screwed to the inside of the case to support the shelf. A
through dado or dovetail dado maybe used to support a
shelf. A better method is to use a blind dado to conceal
Adjustable shelves may be supported with metal
shelf standards and clips that are either surface-mounted
or set flush in grooves. A pair of notched and numbered
standards supports the shelves at both sides of the case.
They are fastened 1 to 2 inches in from the back and
front edges. When they are installed, the same number
appears right side up at the bottom of all four standards.
The clips can then be inserted in the correct notch, so
the shelf lies flat.
Another method of supporting adjustable shelving
is by inserting wood dowel pins or commercial shelf
pins into four holes at each shelf location. Two vertical
rows of equally spaced, 1/4-inch holes are drilled on
either side of the case about 1 to 2 inches in from the
front and back edges. The holes are spaced
approximately 2 inches apart for ordinary work. The
holes should be drilled deep enough, so the pins will not
fall out when the shelf is placed upon them.
Adjustable shelves are sometimes installed by using
ratchet strips. Ratchet strips are strips of wood with
notches cut at equal intervals on one edge. These strips
are fastened to the front and back edges of the case on
the inside. A ratchet cleat is cut to length with ends
matching the notches to fit in between the ratchet strips.
The ratchet cleat may be moved to any notch to support
Another method of making ratchet strips is by
boring a series of equally spaced, 3/4-inch holes along
strips of 1-inch by 4-inch lumber. The strips are cut in
half along the center lines of the holes. Ratchet cleats
with rounded ends are then cut to match the ratchet
BOTTOMS AND TOEBOARDS. The bottom
of a case is usually made of solid lumber, particleboard,
or plywood, unless a dust panel is used when a drawer
is supported by the bottom. Case bottoms are
sometimes raised above the bottom rail of the face
frame to act as a stop for doors. Another design
eliminates the bottom rail of the face frame. The door
or drawer then covers all of the bottom edge which also
acts as a stop.
To cover the space between the bottom and the floor
and to provide toe clearance, install a toeboard. The
toeboard is usually set back from the face of the case
2 1/2 to 3 inches.
After completing the frame construction and shelv-
ing, apply finished facing strips to the front of the cab-
inet frame. These strips are sometimes assembled into
a framework (called a faceplate or face frame) by commer-
cial sources before they are attached to the basic cabinet
structure. The vertical members of the facing are called
stiles, and the horizontal members are known as rails.
As previously mentioned for built-in-place
cabinets, you cut each piece and install it separately.
The size of each piece is laid out by positioning the
facing stock on the cabinet and marking it. Then the
finished cuts are made. A cut piece can be used to lay
out duplicate pieces.
Cabinet stiles are generally attached first, then the
rails (fig. 5-7). Sometimes a Builder will attach a plumb
end stile first, and then attach rails to determine the
position of the next stile.
Use finishing nails and glue to install facing. When
hardwoods are being nailed, drill nail holes where you
think splitting might occur.
Face frames are preassembled units, usually joined
with dowels, biscuits, or mortise-and-tenon joints, into
which drawers and doors are fitted, as shown in figure
5-4. Face frames are joined to cabinet ends with a butt,
rabbeted, or mitered joint. The face frame must fit the
case accurately, so doors and drawers may be installed
easily at a later stage.
If flush doors are to be hung on the face frame, the
frame is made about 1/16 inch thicker than the door to
Figure 5-7.Facing being placed on a cabinet.