Step 2: Mark the high point layout line

tom silva measuring with a measuring tape, and marking layout line of the wall with a pencil
Photo: David Carmack
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Directly beneath the mark for the high point, mark the height of your base cabinets, usually 34 inches above the floor. From that mark, extend a level layout line along the walls. The top of the base cabinets will be flush with this line. Measure 17 to 18 inches up from the base cabinet layout line, and snap a level chalk line for the bottom edge of the upper cabinets. Find the studs and mark their locations on both layout lines. Mark out locations of all appliances.
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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)