The Standard Base Cabinet is the cornerstone of any kitchen, home office, or bathroom! If you’re assembling or installing Cabinet Joint cabinets you’re bound to end up watching this video as Brian covers most styles of Standard Base Cabinets. Depending on your cabinet’s configuration and width you may need to assemble a single door, butt door, double door/drawer or even a triple door/drawer cabinet option. Be sure to have your materials handy, and see the links below for helpful tips. Please reach out to your Cabinet Coach with any other questions, and enjoy your cabinets!



Base Cabinets •

How to Install Inset Cabinet Hardware •

Cabinet Making Tools and Supplies •

Assembly Information •

Installation Tips •

Video Transcript

[Music] Hey everybody! Brian, here, from The Cabinet Joint. I got our trusty shop dog, Bear, here with me for this one. We're talking today about assembly for base standard base cabinets. This assembly video will cover pretty much any standard base that's got a drawer above and a door below. Whether it goes all the way up to our triple door, triple door base cabinet or a simple single door single drawer, like this one. So stick with us for the rest of the assembly. A couple points I want to make are we're not going to cover hardware installation. So you can see we've got the brackets back there. We'll talk a little bit about how to put those on, but in terms of putting drawer glides in and all that, there's separate videos for that. If you're doing inset, separate videos showing you how to put your hardware on. Make sure you reference those because some of that has to be done if you're doing inset before the assembly. In terms of depths, this cabinet's available from 12 to 30 deep in three inch increments. Because you have a drawer up top, the drawer glides only work in three inch increments. So 12 to 30 and 3 inch increments. In terms of heights you can go 31 and a half to 42 and 16th inch increments. Anywhere in there is fine. And in terms of width, the single door goes out to 24 then you have double door or butt door cabinets. The double doors can go all the way to 48 inches wide. If you do the triple door version that can go all the way to 72. So we have you covered with a very wide range of height steps, widths all that to give you some design flexibility. So stick with us for the rest of the assembly.

Okay, so let's get started with our base cabinet assembly. Before I get started. One thing to remember is all of our base cabinets assemble the same way for the most part. So if you're getting a single door, base double, double door, butt door, they all assemble with the same basic premise. So keep that in mind another thing to remember is, if you're doing inset. I'm going to go right into this assembly because it's overlayed. if you're doing inset you're going to need to mount your door mounting brackets - they're called 10x brackets - they're like beige in color. They mount right here to carry the front edge of the drawer glides. And you're also going to mount your hinge brackets. That's in a separate video. We will reference below - go watch that because you're going to want to put those hardware pieces on before you begin assembling the box. To try to go back and put those on when you're working up against the cabinet sidewall or reaching behind the front frame is very difficult. So get those assembled first or installed, then come back and finish up the video with us here.

As we start to put the partition panels in and tops and bottoms and that sort of thing, so before we get into the assembly itself let's quickly review the list of tools. I’ve got our rubber mallet. We use a dead blow. A 26 ounce dead blow is the typical wooden handle rubber mallet for four dollars at Lowe's. Works fine. You just want to make sure it's got a soft head, no hard,best wing big metal hammers, type 1-2 wood glue. Type bond three is fine although that's for more like outdoor waterproof purposes. It'll still work. We like to type one two. Do not use foaming glues like a gorilla glue or some of those because they will smear out onto your work surface. You want something that wipes up really easily with water and doesn't expand as it dries. So we like just a typical white wood glue. We use a Bostitch staple gun using inch or inch and an eight inch and a quarter max length. If you go longer, you're going to worry about things shaking out to the inside of the cabinet. You don't want that. All you're trying to do is hold things together until that glue sets up. Okay so typically one inch staples not Brads. Get a pencil because you're going to mark some things. And then a wet rag - can be anything - shop rag towel. Wet it down real good. You're going to use this to wipe up excess glue as it smears out on the inside of the cabinets or what have you. It just cleans up your work surface. So keep all these things handy.

