Cabinet making - your favorite method? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-22-2019, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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What are some of your favorite ways to makes cabinets? Pocket holes? Tongue and groove? Butt joints? Rabbits/dados?

I'm looking into the Sommerfield tongue and groove router set.. is it worth it?


Edit: is this the right area for this question?
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-22-2019, 09:28 PM
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Rabbit and groove. Biscuits. Butt joins with bamboo pins after the glue has cured. Some joins are reinforced with the pins to ensure they don’t come adrift if the glue joint fails. We recently had an entire bedroom suite in cherry made by an Amish maker and almost all of the joinery was done with pocket holes. Two chests of drawers, two night stands, an armoire, and two beds. The drawers were done with 1/3 blind dovetails. Yes,1/4” tails and pins in 3/4” stock.

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-22-2019, 10:27 PM
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Traditional mortise and tenon (or free tenon?)...often just riven wood...and then a simple panel let in to a groove or rabbet...

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-22-2019, 10:48 PM
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Favorite would mean different ways depending on the purpose. If the cabinets were being made to sell I would put the faceframes together with a corrugated fastener gun and toenail from the sides. It makes a pretty strong joint and it's quick and easy. The pocket hole system is good. If I made more cabinets to sell I would probably invest in a faceframe table to do that. If time wasn't an issue and quality was I would put the faceframes together with dowels.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-23-2019, 07:25 AM
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As Steve says, it all depends. Often the type of cabinet/materials will basically determine the method of build.


George
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-23-2019, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Favorite would mean different ways depending on the purpose. If the cabinets were being made to sell I would put the faceframes together with a corrugated fastener gun and toenail from the sides. It makes a pretty strong joint and it's quick and easy. The pocket hole system is good. If I made more cabinets to sell I would probably invest in a faceframe table to do that. If time wasn't an issue and quality was I would put the faceframes together with dowels.
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As Steve says, it all depends. Often the type of cabinet/materials will basically determine the method of build.


George

I guess I'm asking more about kitchen cabs than anything.. for shop stuff I'd probably use pocket holes. For kitchen though, I would want a "better" build. I'm really looking at getting the Sommerfield router set for their tongue and groove system. Anyone have experience with these?
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-23-2019, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhaugle View Post
I guess I'm asking more about kitchen cabs than anything.. for shop stuff I'd probably use pocket holes. For kitchen though, I would want a "better" build. I'm really looking at getting the Sommerfield router set for their tongue and groove system. Anyone have experience with these?
A tongue and groove set would be pretty good for cabinet doors. The biggest problem is the cutter makes a 1/4" wide groove and if you use a plywood panel it's metric and closer to 7/32" thick. The panels would fit very sloppy. It's not just the Sommerfield set, they are all like that. When I made a coping and sticking set for cabinet doors I sized the groove at 7/32" for that reason.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-24-2019, 02:27 PM
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I have the Sommerfeld tongue and groove set for cabinets. The joints are tight. Built my face frame cabinets the same way as shown in their video. The only issue is, as mentioned above, the 1/4 inch groove is full size. If you use it to hold an undersized plywood panel it is very loose. I used their panalaign strips in the groves to suspend the panels and then cut small pieces of those strips and wedged them in on the back side to prevent the panels from rattling and to push them tight against the front edge of the groove.

For raised panel doors they have other sets that include the matched cope and stick router bits for the frame and a bit to edge a raised center panel to fit in the groove. They included shims so there is some adjustments that can be done to tweak how everything fits together.

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post #9 of 12 Old 03-25-2019, 01:33 PM
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Background: Before I got back into woodworking, we paid a contractor to install premade kitchen cabinets for us. The cabinets came from a commercial store with its own factory. They were not my first choice, but Spouse really liked the look of them.

A couple days ago, Spouse and I talked about building an entertainment center from kitchen cabinet boxes, so we went back to the cabinet store a couple days ago and looked at the construction of their boxes.

While we were there, I noticed a display showing how the cabinet boxes were assembled, along with three competitors' boxes. The 3/4 plywood backs of their cabinets were glued into a 1/16 inch rabbet cut at the end of each side. That's all; it was effectively a butt joint. The competitor's boxes all had locking rabbet joints, clearly superior. The finish on the store cabinets was better and at least one competitor cabinet was made from MDF.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-26-2019, 01:27 AM
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I usually built frameless cabinets so Ill but joint them together use a couple of dominos per a joint for alignment purposes you could just as easily shoot in a couple of brads, rhen use about 3 screws to secure it. If I was going to add a face frame then Id pocket hole it together and pocket hole it to the carcase
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-27-2019, 02:09 AM
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I use rabbets and dados for all of the carcass joints, mortise and tenons for all of the face frame parts, dovetails for all of the drawers, and through mortise and tenons for doors. (slip joints is another name for them)
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-27-2019, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhaugle View Post
What are some of your favorite ways to makes cabinets? Pocket holes? Tongue and groove? Butt joints? Rabbits/dados?

I'm looking into the Sommerfield tongue and groove router set.. is it worth it?
Rabbets and dados for carcass joints. Tongue & groove for panels. Mortise & tenon for door frames. I prefer inset doors, so very few face frames for me. Inset doors can be made from plywood with hardwood trim or traditional rail & stile. Using plywood can save some time and money. The plywood doors can be made to look really original with some simple inlay patterns.

When I do use overlay doors, I use real wood panels for my doors, so a 1/4" groove works fine to hold a 1/2" solid panel. Just make sure the groove is deep enough to allow the panel to expand and contract through the seasons. Two passes on the table saw for the groove, or install a 1/4" dado blade when I have a lot of grooves.

I haven't done a complete kitchen yet, only individual cabinets. The complete kitchen remodel is going to happen this year. I hired a Certified Kitchen Designer last month. She did some great drawings on paper for us. Now I got to put them in Sketchup and get to the final design.

Thanks for asking the question.
Eric

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