Author Topic: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?  (Read 3541 times)

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Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
I'm building a bathroom vanity and cabinets for my shop, am a bit of a newbie, and need some advice from the experts.

When I drew the shop cabinets, I used full shelves/partitions in my design without any thought, and began cutting. As I went to resume cutting today, I wondered why I'd used full panels rather than stretchers. I drew the cabinets again with stretchers and the plans changed from 10 sheets to 6 sheets of plywood for 4 cabinets which is a savings of $240!! I already cut one sheet a bit to short per the original design but can re-purpose for a smaller cabinet down the road if needed.

That said, for the shop cabinets, since the interior will never be exposed and only has drawers, is there any reason to use full panels for shelf/partitions? These cabinets will be on casters so perhaps full partitions would help prevent sag but don't see full shelves doing anything. FWIW - These are 24" D x 48" W cabinets and I plan to move the casters at least 6-12" in from the ends which will limit the span between them to 2-3'. If needed, I can also put one to two boards, up/down orientation, underneath the cabinet to help prevent sag?

Lastly, for the bathroom vanity, a full partition is standard as far as I'm aware and I assume I'm fine using stretchers for the drawers since nobody sees whether it's full or not so it's a waste to do full?

Here are some images to help ...

Shop Cabinet
295027-0

Full Panel Shop Cabinet
295023-1

Stretcher Panel Shop Cabinet
295025-2

Bathroom Vanity
295029-3
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 03:08 PM by Bugsysiegals »

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Offline TSO Products

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    • TSO Products
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 04:06 PM »
@Bugsysiegals  - given your experience you will REALLY appreciate Bob Lang's Book titled "The Complete Kitchen Cabinet Maker".

if you email me your full contact information I will email you a coupon for it if you promise to post an honest comment (good or bad) on the FOG to help others.

Your comment will help others. You'll see what I mean when you get the book.

Hans
info@tsoproducts.com
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 04:13 PM »
Thanks Hans, I really appreciate it and will gladly leave feedback.

I really love the MTR18 Triangle but need to actually build something with all the tools I've purchased or I might be sleeping in my basement wood shop soon; however, I do believe I need some Parf Super Dogs and rail guide clips so I'll be buying them and anything else you have that I need in the future. :)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 04:57 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Reed Hoyer

  • Posts: 27
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 09:27 AM »
@Bugsysiegals  - given your experience you will REALLY appreciate Bob Lang's Book titled "The Complete Kitchen Cabinet Maker".

Hans ( @TSO Products  ),

I read this thread and thought I might be in that same experience level so I checked out this book on tsoproducts.com and ended up ordering it and the Paolini book. I know it helps you guys when we buy stuff but I really appreciate the thoughtful product placement you provide. It has opened my eyes to things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Thanks and good luck on your project @Bugsysiegals! Keep us updated when it starts taking form.

Offline TSO Products

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 09:50 AM »
@Reed Hoyer  and @Bugsysiegals  - it will really help other woodworkers when you post a candid review for these books mentioning what specifically you have found helpful. "pay it forward" [smile]

and thanks for choosing to purchase from TSO. We will stock what customers choose to buy from TSO.

Hans
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline RKA

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 09:57 AM »
You don't need the full shelf if you've just got drawers, you're absolutely right.  And even the stretchers aren't needed in some cases.  If you have full overlay drawer fronts, you won't need them.  But, if the cabinet needs additional rigidity, you might decide it's necessary.  For example if it's a wide, tall or deep cabinet or it will be used to support a lot of weight, the extra stretchers may be helpful.  But consider upgrading the back panel from 1/4" to 1/2" first, that will add a lot of rigidity to the cabinet. 
-Raj

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 10:53 AM »
You don't need the full shelf if you've just got drawers, you're absolutely right.  And even the stretchers aren't needed in some cases.  If you have full overlay drawer fronts, you won't need them.  But, if the cabinet needs additional rigidity, you might decide it's necessary.  For example if it's a wide, tall or deep cabinet or it will be used to support a lot of weight, the extra stretchers may be helpful.  But consider upgrading the back panel from 1/4" to 1/2" first, that will add a lot of rigidity to the cabinet.

Thanks for the reply!!  The shop cabinets will be 24" D x 48" W x 34-35" H so they're just less than my Table Saw.  I'm sure I'll set things on them but since they're on casters I'll not put anything to heavy on them.  I'll move the casters in a bit to reduce sag in the middle and might put board(s) underneath running the width and standing up/down to help further prevent sagging.  I can't seem to find a good picture of this but basically like a 2x4 with the 3 1/2" going up/down and probably glue/domino it to the bottom ... does this sound like a good idea?

