The Track Saw Forum  

Go Back   The Track Saw Forum > The Track Saw Forum > Router Guide Systems

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-09-2017, 08:05 PM
kenk kenk is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 238
Default Cabinet Carcass Back Rabbet

I was watching an online video of someone making a cabinet out of 3/4" plywood. Here is its URL:

He assembled the sides, top, and bottom using glue and countersunk screws driven from the outside (countersunk holes filled with wood filler later). Just butt joints - nothing fancy

Next was time to add a back.

Instead of cutting the rabbets before assembly, he used a router to cut a rabbet all around the back edges. Of course that left rounded edges in the rabbet at the corners.

I expected him to somehow cut the rabbet corners square, but instead he rounded off the corners of the 1/2" plywood he used as the back. I'd never seen that.

In the commentary he said that he didn't pre-cut rabbets before assembling because rabbets cut across the panels would show from the outside - makes sense. He also said that it was a difficult cut - that he kept his arms straight. Not sure what kind of bit he was using.

Of course using the stops on the SSRK, you could create "blind rabbets" (is that a real term?), but I can see that the post-assembly routing might be faster.

How did he figure out the exact radius (or whatever shape it is) to make the back fit nicely??

I'm curious what the cabinet makers here do. How do you prep the cabinet carcass for the cabinet back?

Thanks! -- Ken
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2017, 09:40 PM
philb philb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 149
Default More than one way

There are several ways to make a cabinet back. If I am not going to have the back side exposed to people I use single strip ply cut to 3/4"X4" running along the top back side and a nailer or two running the same for fastening to the wall. Upper cabinets are where I have made the full back.

I switched to the Sommerfeld Cabinet method about three years ago. Love it and it is easier to do. More costly if you use their tooling but I have yet to make a cabinet or dresser that was out of square, or sub standard. Uses more glue but the product is sound.

this is a set of plans for a kitchen.

They have a YouTube channel and it is the same video in four parts. You can see what Sommerfeld tools do and what it takes.
Just an idea and I do not make cabinets every day so I need all the help I can get. I do need lots of help!
Forum Administrator
Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 12:46 AM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 200

I've done that before on smaller cabinets using a rabbeting bit, the trick is to clamp a support for the router to the outside of the cabinet - I use a piece of 2x4 that's been jointed to have adjacent square edges - and do the sides in order working around the cabinet. As far as the back, it's just a matter of using a corner radius template to suit the diameter of the rabbet bit - 5/8" in my case to suit the 1-1/4" diameter cutter. I've used that method for years to make quick doors for shop and utility cabinets.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4473.jpg
Views:	58
Size:	92.8 KB
ID:	7073   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4478.jpg
Views:	59
Size:	95.6 KB
ID:	7074   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3758.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	101.1 KB
ID:	7075   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3761.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	97.0 KB
ID:	7076   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3762.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	99.0 KB
ID:	7077  

Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2017, 02:14 AM
Tracedfar Tracedfar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Balko, OK
Posts: 196

Maybe my approach is too simplistic. When a cabinet requires a full back, I usually just cut the back as an inset; no rabbet, no routing. I'll either glue and nail, if painting; or pocket screw the back, if staining. If the back will show, I use either veneer or door panels.

I've looked long and hard at Sommerfelds method. It sounds to me exactly as philb describes. Sommerfeld is a good teacher. One thing he doesn't emphasize is the need for quality plywood. Ever tried cutting a tongue in the cheap stuff? Another thing is to be careful with the glue because it won't take stain. In fact, I learned the hard way to stain my panels before assembly to avoid glue/stain problems. Anyway, what's​ kept me from using his system is the learning curve. If get a chance, I'd like to try it.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -3. The time now is 09:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.