Cherry Cabinets with Birch Interiors

Ideas on how to finish off the ends of cabinets built with different species of plywood for interiors and exteriors. February 26, 2007

This might be a weird question, but when building cabinet boxes using cherry species and the interiors are birch, what is the most cost effective way to approach finishing off the exposed ends of cabinets? Do you use birch on all the cabinets and then on the ones with exposed sides recess the birch and glue a sheet of 3/8" on the end?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
Yes, that's what I do except I use 1/4" for the skin. I also leave it about 1/4" wider to scribe into the wall.

From contributor J:
I do the same as Contributor M or use a raised panel end in the same species as the boxes. The latter looks best. I build framed and dado my case sides into the frames. When I use a 1/4" plywood skin, I normally cut the dado a little wider so the skin can slide into the back of the stile. That joint looks nice and clean. No putty required. 99% of the time there's enough play there to shift the skin a little so it's tight to the wall. Once in a while we have to scribe it.

From contributor K:
Why not use 3/4" cherry ply for the finished end and skin the inside with 1/4" birch ply? That way the pins or brad fasteners will on the inside and not be noticeable. I stopped skinning the outside because the pin holes were ugly. If you are attaching a paneled finished end, try leaving a 3/4" scribe on the end stile and partition, then glue and screw the paneled finished end from the inside. Be sure the front stile of the paneled finished end is 11/2" so when it is glued to the face frame the overall width will be 2 1/4" all around for the paneled finished end stile and rails.