Building Better Built-Ins
Getting a perfect fit in a less-than perfect space.
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Building Better Built-Ins
Built-in cabinets can transform a room. In fact, they often become the focal point of the entire space. So to look their best, built-ins have to fit into the space perfectly — like a hand in a glove… but getting that perfect fit can be frustrating. After all, no matter how carefully you build the project, it will likely have to fit into a less-than-perfect room. That’s because floors and ceilings aren’t always level, walls may not be plumb, and corners aren’t exactly square.

Actually, building a built-in that fits isn’t as tough as you’d think. With the Kreg Jig® and a bit of know-how on how built-in cabinets are designed, you’ll be able to add a bit of custom elegance to every room in the house.
Square-Cut Video Multi-Mark Video Crown-Pro Video

Part 1 of 3: Built-in Basics
(Three Part Series: look for parts 2 & 3 in future issues.)
Built-in cabinets have something to hide: Behind the form-fitting facade, they aren’t built to exactly fit the space at all.
Cabinet Diagram
Start Small — That’s right, a built-in cabinet actually starts out smaller than the space it will occupy. That allows the cabinet to slip easily into its space. Of course, this means there will be gaps around the cabinet that will have to be filled in.

Overhangs Fill the Gaps — The solution for concealing those gaps is to add pieces that overhang the cabinet and span the gaps. Later, these pieces get trimmed to fit tightly against the surfaces they about. (This is called scribing, and will be discussed in part three of this series)

Face-Frames & Filler Strips — At the front of the cabinet, a common way to hide the gaps is with a Kreg Jigged face-frame. You can also extend a face frame to make it overhang by gluing on filler strips.

Wide Sides also Hide — If the sides of the cabinet will show, build them extra wide, so they extend beyond the back panel. Again, the excess will span any gap between the cabinet and wall.

Add On to Fill In — Sometimes it’s impractical to build the gap fillers into the cabinet. In those cases, add filler strips or molding. Foor full-height bookshelves, one of the best ways to fill the gaps is to use your Crown-Pro™ to add beautiful crown molding to cover the gap at the ceiling.

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2011 August Home Publishing
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