Offline RKA

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 11:19 AM »
So that's not an overly large cabinet, but that 48" span is larger enough to justify a 4" wide stretcher in the front under the drawer and also in the back part of the cabinet.  Then you'll need a vertical partition under those stretchers running to the bottom of the cabinet so you can attach drawer slides for the lower drawers.

As far as the casters, I'm not exactly envisioning what you're saying, but do get good quality ball bearing casters. A quality 3" caster will carry about 200lbs ea, so 800lbs total load, which is more than enough.  Add 2 additional 4" wide stretchers inside the bottom of the case (full width, just like the other two).  Glue and screw to the cabinet base and then bolt the casters under those and have more than enough meat to fill that cabinet and stand on it.  If really think it won't carry that much load you can simply bolt the casters to the 3/4" ply bottom without reinforcement and call it done. 
-Raj

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 11:42 AM »
So that's not an overly large cabinet, but that 48" span is larger enough to justify a 4" wide stretcher in the front under the drawer and also in the back part of the cabinet.  Then you'll need a vertical partition under those stretchers running to the bottom of the cabinet so you can attach drawer slides for the lower drawers.

As far as the casters, I'm not exactly envisioning what you're saying, but do get good quality ball bearing casters. A quality 3" caster will carry about 200lbs ea, so 800lbs total load, which is more than enough.  Add 2 additional 4" wide stretchers inside the bottom of the case (full width, just like the other two).  Glue and screw to the cabinet base and then bolt the casters under those and have more than enough meat to fill that cabinet and stand on it.  If really think it won't carry that much load you can simply bolt the casters to the 3/4" ply bottom without reinforcement and call it done.

Thanks, I wasn't sure how wide to make the stretchers but 4" seems great and I'd not considered adding any to the back which will probably add extra side to side rigidity. 

I was planning to use Minus 12 Bottom from the drawing below which doesn't have room for the bottom stretchers on the inside.  I can probably find a good sidemount layout which would work but was hoping to practice and have certainty of my diagrams before getting to the kitchen cabinets.  That said, since the bathroom vanity will have a fixed base, I still have time to practice and validate things before cutting to many sheets and finding I did something wrong.

http://www.davelers.com/32mm/Drawers/images/1767_01.png


Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 04:56 PM »
I've almost finished with the book, am very impressed, and will write a nice review shortly.  That said, Gregory didn't mention an exact size for stretchers ... is 4" the "standard"?

Per the recommendation for front/rear stretchers, I've redesigned from full shelves and posted images below ...

Front
296220-0

Back
296222-1

Back with rear panel
296224-2

I'm using butt joints which will either use pocket screws or domino's.  Should I be using dado's or is butt joints sufficient for cabinets? 

On these particular cabinets I've left the tops/bottoms flush to the edges rather than the sides since I may set things on top of them and figured that this would provide more strength? 

I've  added end panels which are flush to the back and protrude 19mm past the front to align flush with the front of the drawers and provide an inset look.

Am I missing anything?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 05:00 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 794
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 09:53 PM »
Am I missing anything?

What type of slide do you hope to use? Without a full depth mid panel you are limiting yourself as far slide selection goes to basically side-mount Accuride type only.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 10:07 PM »
Am I missing anything?

What type of slide do you hope to use? Without a full depth mid panel you are limiting yourself as far slide selection goes to basically side-mount Accuride type only.

I use Blum full extension Tandem undermounts in this situation all the time.

The island below has no panel between the drawer banks, Blum Tandems with Blumotion slides.

I do use a full length stretcher at each rail.

Tom

Offline kcufstoidi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2019, 07:18 AM »
Tom, the point was, that the design the OP showed would not allow the use of undermount. Your full length stretcher is a different internal design. IMHO the OP should use a full mid piece instead of 2 stretchers if nothing more than for simplicity. That island you showed is a pretty wacky design with those oversized draw fronts.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2019, 08:41 AM »
Tom, the point was, that the design the OP showed would not allow the use of undermount. Your full length stretcher is a different internal design. IMHO the OP should use a full mid piece instead of 2 stretchers if nothing more than for simplicity. That island you showed is a pretty wacky design with those oversized draw fronts.

@kcufstoidi

I looked at his drawings, there is not a single one I could not install undermounts in. How if you can install a side mount you can't install an undermount?

The design reason for the extended drawer face is to conceal the wide stile that created the dog bowl area on the end of the island. This gives the appearance of balanced drawers. I do it often, a lot of times the design will have a cookbook cabinet on one end. I do not like the look of the wide exposed "stile".

