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Should cabinet backs be recessed?2/28
I'm reviewing the build specs for a frameless line. Actually it is the string of "seed" cabinets used to generate custom layouts for installations.
Every base type and every wall type has a solid 3/4" back flush to the back edges of the sides.
I design with a recessed back. But why not flush?
Flush works perfect on flat walls without any deviations in plane, other than that use recessed backs unless you want to add scribe to ends and exposed bottoms
We use 1/2" backs stapled on and screwed on at tops and bottoms (1 3/4") finished ends (if integral) are like in the attached screen shot. We use 1/4" skins for the bottoms.
Most of the builders I work for like flush backs. That way when the wall is irregular, you can shim between the space and cabinet, and the hanger screw doesn’t pull the back away from the sides.
Our standard boxes are dado/rebate 3/4" prefinished plywood with flush(plant on) 1/2" backs. They are fastened together with 1.5" staples and glue.
These qualify as awi premium. Technically the backs are supposed to be screwed 8" on center. We staple 4" on center. We use 3.5" stretchers for tops and drawer boxes.
If I was building basic melamine boxes I would use 5/8 flush backs, bot/top an side screw the whole thing together.
I've never known why someone would do recessed backs. In the odd occasion that we don't have 1/2" ply we will use 1/4" plant on with 3/4" nailing strip glued and stapled on the inside.
Yes, I like staples. 1.5" staples are amazingly strong.
We use 1/4" backs with 3/4" hang rails / nailers behind the back so the screws go completely through the nailers, all cabinets doweled together, so exposed (finished) ends are the same method as unfinished ends except uppers where the hang rail runs through unexposed ends (beveled cleat).
Click the link below to download the file included with this post.
Our construction is similar to Alan's, Doweled with a bead of melamine glue, let in 1/4" backs, 3/4" nailers, case clamped.
I've read somewhere to use recessed backs for the sake of ventilation.