Making Kitchen Cabinets – The Box Addendum
Note: Click here for all the posts in this build series.
So last time I finished the kitchen cabinet box. Except I didn’t. I realized after I finished writing that last post that I neglected to account for mounting the drawer slides. I actually had to go into the kitchen and remove a couple of drawers so that I could remember what I did for the other cabinets.
In the not quite finished cabinet box above, I added braces at the back top and back bottom of the box. These braces help to make the box more rigid, as well as providing a solid cleat for mounting the cabinets to the wall. The problem is, at only 4″ wide, that top brace doesn’t come down low enough that the drawer slides will have a place to mount at the back of the cabinet. I could have made that top cleat wider – 6 to 7″ wide would have worked – but it’s now too late for that. At this point, an easier, and I’d argue more elegant solution is to add vertical braces between the top and bottom horizontal braces.
In fact, when I went back and looked at all of the other cabinets that I have built so far for the kitchen, I did the same thing for all of them as well. Interestingly, doing this also makes it very easy to add an elegant cabinet back to the box. I was originally planning to leave this cabinet box without a back because it will be mounted against a pine tongue & groove wall, which looks quite nice inside of the cabinet. However, I figured I could use this opportunity to show you how to add a simple cabinet box back that also looks really nice when you glance inside of the cabinet.
I took a piece of the 1/4″ plywood that I’m using for the drawer bottoms and cut it about 1/2″ to 3/4″ wider and taller than the opening between the cabinet box braces. I beveled the edges at about a 30 degree angle to give the plywood panel a kind of raised panel effect. I then just glued the 1/4″ plywood panel on top of the braces at the back of the cabinet, using some 23 gauge pins to hold it in place while the glue dries. The result is a cabinet with a “raised panel” back that looks quite nice.
In reality, when it comes to base cabinets, the back of the cabinet is pretty much never seen, or at least never really noticed. So you can really go without backs on base cabinets. That’s what I did for all of the other base cabinets in my kitchen that are mounted to a wall. The wall becomes the back of the cabinet. But if you want backs in your cabinets, or if you have to have them, in island cabinets for example, this is a simple and nice looking way to accomplish it.
NOW the box is ready for the face frame.