How to Build Frameless Cabinets

A frameless cabinet is a cabinet style which has been a fashion in Europe for ages. It is built as a box with a back and ceiling which are as structurally sound as the sides and floor without the hardwood face frame. To mention some of its benefits, a frameless cabinet is sturdier, more accessible; it has a more open interior and looks more modern.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Screws
  • Drill and bits
  • Plywood – 1/4 inch
  • Plywood – 3/4 inch
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer and finish nails or compressor and pin nailer

how to build frameless cabinets How to Build Frameless Cabinets

Instructions

  1. Get a 3/4 inch of plywood, chipboard or MDF and cut 2 bulkeads and side panels. The measurement for standard lowers is 22 inches deep and 30 inches high. Cut your dado groove: 3/8 inch deep and 1/4 inch width for back support, 3/4 inch from the back. Create one left and one right; dadoes go in the inside. These bulkheads are typically pre-drilled to support European style drawer hardware and hinges. Ask your hardware manufacturer for the drilling pattern specifications.
  2. Cut a bottom piece from a same 3/4 inch material as your bulkheads to your desired unit width and shallower by 1 inch compared to the bulkheads. Cut 2 top cleats still from your 3/4 material which are 4-inch wide, same length as the bottom’s width. Proceed in cutting 2 back cleats which must be of the same size. If you own a pocket screw jig, for installation purposes bore 2 pocket screw holes in each of the cleats’ end.
    From your 1/4 inch material, cut a back which is 3/4 inch narrower compared to the top cleats and bottom piece and similar in height as your bulkheads. From your 3/4 inch material, cut 2 base cleats measuring 3 inches wide and 20 inches long. Cut four cleats with similar width as its bottom and 3 inches wide. These will then be the base pieces.
  3. On a stable and flat work surface, rest one bulkhead on its long edge with the dadoed edge up. On one edge of the bottom piece’s side, run down a bead of glue. Rest its bottom piece positioning it at a right angle to its bulkhead. The bottom piece’s side must be flush with the bulkhead’s bottom edge. The dado must be kept to the bulkhead’s inside. The bulkhead can now be nailed to the bottom piece. Repeat the process of nailing on the opposite side of the other bulkhead.
  4. Connect one top cleat evenly with the cabinet’s top and front. Glue its ends. To attach, you can nail from the bulkhead’s outside or utilize pocket screws.
  5. Slide back to the dado. Keep on with it until it’s flush at its top. Add your two black cleats. It should be from its rear compressed against its back. Glue the ends using pocket screws to attach or nailing through the bulkheads. The top cleat flush remaining must be added with the cabinet’s top. The edge’s back must be pressed against the back of the cabinet. Fasten using pocket screws or nails.
  6. From the 4 pieces of shorter base, put together 2 Ls. They should be nailed together along its long edges. These would be your base’s ends. Rest on edge the 20 inch cleats. The 2 Ls must be attached to the 20 inch cleat’s end to create a rectangle tray which is 3 inch high with the additional 2 cleats to the inside and flush with its top. This will then be your base. 2 inches from the cabinet’s front, turn your cabinet face up positioning its base flush with the back and the bulkhead. Attach them with screws. For a custom-made storage look, you can add shelves, drawers and a door.

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