Now we'll start with our assembly. What we're going to do, as is always, if you've watched many of our videos, as almost obnoxiously boring and monotonous, but you're going to put glue on these two shoulder surfaces on both sides of the front frame and anywhere a cabinet panel contacts. So you're gonna have a cabinet top spreader strip. And we're going to have a cabinet bottom on this cabinet. Even though there's a groove here, there's no panel that goes in here. There's no partition. This isn't like a utility cabinet where you have an actual floor like a fixed floor. So we're not going to glue that, even though it's got a rail groove there. We're just going to glue top and bottom. So I'm going to show you how that goes. Nice, easy, clean beads of glue. Make sure your glue tip on your bottle is cleaned up because sometimes it gets a little runny, makes a mess, and you want to put the glue on the outer surface. You can see right there I got to the inner surface. What we don't want to have happen is we don't want glue squeezing out to the inside of the cabinet. So you'll want it on the outer surface, the outer face. For observant watchers, you'll see the front frame I'm working with is unfinished Conestoga. Our supplier does unfinished cabinetry. This particular one is an unfinished oak, rather, so just be careful if you're doing finished stuff. Yours might look a little different. So we're going to grab a couple things here. We got our cabinet parts: we got a bottom, we got our back, I have a left and right side, my two spreader strips for the top, and then our loose toe backer strip, which we just kind of installed between the cabinet sides at the end of the process. What I'm going to do is show you a trick we've been using here in the shop since you'll be doing these cabinets sometimes by yourself. If you put the sides in the way, a lot of our videos have shown the cabinet sides want to kind of fall away, and it makes it difficult to hold them up while you're working. What we've begun doing is taking our spreader strip and we mount the spreader strip with the center of the dovetail. The end of the dovetail rather lined up with the center of the groove. More or less you can adjust things later. If you put that in first then you grab a cabinet side and this one would be our left side because there's my toe kick, we put a little glue down here, yep, there we go. Put a little glue down there. So I had my side flipped on my little reverse there, and now that will act as a second set of hands and hold that up. So now I can do the same thing with my other side. It's oriented right. A little glue there and slide it in. Make sure everything's padded down. This is when we use the mallet. Sometimes it's hard on the hands to bang it with the palm of your hand. Just want to make sure things are set in and you want to make sure your cabinet sides are more or less level with the front frame. You can adjust that at the end of the assembly, but that gets you more or less where you want to be. Now I'm going to move to the front of the cabinet. Then, we're going to run a bead of glue in our dovetail starting about halfway. And the reason we do halfway is as we slide the cabinet panels in, it'll smear the glue the rest of the way. If you run glue all the way to the bottom, the glue will mound up down here and make a nasty mess. So we want to make sure we have our unfinished side out and our finished side facing in. We line our dovetail up on both sides and slide it down until it contacts. Give the panels a nice pat. What you should see is no gap along the bottom, here, where you have the cabinet bottom contacting the front frame. We want to have no gap. Now I'm going to spin this around so you guys can all see what I'm doing next. And I know I want to talk about stickers. You'll notice all these parts have stickers on them. What we would suggest is to leave those stickers in place until after the assembly is done because if you have an issue or something's mis-machined, you damage it, it won't go together right, whatever, you can just take a picture of that sticker and when you send in your replacement request. We get all the information we need for that piece, which cabinet it went with, we can get it from that sticker. Once you know the cabinet is assembled okay and there's no replacements, you can peel all these off. So now have our next spreader strip again, finished side in, just tap that into place. And we're going to let that sit there for a minute because we have to put our cabinet back on. So grab the cabinet back. On the cabinet backs you will see that you have to be very careful. You'll see there's two little pock marks here and these two little pock marks are for the angle brackets for the cabinet drawer glides. Jeffrey, could you grab me a bracket? So what we typically advise you to do is mount these brackets before the assembly. I'm going to go ahead and put them on now because we're in the middle of the video, but I want to show you what these look like and where they go. These two little pock marks line up with the center of these two elongated holes. So you line up the center of those holes with those two pockmarks and the supplied screws that came with your drawer glides. Mount that on. Once those are mounted you can put them on after the fact. It just makes it easier to do now once they're mounted you can then put your cabinet back on. We want to make sure you have those brackets at the top of the cabinet. So the way the gluing works on cabinet backs is you want to keep your glue bottle oriented that way, not this way, because we want the fat part of the glue to go on the cabinet side.

Okay so I'm trying to get the glue on the unfinished side of that rabbit. I don't want it down here because my cabinet back is finished. There's not much glue surface there. And you're going to be putting glue on the finished interior of that back. And it won't stick as well. So we're going to do the side which is what we really care about. We're also going to glue the top edge of our spreader strip. I'm going to glue our cabinet bottom because this is where the cabinet back dado is going to nest. So we want glue in there. And my last step is a little glue where that spreader strip is going to go up in a second. So now remember I got my brackets here facing up, which is where I want them. I set that in everything in place.

Now my next process is going to be stapling. So we're going to get our compressor set up with our staple gun and come back and show you how the stapling works and marking things and all tha.

