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Thread: Cabinet Construction Question(s)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Winchester, CA
    Posts
    3

    Cabinet Construction Question(s)

    I am hoping to build an entertainment center/book cases in an inset niche that is about 13 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 2 feet deep. I would like it to have more of a furniture look than a cabinet look so I would like to build it with face frames and without a toe kick.

    I have searched through books that I have on cabinetmaking as well as all the sources I can find on the Internet but I can find no discussion of building this kind of cabinet. I'm hoping that someone might be able to answer a few questions:

    1. I like the idea of building a ladder frame to support the cabinet base that can then be shimmed level to provide the level base for the rest of the cabinet. I know how this works when cabinets have toe kicks, but is it possible (or even recommended) for cabinets without toe kicks? If it is a workable solution, then what is the best way to approach it?

    2. I'm thinking that I would like to use some kind of base molding around the bottom that would fit in with the 4" base molding already in the room. In line with my first question, if I use a ladder frame for a base and then set the boxes on top, should I plan on applying a finish piece to the front before the base molding goes on? Would it be a better idea to extend the face frame down to the floor?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If anyone has example photos of how something like this would be done - even better!

    Thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475

    entertainment boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    I am hoping to build an entertainment center/book cases in an inset niche that is about 13 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 2 feet deep. I would like it to have more of a furniture look than a cabinet look so I would like to build it with face frames and without a toe kick.

    I have searched through books that I have on cabinetmaking as well as all the sources I can find on the Internet but I can find no discussion of building this kind of cabinet. I'm hoping that someone might be able to answer a few questions:

    1. I like the idea of building a ladder frame to support the cabinet base that can then be shimmed level to provide the level base for the rest of the cabinet. I know how this works when cabinets have toe kicks, but is it possible (or even recommended) for cabinets without toe kicks? If it is a workable solution, then what is the best way to approach it?
    i have seen it done like you say with no toe kick, Shaz (he had posted some entertainment ctnrs on here many years back..) has done them this way.i would make the ladder frame and then have a piece of the base trim be the cover. just have the face frames extend over the base.
    2. I'm thinking that I would like to use some kind of base molding around the bottom that would fit in with the 4" base molding already in the room. In line with my first question, if I use a ladder frame for a base and then set the boxes on top, should I plan on applying a finish piece to the front before the base molding goes on? Would it be a better idea to extend the face frame down to the floor?
    i have done the face frame to the floor treatment and to me its not the way to go, to heavy of a look.. the face frames should complement the piece not be over bearing at the bottom.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If anyone has example photos of how something like this would be done - even better!

    Thanks,

    Mark
    look up shaz on here for his past threads and you may find something like you are wanting to do i will look for his threads and come back witha link to get you started

    LINK
    Last edited by larry merlau; 09-28-2011 at 11:32 PM. Reason: shaz link
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    42
    The best thing about woodworking is that you can build anything, anyway you want, and build it look the way you want.

    OK, I guess the above is true once you have learned some of the basics and become a little proficient at them.

    I hesitate to show this photo because I was a beginner when I built it, nearly 25 years ago. Parts will still be used when we move, but other parts will be rebuilt.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
    Posts
    518
    I've never done a shimmed base, but I used the plastic leveling legs some, principle is about the same. I cut the bottom face frame taller than I wanted exposed and attached a trim board in place to the face frame. You can also put a trim board on when you build it leaving it 1/4-1/2" off the floor and attach a shoe molding in place instead of contouring the bottom trim to the floor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    So. Florida
    Posts
    268

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    I am hoping to build an entertainment center/book cases in an inset niche that is about 13 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 2 feet deep. I would like it to have more of a furniture look than a cabinet look so I would like to build it with face frames and without a toe kick.

    I have searched through books that I have on cabinetmaking as well as all the sources I can find on the Internet but I can find no discussion of building this kind of cabinet. I'm hoping that someone might be able to answer a few questions:

    1. I like the idea of building a ladder frame to support the cabinet base that can then be shimmed level to provide the level base for the rest of the cabinet. I know how this works when cabinets have toe kicks, but is it possible (or even recommended) for cabinets without toe kicks? If it is a workable solution, then what is the best way to approach it?
    Assume for a moment, that a cabinet with a toe kick, that the toe kick can be a loose one that gets leveled before the cabinet gets installed. Without the toe kick height to have available, you have the bottom of the cabinet sitting on the floor. Any height adjustment necessary raises the cabinet off the floor. With a toe kick height, a trim piece can be fitted to cover the adjustment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    2. I'm thinking that I would like to use some kind of base molding around the bottom that would fit in with the 4" base molding already in the room. In line with my first question, if I use a ladder frame for a base and then set the boxes on top, should I plan on applying a finish piece to the front before the base molding goes on? Would it be a better idea to extend the face frame down to the floor?
    If you extend the face frame to the floor, depending on the height of the bottom rail, you loose space inside the cabinet. Personally, I don't like that look. It reminds me of office furniture. You do have options. You could make a loose toe kick (the ladder thing you mentioned), at a height commensurate with the base moulding in the room, and just run that base moulding across the front. The top of the base moulding could be situated on the face of the lower part of the face frame rail. So, as you look at it, the base moulding would be ahead of the face frame, just like it does on the wall.

    Or, you could make your cabinets with a face frame, and the area below the face frame could be a plinth type fascia, made with a suitable crown moulding used upside down. Or, you could use small furniture style legs, or bun feet.





    .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    I don't know what you have against toe kicks. With a 24 inch deep cabinet, people are going to stand close to access the back, and toes have to go someplace. I use the toe kick space to hide an air inlet for electronics buried in the cabinet, and often build a drawer-like tray that is accessed by pulling out the front of the toe kick - a great hidden drawer.

    No problem making a frame to set cabinets on. When the customer's floor is uneven, I sometimes do it. But for something that big, you probably want to build it as separate cabinets, and I just shim the individual cabinets as they are installed.

    Beware - the back of an alcove is often significantly narrower than the front. I usually build a vertical spacer strip, 1/2 to 3/4 thick, set back an inch or so, on the outside cabinets. By setting it back, it is in a shadow, and you can often get away without scribing it.

    See http://www.plesums.com/wood/livingro...html#pritchard for an example of air vents at the front, just behind the doors, and exhaust at the top back. Scroll down to the walnut one - it has two hidden drawers and similar (not visible) air vents.

    See www.plesums.com/wood/livingroom/library.html for a large library on very uneven floors, but I just set the cabinets in place. (As big as that is, I am in the process of building two more matching bookcases for them)

    As you may have guessed if you look through my woodworking site, I don't like face frames. To me they look like old fashioned kitchen cabinets, and they take useful space away from the front of the cabinet.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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