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Thread: Shop Cabinet Construction advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Va.
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    104

    Shop Cabinet Construction advice

    I have to make about a dozen shop cabinets to make for my new shop . The upper wall cabinets will hold right much stuff so using 3/4 ply. My questions is will dominoes be sufficient to keep things together under the weight and not blow up or should i add screws as well ? Trying to keep a clean look... What construction method do you guys use?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Center Valley, PA USA
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    In the shop cabinets (upper and lower) that I built for my shop, I used glue and pocket screws (tops and bottoms so they aren't seen). They have held up very well over time.
    ===========

    James Cheever
    Ga Tech NROTC - 1978
    Run Silent, Run Deep
    Commander, USN (Retired)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I think Dominos would be stonger than screws, as they have more surface area. I just built new base cabinets out of 3/4" baltic birch and I used a pocket screws every 6" and glue just to keep from creeping when tightening the screws. I over build everything I have high confidence in the build

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Make them simple boxes with no toe kick. That makes all the joints the same. Then the base is separate and cut to match an uneven floor that slopes. I would make the base from 2x4, or 2x6 if needed for slope, since that is cheaper then 1x4. If the slope is extreme and the shims too much after it was installed I would finish nail on a 1x4 or plywood strip painted black to hide the base.
    Some people build outlets into the toe kick for power and dust collector, air hose etc.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-13-2020 at 5:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    I make a ladder type base out of plywood with propell nuts underneath with 3/8-16 UNC cap screws for levelling feet

    Base cabinets I made with BB plywood, dado/rebate construction.

    Wall cabinets I made from 16mm melamine using particle board screws, hung on a French cleat....Rod.

  6. #6
    I like my domino but I don't see great ways to use it for carcase joints. Your mortises will be near the end of the board leaving little material on the one side of the mortise. It will probably work fine but so does butt joints with screws or brads. Personally I like to use little "locating dados" that are no more than 1/16 deep just to help with assembly and have mostly just put some through screws in to clamp it together until the glue dries. If the screw heads will show, I plug them and sand the plug flush. But I could put in some domino tenons but they would still need clamped (or screwed).

    If you put an adequate amount of glue on a butt joint in 3/4 plywood it will be strong enough. You can do more things but you don't have to.

    I did like the result of using dominos for drawer joints. My usual half blind dovetails don't work great in plywood and the dominos do. I think they look fine so I will probably do this again when I use plywood for drawers. The same argument could be made that a butt joint also works but I like seeing something additional there.

    I use pocket screws too but I don't like the look of the holes they make. But functionally they work well. But when you tighten the screw it tends to shift the joint. But if you throw in a few domino tenons this tend to not happen. That would be a good application and one I have also used.
    Last edited by Jim Dwight; 07-13-2020 at 7:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Alberta
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    Dado /rabbet, glue and screws. No need for dominos at all. Build boxes and toe kicks separate. I use 3/4'' ply 4 1/2'' wide for toe kicks. Boxes are 30'' high and counter is 1 1/2'' thick all this ends up at std. height of 36''.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
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    I built mine with 3/4" Aruaco Ply and pocket screws. All parts were cut out and prefinished before assembly. They were Euro style and I made the WWA Shelf Pin Jig and used a plunge router to make shelf pin holes and holes for drawer slides and hinges. All my cabinets were 24" wide and top ones hang on French cleats.

    Shop Cabinets All B.JPG
    Last edited by Larry Frank; 07-13-2020 at 7:57 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Make them simple boxes with no toe kick. That makes all the joints the same. Then the base is separate and cut to match an uneven floor that slopes. I
    Ditto. That's how I do all cabinetry and carcasses. Leveling a low base is SO much easier than leveling a gang of heavy cabinets!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Screw straight in through sides. End cabs, the sides can be pocket screwed.

    Base same way. Big fan of cabinet levelers. IMO worth every penny. No base building/shimming. Toe kick attached to legs.

  11. #11
    One thing I wish I did with my shop cabinets is not glue the joints. As my shop gets re-arranged and modified, modifying/removing cabinets is a real pain when they are glued together. Right now I have a drawer cabinet by my lathe that needs updating and it's going to be some work to re-do it. I could build a new one but then I have an extra cabinet to trip over.

    Jim

  12. #12
    I'd call Dominos overkill. Glue and staples will work just fine. The glue does the work.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Just built 8 new base boxes for the new shop. These form the base for the RAS station. I used leveling feet. $2.75 each I felt was money well spent.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    I'd call Dominos overkill. Glue and staples will work just fine. The glue does the work.
    I'm no cabinet maker, but I believe I'd use Dominos or biscuits for alignment, but really, the glue will do all the holding. Use nails or screws to hold joints till glue dries. If it reaches the point where the Dominos are doing the holding, then the glue has failed and you'll be in trouble. IMHO.
    Last edited by Derek Arita; 07-17-2020 at 4:47 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    Dado and rabbet joints with glue, no screws. I pin them with finish nails to avoid having to clamp everything. Definitely build boxes and set them on top of a leveled frame rather than fooling with toekicks built in to the cabinets.

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