How to Assemble an End Skin – End Skin Options & Limitations

Video Transcript

Hey everybody! Brian, here, from The Cabinet Joint. Today's topic is custom sized, case-only cabinets.

This is the giant one we have here, 48 inches wide, which is the max width you can go. These are very helpful cabinets. The word case only denotes what it is: it's a cabinet without the frame. It's just the box parts without the frame. And what it allows you as a customer to do is to design a custom box with an odd configuration of openings for doors, drawers, appliance openings, whatever you need without being constrained by conestoga's standard box configurations. So let's say you had a a microwave oven combination, and you wanted a couple of drawers below, and then an oven, and then a microwave, and then another little compartment in a cabinet doors above. That configuration is not available from Conestoga. what you would do is you'd order a case-only cabinet, which is nothing more than the left and right side, the top and the bottom, and the back, and as many of these fixed platforms as you want. Now you can configure that cabinet just the way you'd like. In this case, the customer wanted two identical openings on a 48 by 94.5 inch high cabinet not available in Conestoga's catalog. So we used a case-only to attain that. So this video will show you how to put it together.

The parts you want to pay attention to is this fixed floor kit. The rest of the box assembles just the way any other tall cabinet would assemble. So let's get into the assembly itself. And again, pay special attention to some special tools and tips needed to install these fixed floor kits. Let's get to it!

Okay, so let's get started on this gigantic case only cabinet. This one's going to be a tough one to show on video because it's 48 inches wide. It's very large so I'm going to have a helper named Jeffrey come on here. One of our shop guys here in Gettysburg is going to come on and help me in a minute before we start the assembly. I want to walk with you through a few things. Tools are the same as any other cabinet we assemble. So you're going to have your stapler, faucet stapler with an inch to an inch and a quarter, staple pencil, wet rag to wipe your excess glue off; of course we have our type one-two glue bottle, a couple of squares - we use this one for one operation, and this one for another one to scribe line the back, so pay attention to that - but those squares are helpful. If you don't have a square, you can just use a straight piece of lumber,anything and kicking around as long as it's straight. Another point I want to make before I get assembling is we're doing an overlay cabinet, here. If you're doing inset, note below there's going to be a link to a video that shows you how to mount your mounting brackets, and if you have drawer box openings in your frame, how to locate those. Ddrawer carrier 10 text brackets go right to that video, and watch that you don't want to build your cabinet until that frame is all fitted up with your inset mounting brackets for hinges and door glides. If you have to put those on after the fact, you're not going to like life very much. So please go on to that video, then come back to watch the rest of the assembly. For you overlay folks, you can plow right in with me.

So we're going to get started doing our normal operation, which is glue. All the shoulders, so you have a half inch dado, and then about an eighth inch deeper dado. You're going to put glue on both shoulders of the of the wider dado on both sides, and then anywhere a panel is going to contact the frame, which is going to be here, and of course my top and bottom. We always want to glue on the part of the frame that's not going to squeeze to the inside of the cabinet. So I'm not going to put glue here. I'm just going to put it here on the outside of the top, and then the outside of the bottom. So I'm going to go ahead and do that now.

You want to make sure you have a bottle that's flowing glue well because you want these beads of glue to be pretty consistent. The glue is what's holding that frame tight to the box. And you don't want to use too much glue because you actually get a worse bond with too much glue than you do with too little, almost. So that's how you would do the the outer grooves. Then I'll show you here that outer edge where you're (eh, I’m going to do that one again)- outer edge where your panel contacts the frame. And I'm going to do that on the middle one, and the top one, here. I'll be right back.

All right, so we've got all of our frame glued now. Jeffrey and I are going to put this panel on. If you're doing this at home, obviously, you may have a distinct cabinet top or bottom, which would be, you know, an extended style has to go on a certain side. Make sure you have your top and bottom oriented correctly to your box side. In this case, it's identical. Ours is a symmetrical cabinet, so it doesn't matter, but you're going to want to make sure you have the right side on the right side of the cabinet. So Jeffrey and I are going to lift this up, and I'm going to use my finger to line it up with the end of the frame. And we just set it in place and press down until those splines lock in. these are big heavy sides, so normally with a wall cabinet or what have you, you can just let this kind of hang, here. I'm going to have Jeffrey hold this panel. And now what I'm going to do is put a cabinet top or bottom and to hold things upright. This is a little bit different than some of our other assemblies simply because this is such a large cabinet.

So now I'm going to take my glue bottle and run a bead of glue about halfway down that dovetail. Grab one of my panels. And you want to make sure you have panels that are dovetailed, and I've got one mid shelf- what we call a fixed floor kit. We'll show you in a minute. It does not have dovetails on it, and it's finished on both sides. Don't grab that by accident. It wouldn't work anyway because it doesn't have dovetails.

So we're gonna take this, splines down, finish side in, and I'm going to run that down my dovetail until it seats into my cabinet frame. So now, Jeffrey can let that panel go, and we're good to go.

