Protecting Finished Cabinets While Transporting and Installing

Cabinetmakers discuss how protect cabinet edges from chips and dings during handling. September 8, 2008

I am getting a lot of chips and dings on the bottom edges of my cabinets. It is where the bottoms of the end panels hit the ground or where the bottom sides of the upper cabinets sit on the ground. If my guys would be more careful and not slide the cabinets it would help... but I am extremely careful when moving them and I still get chips. Do they make a bumper or plastic protector I can put on after assembly and take off at installation?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
I typically nail on scrap rippings of sheet stock as skids to the bottom of cabinets.

From contributor M:
It's a really good idea to chamfer the bottom edge of base cabinets about 1/16" so that your veneer won't chip when dragged. For upper cabinets, I do the same thing on the top edge if it is to be hidden by molding after installation, and make sure the cabinets are always handled with the top down until then.

From contributor P:
Skids on base bottoms and upper tops. Every time I don't, something gets wrecked. You'd think I'd learn after awhile.

From contributor W:
My finisher told me about a product called Shipping Glides. They are plastic disks about an eighth of an inch thick and come collated together in sets of eight. You just shoot a staple through them into the bottom of your cabinet. I use 1/4" crown staples 1/2" long and they pull out pretty easily on site. I only use them on bases but I don't know why you couldn't put them on uppers. They cost me about a penny a piece. Well worth it.

From contributor S:
The plastic guides mentioned work great, but I've seen them get chewed up on rougher floors (like broom-finished cement). I use 3-pronged metal feet that just tap into the corners of toe kicks and tap out just as easily. I don't actually know how much they cost because my hardware supplier usually just gives them to me... so you know they can't cost much.

I use them on both lowers and uppers... but I use them on top of the uppers and then turn the cabinets upside down. That way there's zero risk to the cabinet and no marks for the customer to see after you pull them out (we don't even bother pulling them out of the uppers, the crown molding will cover them anyway).

From contributor T:
Contributor W, where do you get the skids?

From contributor P:
Little feet and the like don't give a lot of protection when, say, rolling a large cabinet down a truck ramp and the trailing edge hits the corrugated ramp deck. Setting a skid a bit proud of the edge protects the side, and letting it sit a little forward protects the faces. My work's going to be handled by a number of people who may not share my enthusiasm for an undamaged product, so the more bulletproof I can make things, the better. Skids are also a great way to get rid of the narrow rippings that populate the shop.

From contributor W:
I buy them from a fairly small hardware distributor in Illinois. Arthur Distributor Co. I have been very happy with their service.