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Corner Cabinet

These wood working plans include:

Detailed drawings showing: Plan views of the gables; section of base; detail of shelf support with dado and ledger strips; detail on fastening down the counter top; the face frame; installation of counter top details; detail of fastening a stile to a rail; detail of the corner doors.

The plans have a List of Materials, showing a breakdown of materials needed for the cabinet.

The Instructions discuss cutting the parts, assembly and tips to scribe the base to a floor that is not level. Included are steps to attach the cabinet to the wall and the top to the cabinet; assembling the face frame and hanging the door.

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List of Materials:

  • 2 sheets 4'x8'x3/4" plywood
  • 12 feet of 1x2 for vertical face frame
  • 4 feet of 1x4 for top and bottom face frame
  • 5 feet of 3 1/2" kick plate - 1/8" black hardboard
  • 1 1/2" nails and screws
  • 1 1/4" screws for top screw down
  • Carpenter's wood glue
  • Paint or stain and finish


The Base

First let's cut the material for the cabinet base and kick space out of 2x4 stock. Layout the base and assemble as in this drawing.

Check to see if your floor in the kitchen is level, where the corner cabinet will go. If not, after assembling the base, scribe it to fit the floor. To scribe the base place it exactly where it will be positioned and shim it so the base is level in all directions. Scribe along the floor the highest amount of the shim. Remove this material to the scribe line. When put in postion again the base should be level. Now attach the base securely to the floor. The gable ends will have to be scribed in this manner also.

The Gables

Notice in Drawing 2 that the gables are numbered. Gables 1 and 4 are gable ends, Gables 2 and 3 are gables that have a notch for a ledger strip, which allows attachment to the wall at the top. Be very accurate with the measurements, since the sink is close to the cabinet gables and the front. I've allowed 1/4" clearance on the sides and front of the sink for sink clamps.

Rip the four gables and bottom shelves 23 1/4" wide out of 3/4" fir G1S (Good One Side) plywood. Cut two gables 34 1/2" long and label them G-1 and G-2. Cut the shelves 46 3/4" for S-1 and 23 1/2" for S-2. Note: I usually label the gables on the top close to the front with a felt pen then arrange them with the good side facing out.

Layout the position of gables 2 and 3 on the cabinet shelves. Come in 8" in from each end of the shelf, as shown on the plan, then mark the position of the gables. Here I would put a dado in the shelf 1/4" deep by 3/4" wide. If you choose to dado the shelf, allow 1/4" more for the length of gables 2 and 3.

Otherwise, cut gables 2 and 3 each 30 1/4" long. Now layout on the gables the position of shelves or drawers. No upper shelves in the sink cavity for now, just the bottom cabinet shelf, which we'll nail to the base. In this case, I would not bother with drawers in the 8" section as it's just too narrow. This 8" cupboard may be useful for cookie sheets, etc. Again dado into the gables where the shelves will go. Another option is attach 1/2"x1" ledger strips to support the shelves. Cut out the 3/4"x3" notch for the ledger at the back in Gables 2 and 3.

Assemble the gables to the shelves. Gables 2 and 3 are screwed or nailed into the shelves from the underside; keep the front flush (if there are any variations). Gable 1 and 4 are nailed into the ends of the shelf. Rip your ledger strips 3" wide out of 3/4" plywood. One ledger is 46 3/4" long, the other is 46" long, which is overlapped by the longer one. Glue and screw these into the backs of gables 2 and 3 and nail through gables 1 and 4 into the ledger strips. Screws are better, but remember the outsides of gables 1 and 4 will be exposed and should be painted or stained. I use 1 1/2" long #6 drywall screws where possible, otherwise use 1 1/2" nails set in. Use glue at all joints of the cabinet.

Okay, we have the gables attached to the bottom shelf and the ledger strips on the gables to support the upper cabinet shelves. To position the height of these shelves, long and hard-won experience is to consult with the wife. The ledger strip is also attached at the backs of the gables and to itself in the corner. Through this ledger the cabinet will be attached to the wall, later.

Now rip 3" wide strips from 3/4" plywood for the top support and cabinet stiffener. Cut to length as needed between gables 1 and 2, 3 and 4, front and back. Keep these flush with the gable top and come tight into the vertical ledger strip, already assembled. Glue and screw these together from the back. Also install 3" strips between G-2 and the corner and from there to G-3 at the back.

Coffee time yet?

Cut to fit and install the upper cabinet shelves either in the dados or on the ledger strips. Lightly nail and glue them into the ledgers (if that was your choice) so as not to move the strips. (Here is where a nail gun comes in handy).

Cut and install the face frame. This is very precise work. Keep the joints tight and use glue and 1 1/2" finish nails only. Rip the face frame out of solid material, pine, fir, etc. If you use plywood, the edge grain should be covered with tape or a wood strip on the exposed faces of gables 1 and 4.

Time to take this corner cabinet to the kitchen and assemble it onto the base, which is already in place. Keep the unit tight to the wall and nail it into the base through the bottom shelf. Screw the back ledger into the wall studs with at least 2 1/4" screws. Make sure the face is plumb both ways, keeping the unit square. Rip the black hardboard 3 1/2" wide and cut to length. Nail this kick plate to the face of the 2x4's and over the gable cut outs.

The Cabinet Face Frame

The face frame is made up of horizontal rails and vertical stiles. Attach the pieces with glue and 1 1/2" finish nails to the front of the gables. Start with the top rail ripped 2 1/4" wide and nailed flush to the top and outside of gable 1 and 4.

If the counter top is 1 1/4" thick with no front overhang, you can rip this top rail 1 1/2", otherwise rip it 2 1/4" to allow for the counter top edge coming down over it (see drawing Counter Tops). The other stiles are ripped 1 1/2", the bottom rail is ripped 3/4" and nailed to the bottom of the shelf edge. The stiles and rails are toenailed to each other at their intersections, as shown in the drawing Face Frame.

The Cabinet Doors

"Measure twice and cut once", they say. Measure the dimensions of the door openings and add 1/2" overlap on all 4 sides, in other words, add 1" to the inside measurements of the face frame. Cut the doors from 3/4" plywood as desired, use a good cabinet grade that is not warped. Round over the edge a bit and install the hinges on the back side. The hinges go up the side on the door about 3" to the center from the top and bottom. The hinges should be mounted on gables 1 and 4 and close on gables 2 and 3. The corner cabinet door is hinged on gable 2 and is formed with a piano or continuous hinge between the two halves.

The corner cabinet door will need a magnetic catch attached to the stile on gable 3. Attach door pulls or knobs as desired.

If you decide to make a drawer between gables 1and 2 and/or gables 3 and 4, let me know and I'll show you how to build them.

Install the top and scribe it to fit around the wall, if the wall is not straight. Screw down the top from underneath as shown on the drawing above, then apply silicon caulking on top of the splash. Watch the length of your screws here so you don't penetrate the top. Fit and plumb the sink.

I bet your finished job looks good. Send me a picture of it!


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