How to Build Modular, Contemporary Built-ins

Assembling the Cabinets Step 1

Apply glue to the top edges of the side pieces. Put the top piece in place, make sure it is flush with the sides, then attach with 1-1/4-inch drywall screws. Attach the bottom piece the same way. Check the cabinet for square before the glue dries.

Step 2

Apply glue to the back edges of the cabinet, then put the back in place. Check that the back is flush with the outside of the cabinet all around. Secure the back with 1-inch brads.

Step 3

Attach the back support pieces (F) with glue and 1-1/2-inch screws into the back edges of the sides. Center one piece and attach the others flush with the top and bottom. If there is baseboard on the wall, raise the bottom piece to clear it.

Step 4

Use edge-banding veneer to cover the front edges of the cabinets and shelves. Cover all edges of the doors. Slightly round veneered edges with 120-grit sandpaper.

Speed the Work with a Power Nailer

If you have a lot of cabinets to assemble, consider buying or renting a power finish nailer. These tools quickly drive and set finish nails, leaving a smaller hole than a hand-driven finish nail. There are air-driven models that require a compressor as well as battery-operated models. Use 1-1/2-inch nails to assemble 3/4-inch plywood cabinets.

Continued on page 5:  Installing Hardware and Finishing


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One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!