Custom Closet Basics

      Entry-level info on custom closets for a cabinetmaker who is unfamiliar with that kind of work. July 28, 2012

I good client wants me to do build a couple of custom closets in his new house. I expressed to him I'm not really best suited for the job and haven't done closets before (we do commercial work, and some residential cabinetry). Can anyone point me in the right direction to learn about some common hardware and methods as far as hanging and assembly goes? I'm looking for a good method of putting verticals on the wall every 30" without making boxes, leaving a single 3/4 partition between spaces instead of two 3/4 sides against each other like our cabinets. We don't have any edge boring equipment but do use eCabinets with our Thermwood.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor E:
We don't do closets either, but we do some panel processing for a couple of local closet guys on our CNC machine. Closets aren't like cabinets since they're just a collection of panels that get assembled on the job. The guys we cut for use some type of cam-lock fastener like Titus or the Rafix system from Hafele. They consist of a pin that uses shelf holes and a cam-locking device that is pressed into a machined pocket. It's good that you have a CNC machine, because the location of the machining for the fittings is critical.

End panels can be drilled half-depth for shelves; drill shared partitions all the way through. You can use a "fixed shelf", utilizing the cam-lock fittings, to knit your 30" sections together. It can be a top and a bottom panel, for example. A hanging rail system is a pretty typical method for installing, since most closet systems don't sit on the floor. Once you get the machining steps down it's pretty easy.

From contributor U:
Forty percent of our business is custom closets. We do some completely in our shop and some we bring in from a supplier. If this is a one-time deal, I would seriously consider buying the components pre-cut and drilled, ready for the hardware. Our supplier does everything to my specs and even helps with designs and guiding me when he is aware of something I miss. For you to have a learning experience doing the design, the making of the units and at the install might make this unfeasible. It certainly would slow the entire process while you have to figure all these things out. If you order the units in and learn what you need to, and want to start making them in the future, the experience and knowledge gained will be invaluable. If you decide you do want to build these units, I will be glad to provide more assistance with any questions.

One thing to consider, a good supplier with the right equipment can process closet components and deliver them for less than we can buy the goods and provide the labor to do the drilling and edgebanding. You may find this to be true for you, especially on a first time order.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Architectural Millwork

  • KnowledgeBase: Architectural Millwork: Millwork Installer

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Installation

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article