We're going to take this next cabinet side - get this out of the way - I’ve got a couple of fixed floor kit hangers there - we'll show you how those work in a minute. Take our next cabinet side, lay it right there for a second, Jeffrey. Grab my glue bottle and this time, I'm going to, because I'm sliding this onto this, I'm going to actually glue the bottom of the dovetail instead of the top. And now, Jeffrey and I are working in unison. I'll find the dovetail, and we just slowly slide it down onto that frame and lock it in place.

Go to the other end, and now you're just going to do it like a normal cabinet, top or bottom. Glue halfway down on both dovetails, and then Jeffrey's going to drop that cabinet top or bottom in, splines down, finish side in. And what we want - you can't see this on camera - you just want to make sure these panels are seated tight to your frame. Sometimes the splines can get in the way. You have to kind of like bend the panel if the panel has a little bow to it. You'll figure it out. But that has to be seated all the way down.

Assembling the Floor Kit

Now what happens - this is where case only cabinets are unique and pretty cool. You can take a case only cabinet, as I already discussed in the intro, you could take a case only cabinet and make any configuration you want. If you want 14 openings we can do that. At any opening, you want to have a fixed platform in. In in this particular case, the customer has storage dot top and bottom. He has one floor kit, and the floor kits are simply pre-finished plywood with no dovetail. But it does have the splines. So I'm going to take this panel and tuck it into that spline groove in the frame and press it into place. But now I've got this panel that's kind of flopping back and forth. This is where the square comes in handy.

Either one of these will work. The bigger the cabinet is the bigger the square because you'll get a better squaring. I'm going to use this one just because it'll show up on video, but you can take the square and put it bottom against the front frame, and then put it right against the cabinet panel. And when it squares up - and I'm touching I'm actually out at the bottom - now, I’m square. So Jeffrey and I can go through and pin this cabinet into this this panel in place. So we'll come back and show you how to do that as soon as we get our pencil lines for the square.

Okay, so Jeffrey and I have squared the panel up. We put pencil lines on this side, and now what we're going to do is put these fixed floor kit brackets in. Again there's no dovetail holding this panel up. So a couple ways to do this - we like to use the fixed floor kits with the mounting bracket. And you're going to put the edge taped edge down. And this just sits in here like this to make sure your panel is square. And Jeffrey, if you could hand me the pin gun or the stapler, rather, we're going to put a couple of staples into this to hold it nice and tight. You don't want to use staples that are going to come punching through the outside, especially if this is a finished exterior. In our case it's not. So I want to put a couple staples, there, just to hold it, and then I'm going to put one staple right here to hold the panel steady.

Now what I typically do, Lowe’s sells - let's hold the box up. These are GRK trim head screws. And we'll get a close-up of this box for you. They have a very small head. We use ones that are an inch and a quarter at the longest. And we just run run some screws in to hold this nice and tight because if you're supporting any kind of weight - let's say you had an oven going up here - you want to make sure this is well supported. Now what I want to say is if you have an unfinished side, oftentimes you don't even need these. If you don't like the look of these, you can come right through the cabinet side, strike a line with your straight edge, just the way we did on the inside, put it right in the center of this panel, and then run those same screws into the cabinet side and hold it that way. And that way you won't have this to see when you open up the cabinet doors.

So I'm going to put some more screws in this, probably three or four screws in this. I'm going to replicate this on the other side. Once I'm done that - I won't make you watch all that - but once I'm done that, what I do is I find the center of this panel and I put a pencil line. And the reason is there's no scribe line on my cabinet back. So once I lay that back on I don't know where I'm supposed to put my staples. So now what I do is, I just connect those two lines with a straight edge and run a pencil line across. And now I've got a nailer line for holding this cabinet back steady.

If you so desire, you can actually put another cleat of your own making. We don't supply it, but if you want to put another cleat across the cabinet back and screw it to your cabinet back, once it's on, you can do that too. But these staples are typically enough to hold your average weight, so it just depends on what you're putting in the cabinet.

So we're going to finish this up, do the other side, then come back on and show you how to put the back on and nail it in place.

Okay, to recap what we've done so far: all of our panels are in. We've secured our middle partition with screws and pins, put a couple of pins in here to hold it nice and flat, and I've made my pencil line here and on the other side to line up with the center of that panel. Now it's going to glue together like any other cabinet.

I'm going to put glue all along where the cabinet back is going to touch here, and across the top and bottom, and the other side. We're not going to glue the center panel, and I’ll give you 10 guesses why. The cabinet back on the interior does not have a dado in it, and it's completely finished. So if you put glue along that you're gluing a pre-finished UV acrylic top coat. It won't stick, so there's no sense. That's what your pins are going to be for.

So I'm going to go ahead and turn my glue bottle flat so my nozzle is running this way. We run it flat so I can put the glue along this edge, not the bottom edge of the rabbet because that's where your finished back is and it wouldn't stick. So we want the glue along this surface, not that surface, running glue everywhere. I'm going to glue across the top, here, same on that end, and same on that side. We'll come back in one second and show you how to put that back on.

