Overview

Anatomy of a Kitchen Cabinet
Illustration: Greg Nemec
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PLANNING AHEAD

• Lay a wood floor before hanging cabinets. "It goes down a lot faster in an empty room," says Tom Silva. Protect it with thick mover's pads during installation. Sheet flooring is more easily damaged, so lay it after the cabinets are in.

•Using a 4-foot level, a framing square, and a straight 2x4, check the walls and corners to see if they are plumb, square, and straight. Note any dips, bubĀ­bles, or angles that will require scribe-fitting, shimming, or alterations of the wall.

• Install electrical lines for the range, dishwasher, garbage disposal, refrigerator, and vent hood. Locate receptacles above your countertop backsplash every 4 feet, and anywhere you plan to use a portable appliance. Also, rough in cabinet lights and their wall-mounted switches.

• Rough in supply and drain lines. Make sure cap is not glued to drain pipe.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Cordless drill with bit set
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      4-in-1 screwdriver
    • finish hammer
      Hammer
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • 100-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • folding ruler
      Folding rule
    • bubble level
      Bubble level
    • block plane
      Block plane
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • chisel
      Chisel
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • ladder
      Ladder

    Shopping List

    1. Carcass
    "Look for a good, heavy box, one with a thick solid back to screw securely to the wall," says Tom. He favors plywood over particleboard of MDF

    2. Finishes
    Catalyzed lacquers or conversion varnishes are toughest

    3. Fasteners
    Screws are best, but staples ad brads are typically used

    4. Drawers
    Dovetail joints and fully extending drawer slides are best

    5. Hinges
    Cup hinges, also known as European or concealed hingers are eay to adjust

    6. Hardwood glue
    for securing trim joints

    7. Wood shims
    for making cabinets plumb and level

    8. 2 1/2-inch deck screws with washers
    for anchoring cabinets to studs (drywall screws can snap)