Okay now we'll get into stapling this cabinet together. So this glue can set up what we typically do is strike some scribe line. So what I want to show you here is you have a half inch thick cabinet top or back. Rather I should say what we want to do is find the center of that and I use my finger as a guide. Get the tip of your pencil right there. And we're just going to run a scribe line all the way across the side. Do the same thing here, and that for somebody who's a little worried about punching staples through to the inside of the cabinet, this can act as your guideline. So what we do is we start with our stapler. We're going to put one at the very top with constant pressure on the cabinet back. We're just going to work all along our line about every three to four inches or closer. Don't do wider than that or you're not getting enough staples in. I'm going to do the same thing on this side, constant pressure. All right so now my sides are nice and pinched in. That glue can be set up. I have no gaps here. It's very important to keep constant pressure as you're running those pins or the staples. If you don't, you may have a gap on the inside of the cabinet where the cabinet back is not seated fully up against the side. So make sure you're keeping constant pressure. All right so we've shown you how on unfinished sides the staple through here, what I didn't explain was if you have a finished side. If you have a flush end or exposed end where this is stained or it's a finished veneer or it's painted, whatever, you don't want to run a nail or a staple through the side of the cabinet. In those cases the heel of the gun goes to the cabinet back but the tip of the gun right up as tight as you can get it to the cabinet side, and fire your nail in. It's toe nailing it in on the thicker half three quarter inch sides. You have more material to deal with. The staple will go in at an angle but it won't come out here as long as you're not using a staple longer than an inch or an inch and an eighth. So make sure your staple length is appropriate or you're going to blow a nail through. That's the only way to blind nail that because you cannot nail into your finished surface. So again not the vertical heel of the gun down so you're actually toenailing, butt it up, pull the trigger. Okay if you've assembled these before there used to be a scribe line here, which acted like a nailer line for you to run your staples into the cabinet bottom and into that spreader strip. Recently Conestoga changed their methodology because that scribe line was getting off sometimes and we were putting staples where they shouldn't be. Now every five inches there is a hole that is in the dead center of the dove of the cabinet dado so you can guarantee that's properly placed. But what you're going to do is just go either side of those holes. You want to throw a straight edge on there. You're welcome to but the holes are spaced such that you should be able to do it without. So now you have the cabinet back nailed to my cabinet floor. I'm going to move around to the front here. I'm going to remember to tap this up and we want to look up under here and make sure we're fully seated. I want to make sure my spreader strip is up into the cabinet dado on that cabinet back, and I'm going to do the same thing. One of the outside so now that is nice and fastened on there. Flip our cabinet up here, And this is the point where you can start doing some cleanup. If you want to, you can begin peeling the stickers off. You can also check and make sure the cabinet side and the cabinet front frame are dead level across the top. So I can feel right here that my front frame is a little low so I can tap it up. It's also a little low. And tap it up so we want to get them nice and flush. We also want to get our wet rag and where you're typically going to get glue squeezed out is along this back cabinet wall where the cabinet back met the cabinet side. And I can see I've got some squeeze out up there. I've got a bit up here that ran down, so just spend a few moments cleaning up your cabinet build and make sure it's nice and wiped free of any glue. You might get a little squeeze out in here if you didn't put your glue properly there. You'll definitely get some running out down here. You can see some drop right there. We'd recommend putting the cabinet on its back to dry.

Okay now let's talk about this toe backer strip. These are optional. Every base cabinet typically comes with one - it simply mounts between the cabinet size like that. I'll show you how to mount it in a minute. This just gives you anywhere when you're putting your finished toe kick on after installation it gives you anywhere to nail your toe kick to. Without this you can only nail your toe kick to the front of the plywood, which is fine. Be aware if you choose to put this in at the point of assembly, which I'm going to do now, you may have a floor duct, you may have to run wires or something underneath the cabinet. And if you have that you're gonna have to knock this thing back out. We typically don't like to put these in for our installations, but you certainly may so let me show you how to put it in. Just line it up so the face of this is flush with the face of the cabinet edge. The cabinet side edge, let's put four staples in it. And now that acts as a solid thing for you to mount your toe kick to. So we'll stand this cabinet back up, show you the finished product. Here you go! Nice sound framed box. And again, this assembly is the same for virtually any standard basic Conestoga offers. If you have any questions, your sales reps or your Cabinet Coaches as we call them, they're always standing by to help you out. Give us a call and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for watching, everybody!

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