Okay, we are back. Everything's glued up. Jeffrey and I are going to drop this panel on. You can see there's no dado to match up with that center panel. That's why I was saying don't glue that. So you gotta have a helper for this. It’s one tough cabinet to build by yourself. Line up your dovetails with the scribe line, and drop the back on. Now is where you need your rubber mallet or a dead blow is even better. And we're going to tap the panel on until those those tops and bottom seat into the dado.

[Music]

You'll you'll see that panel drop into place. You'll know when you're in there. Okay, so now that they're in nice and tight, Jeffrey and I are going to go through and pin the cabinet top - I'm sorry, the back - to the cabinet sides. But first I actually pulled out a bigger square. This is such a big cabinet I have a sheetrock square. I'm going to line up those two lines. you've got a pencil there - thank you Jeffrey, Line up the two lines because we can trust those as being the center of the dovetail or of the panel. And now we're just - come on now baby - now we're just going to strike a line and that becomes your PIN line. Thank you, sir.

Now, there's no scribe lines on the sides of the cabinets. We want to kind of pinch the cabinet sides into that cabinet back. So we just take a pencil, use our finger as a guide, and we find the center of the the back panel and just run a line down the side of the cabinet, all the way down. We’ll show you how that looks on this side. I find the center of my back panel, and you just run your finger down. You can use your finger as a scribe. So I'm going to run that line all the way down to the other end, and that becomes the line. We’ll pin two to pinch this to the back. I'll show you in a second. We'll pin all that together, and then we're actually going to pin the back on through this way as well because it's such a big, heavy cabinet.

So grab your stapler and I'll show it to you. On this side, pull the cabinet back nice and tight and right in the line. And we're just going to work down that line about every three or four inches. I'm going to work all the way down that line, then to the other side. We'll come back and show you how to pin the back on.

All right, gang. As you're pinning these on, it's important to make sure this back is pushed down as hard as you can so you don't have any gaps on the inside. So I like to kind of kneel on it. Sometimes it just gives you a more secure joint

[Music]

Okay, so I went along and did both my sides because these this particular cabinet happens to have 11, 16 or three quarter thick sides with a pre-finished outside. it's what we call an unfinished end option. You wouldn't want to pin through a finished end if it was white or, you know, matching stain. You don't want to pin through that. You'd want to do what I'm about to show you. You're going to come through the cabinet back and toenail it into the side. So instead of coming through this way, you're going through this way. You want to have your gun seated so the heel of the gun is touching the panel because we want that pin or staple going in at an angle. We don't want it straight up and down where the pin will blow out to the inside of the cabinet.

So now I just come in here tight and I just kind of work along here. Same thing every three or four inches. Okay, last operation is pinning along our scribe lines, top, bottom and the one we put across the back. A couple of points on the scribe lines - sometimes they run off. You can see where it's fine, here, and we have a pencil line that we use this jig. Ao I'll show you how we do that. You don't need a jig to do this, but we do. We just made a jig that has a line or a hole in it that lines up with the center of the dovetail, and we just re-strike the scribe line because we don't trust the ones from Conestoga sometimes. You can just do a measurement. Make your own jig, whatever you need. The point is you'll want to make sure you're lining up with the center of that panel.

And then all we do is take our nail gun and the same three or four inches applies. Just go right across that scribe line. So that takes care of my top. And now I'm going to come to the middle and put a couple of pins across the back. You can use screws if you'd rather use those GRK screws I showed you earlier. Very important to keep the guns straight up and down. And then we do our other end. And we're done for these.

Case only cabinets assemble much like a normal wall or a base cabinet except for that middle partition. And again, sometimes you're going to have cabinets that have multiple of these partitions and you can configure the cabinet any way you want aside from that. It's just a bigger version of the same cabinet. And these case onlys can be done as small bases walls or big talls like this. Conestoga offers the case only option on wall cabinets, base cabinets, and/or tall cabinets. So you can attain up to a 48 inch wide odd base cabinet ranging from 12 inches high to I think 42 or actually 96 or even higher. I think we'll go to 120 if I recall, and then wall cabinets.

Now what you can do is also delete the shelf hole. So you'll see in this cabinet. Maybe you can pick it up on the video - there's no shelf holes. You can delete that so you have a cleaner interior if you choose to not have shelves. So lots of options, there.

Your sales rep is going to use these quite a bit. I want to say we do them on almost every job to allow customers to get to these odd configurations you can't attain otherwise. So always ask your sales rep if you have a question, but don't ever feel hemmed in by the Conestoga catalog that's on our website. if you don't see a cabinet listed that you really want, just send us a sketch. Tell us how many openings, how wide, and how tall the cabinet is, and how big each of those openings are, and what you want in the opening. I want a drawer, here, I want this one open, I want double doors - we can make that happen for you. So don't ever hestitate to ask us if you have any problem getting your case only together. Just give your cabinet coach a call or give them an email. Phone number is 888-211-6482.

And as always, thanks for watching!

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