by Jon Elvrum
Our shop has stopped cutting toe notches in cabinet sides and we are currently building plywood platforms to set our cabinet on. Now we're considering using Euro style leg levelers. Is this a good idea when used with face frame cabinets? Any pitfalls to watch out for?
Leg levelers have been slow to be accepted outside of the commercial arena because of several factors: installers being unfamiliar with their use, or installers being unaware of the many benefits which accrue from their use.
If you are building frame style cabinets in a staple and glue environment, featuring what I would call monolithic carcasses (several to many bays in one shell), the levelers generally used for cabinetry may not be heavy-duty enough.
When the boxes are constructed more in the style of Euro-boxes (independent boxes strung together) the individual levelers set up on each box are fully capable of easily raising or lowering the weight.
There are some wonderful tricks that can be employed, including fastening a ledger on the wall to which the cabinet backs are anchored, and using levelers on the fronts and end wraps only.
Special application levelers are also available which will bear the weight of 2 boxes on one leg. Consult with your hardware supplier to discuss the many options.
Keep in mind that while leg levelers are parts which need to be purchased, they replace parts that have to be shop manufactured - and the cost of labor and material quickly outpaces the cost of the hardware pieces.
Jon Elvrum, Director of Distribution and Sales at Ritter Manufacturing in Antioch California, is also a well known author and consultant to the cabinetmaking industry. He has written numerous articles on the 32mm cabinetmaking system and production woodworking in general.