Face Frame Base Kitchen Cabinet Carcass
How to build your own kitchen cabinet base plans from ana-white.com
3/4" cabinet plywood (PureBond shown) ripped into 22 1/2" widths
1x4 boards (can be pine) for bottom supports and top supports
1x2 boards for face frames in wood species matching cabinet plywood
1/4" plywood for backs if desired and also can be used to finish off exposed kitchen cabinet ends and ripped into strips to finish off toekick after cabinet installation
1 1/4" pocket hole screws
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
Rip plywood into 22 1/2” wide strips. Save the leftover scrap piece, you can use it as a support board in step 3, or use it to make corner bracing.
For each base cabinet, you will need two sides. Cross cut the 22 1/2” strips down to 34 1/2”. Notch out toekick with jigsaw.
NOTE: If you wish to attach face frames with pocket holes, drill 3/4” pocket holes on inside front edges of the sides.
Cut shelves from 22 1/2” wide strips. You will need at minimum a bottom shelf. You can cut additional shelves as well. For all fixed shelves, drill 3/4” pocket holes on 22 1/2” long sides and attach to sides with 1 1/4” pocket hole screws. Note that your carcass is 1/2” less in overall width than your desired finished cabinet dimensions.
NOTE: for face frames attached with pocket holes, also drill 3/4” PHs facing forward for attaching face frames in later steps on underside of bottom shelf.
You can use the scrap plywood strips here. This just helps you square up your cabinet and gives you something to attach countertop plywood to. Place 3/4” pocket holes and 1 1/4” pocket hole screws to top - they will get covered in later steps.
NOTE: For attaching face frame with pocket holes, also drill 3/4” pocket holes facing forward on top of front support.
You can again use scrap plywood here. Also attach to top support. You will use this board to attach base cabinet to wall, and it also helps square up the back of the cabinet.
A back can be attached, but it may be easier to wait to attach the backs until after you install drawers or shelves.
Footer is 1x4 board. You can use any material here as the finished toe kick will be installed over top when cabinet installation is complete. For wide width cabinets or cabinets with expected heavy loads, a back 1x4 is also recommended.
Build face frames first with pocket holes and glue. If you have trouble with wood splitting, try setting pocket holes for 1/2” stock and using 1” pocket hole screws.
Note that your face frames are 1/2” wider than the carcass, or the desired with of your cabinet. This gives you some wiggle room when you install the cabinets to get your face frames to line up perfectly level. For end cabinets, you can also finish off ends with 1/4” plywood if desired (ie if you were using Melamine for carcasses and Maple for face frames and doors, you would finish off ends and toe kick with maple hardwood plywood to hide all Melamine)
I love how Brooke finished off her kitchen island ends with beadboard.
To give you an idea of the placement of face frame boards for drawers/doors here is the diagram I sent Brooke.
And then here is the diagram I sent Brooke for the door sizes. You'll want a finished reveal gap of 1/2" between everything for full overaly doors/drawers, so between cabinets, that's 1/4" per cabinet, but between doors/drawers on the same cabinet it's 1/2" gap.
I'll get into this more when we do plans for drawers and doors and accessories and of course wall cabinets.