Depends on the room layout and the size of the piece you're building, but in general, I make the stiles a little wider and scribe at installation time. Check the walls for plumb before building, so you know how much scribe you need.
Larger pieces can sometimes be built in sections, which can make your job way easier. If you have 3 sections (L, R and center), you can scribe the L and R sections to the walls, leaving exactly the right width to slide the center section in. Even on a small desk, you can easily do this if you have L/R door/drawer sections and a knee hole section in the middle.
Things to watch out for:
- Adjacent window/door casing that can interfere with sliding the cabinets into place.
- If it's being installed in an alcove, watch out for drywall corner beads, which are often narrower than the space behind them. Sometimes you can back-bevel your scribes to get past them.
Also depends where you meet the walls. Drywall is always built up at both the inside corners and outside corners. If you have to slide past outside corners to land at your position, almost no way to go in without some added piece.
I try not to do scribes if I can get away from it. I'd rather use some sort of trim. We done this unit several years ago and used 4" wide beaded molding on the sides. The molding was installed after the cabinets were set. Maybe you can get an idea from the pic.
I think it may be better to give some good advice to anyone asking what may appear to be a rookie question.
"Try to come up with 3 solutions to this problem. 3 good solutions. Then determine which of them is better in this case. Could be the design dictates it, or the costs, or more." This exercise will help teach the guy the fundamentals that will serve him down the road.
Sort of like the old "Feed a woodworker a fish, vs teaching him how to make a fishing pole so he can feed himself".
Also, if the poor guy can not come up with 3 ways to skin the cat, or catch a fish for himself or the cat, or scribe cabinets, then he may get the idea that he is better suited for another line of work.
I might add that I spent 26 years as a professional woodworker before I ever had to scribe a cabinet to fit between two walls. Mostly building curved stairs. I asked around a bit, but did not much care for their ideas (The best was "carefully pound the drywall until it is pulverized without breaking the paper, then push the cabinet in place). I figured it out, and still use that method most of the time 20 years later, on the rare occasions we need to do it.
Shep, one other thing to consider when designing is to make sure you can maneuver it wherever it goes. There have been times that I've wished I had built a unit in two pieces because it was hard to turn a curve in the hallway.
Also, don't be afraid to post a question here. Every now and then you'll get a smart remark from someone who shoulda just kept quiet but for the most part these guys are very helpful.
Thanks Guys for the responses, the reason that I come here to ask questions is because in my eyes (as stupid as it sounds) I really look up to the pros on this forum site almost like my heros in a sense.
I have something to set my goals too. I know I ask some rookie questions and sometimes have a hard time making it come across right. I just really want to do the best job that I can and without a mentor in person I can get several mentors to help me which I appreciate. I dont worry about negative comments because it isnt gonna stop me anyway and I just keep getting better and better. (slowly haha.)
I like some of the comments I have gotten especially like the photo that Mike sent with the flutted molding as scribe (good Idea). Thanks for the responses and I am always looking for more. Thanks Shep
Sorry about the rude comment. Scribing sucks and I personally would only do so with euro box cabinets. Scribe moulding and or shoe trim works. Any kinda trim works that fits the design. If it's less than an eigth and you can match the wall color consider just caulking it. Do it all the time with paint grade. Do check the walls with a framing square so you know whats going on. Make your cabs 1/8 less than opening. The countertop you will have to scribe but remember to use the square and start with the squarest corner. Take your measurements from there.
"carefully pound the drywall until it is pulverized without breaking the paper, then push the cabinet in place)."
That is a new one on me.
Here is a few more:
In new construction you can drive a shim under the bottom plate of the wall which will move the wall over. Position the cabinet and move the wall back.
As stated build the unit in 3 components.
Use a loose stile. This comes from when face frames were doweled together. You build the face frame as usual except you don't glue the stile. At the installation knock out the stile and then position the cabinet and then scribe the stile to the wall.
I doubt you will use these methods except the 3 components method. I just wanted to get in on the super hero status.
Haha, good tips Pat (Patman)
when you leave the stile loose and then scribe and then reattach. How do you put the stile back on without nails? If you glue it do you have a method for clamping, etc. Thanks
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