tom silva installing base kitchen cabinets with drill
Photo: David Carmack

Step 6: Install remaining base cabinets

Working out from the installed corner cabinet, shim the adjacent cabinets out from the wall (at the stud locations) and up from the floor so that the face frames are plumb and the tops are level and even with the layout line. Align each cabinet so its face is flush with its already-installed neighbor. Clamp them together, counterbore through the edge of the face frames, and fasten them together with 2-inch screws, as in STEP 3. At the shims, drive the deck screws (with washers) through the cabinet back and into studs, as in STEP 5. Close any gap between the wall and the end cabinet by scribing its stile or the back edge of its side panel. Or, cover the gap with trim. Using a utility knife, score and snap off any shims that protrude beyond the edges of the cabinets. Remove all the upper-cabinet support cleats and fill the screw holes with spackle. Place the drawers and shelves in their original cabinets.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Cordless drill with bit set
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      4-in-1 screwdriver
    • finish 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
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • chisel
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • 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)