Figure 5-10.Types of mortise-and-tenon joints.
following steps are a guide to constructing the base unit
of a cabinet:
1. Review your drawings and specifications.
2. Select the lumber or plywood to be used; then
develop a cutting list from the layout rod and/or
3. Determine the best joints to use on the face
frame and the skeleton frame stiles and rails.
4. Cut out and assemble the face frame by gluing
and clamping. After the glue has set, remove the clamps
and sand both faces. You then set the frame aside.
5. For the base unit, cut out the skeleton frame
similar to steps 3 and 4. Then cut a groove (dado)
1/4-inch wide by l/2-inch deep on one edge of the four
skeleton frame stiles.
6. Use a stub mortise-and-tenon joint l/4-inch
thick by l/2-inch long on all the skeleton frame rails.
7. Layout the location of the rails on the stiles and
assemble the skeleton frames by clamping and gluing.
When they are dry, remove the clamps and set aside until
8. Rabbet the back edges of the ends 1/2 inch by
1/2 inch. This rabbet will allow the end panels to project
out beyond the plywood back for scribing the cabinet to
the wall. Make sure the rabbet is cut from the inside
face of the plywood, so the good face will show on the
outside of the cabinet.
9. Lay out and cut the toe spaces on each end
panel. The top of the cut is flush with the bottom rail of
the face frame. The bottom of the cut is flush with the
10. Cut out the toe spaces so that a right hand and
left and end panel is obtained. Cut from the inside face
to avoid splintering the face side.
11. Dado the inside of the end panels 3/16-inch
deep and 3/4-inch wide for the bottom, shelf, and
skeleton frame. Make a blind dado for the cabinet shelf.
12. Assemble the end panels, bottom, shelf, and
skeleton frames with glue and clamps, finish nails, or
screws. Make sure all edges line up.
13. Install the toeboard between the end panels by
fastening with glue and finish nails through the end
Figure 5-11.Typical wall units.