS glue??) and the result could be pretty solid! I unfortunately can't do what Barkers usually does because they screw straight through the side of the cabinet so that the screws are visible, (They don't have integrated ends that are designed to be visible, only end panels). But dowels plus pocket screws sounds pretty solid to me - do you agree?

It's also good to know that the veneer would probably be okay over the stove. I'm not seeing temperature specs on the ones online, but I'll ask around if it starts to seem like the dowels/pocket screws strategy won't work.

Thank you very much for your input! Having both of these strategies available gives me enough comfort that it will be possible that I'm going to go ahead and order the cabinet - wish me luck making it work!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:02PM
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