Tom
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 08:44 AM by tjbnwi »

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2019, 09:16 AM »
I'm planning to use side mount drawer glides on this project, since it's for my shop, but will use undermounts on my vanities and kitchen cabinets.  It was my understanding that undermounts still use shelf pin holes on the side and only the offsets might be different?  I assume I do not need any mounting to the back of the cabinet for undermounts if I'm mounting the slide with 2 shelf pin holes on the sides?

296240-0

Offline kcufstoidi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2019, 12:18 PM »
That pic you showed is one convoluted way of mounting an undermount and not the typical thing you see in true euro design. But I know Blum makes an Americanized slide system that is not available anywhere else with the longer slide mounts and back supports. Typical mounting is direct to the gable and in your case mid divider. The pic show my method of construction for custom euro style cabinets. The slides are fastened to the gable with 4 screws not the typical mounting but more effective holding power.


Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2019, 06:33 PM »
Sorry I was in a hurry and should've been more clear.  I do not intend to put anything behind the slide, I assume he's shimming it for face frame cabinets.  Also, I wasn't planning to use the "L" bracket which attaches to the rear as I was planning to drill shelf pin holes in front, middle, and rear which align with the drawer glide mounting holes.

That said, it seems this is the same method you've illustrated.  If I use stretchers rather than a full partition I suppose I lose the ability to fix the slide in 3-4 places and am limited to only 2.  Since this is a shop cabinet which could have decent weight in the drawers perhaps it makes more sense to use the full partition not only for simplicity but also for added support?

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2019, 08:43 PM »
All of my builds are face frame construction. Each slide gets mounted to the face frame or a device behind the face frame depending on overlay or inset design. Each slide is held in the rear by the Blum rear mount bracket.

The Blum slides I use are the exact same slides available to the rest of the world. Only difference is how we install them.

Inset and overlay cabinets pictured. Even the refrigerator/freezer combo has inset doors in the main kitchen. All used the same Blum model slides and hinges, slide mounts and hinge plates change to make it all work. Easy peezy process....

All of these are on one level of the same home (there are 2 more floors of casework). There are a few more rooms of casework on this level, but I think you get the picture....

Tom

Offline kcufstoidi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2019, 09:09 PM »
You do nice work Tom but I'm not a fan of this style of cabinet or construction (Face frame), too cluttered and the upper valance is too out of proportion with the crown. But what do I know, tastes vary a lot from country to country. Hey as long as you're getting paid that's all that matters.

Not to get into to much of a debate on Blum products but there is stuff Blum makes on your side of the border that isn't available anywhere else, that was right from Blum Europe/Canada when I inquired about getting tandem slides for 3/4" drawer construction and when the face frame Blum hinges were first released in the USA.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2019, 09:24 PM »
You do nice work Tom but I'm not a fan of this style of cabinet or construction (Face frame), too cluttered and the upper valance is too out of proportion with the crown. But what do I know, tastes vary a lot from country to country. Hey as long as you're getting paid that's all that matters.

Not to get into to much of a debate on Blum products but there is stuff Blum makes on your side of the border that isn't available anywhere else, that was right from Blum Europe/Canada when I inquired about getting tandem slides for 3/4" drawer construction and when the face frame Blum hinges were first released in the USA.

The hinges you're referring to are called Compacts. I use the same hinge you do, the Clip Tops. I know someone who uses the 569H (3/4") slides across the pond, surprised you were told you can't get them.

Riser and crown are not my choice, I personally hate it.

More what I prefer below when it comes to riser and crown. Second photo shows very traditional Shaker style 45/45 bevel crown. I'd like not to mix styles but....

I also prefer/love stained/finished casework, the 3rd shown is hickory.

Tom


Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2019, 11:01 PM »
Thanks for sharing ... do you have any interior cabinet photos as examples of the drawer glides and how they attach in these various applications?

I would’ve never guessed that was Hickory!!

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2019, 12:34 AM »
Thanks for sharing ... do you have any interior cabinet photos as examples of the drawer glides and how they attach in these various applications?

I would’ve never guessed that was Hickory!!

I'll get some pictures (if I remember, I'm an old guy) of the slides installed sometime next week. I'll be back at the house that has both the inset and overlay faces.

Not many can figure out what wood it is.

Tom

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2019, 12:39 AM »
Hickory and walnut TV stand. Surfix oil finish.

Tom

Offline Cheese

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2019, 01:13 AM »
Nice stuff Tom... [big grin]....I'm not really a fan of hickory but the walnut edging kind of takes some of the "wildness" away from the hickory.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2019, 08:02 AM »
My entire bedroom set is Hickory and they did a fairly good job of choosing pieces or gluing strips together to avoid large dark areas. My wife wants me to make our master bathroom vanity and now I’ll have to rip the boards and put them together like a puzzle until I find a good combination that softens the look like the bedroom set.

I would’ve never thought to put those woods together.  I’ve used Walnut and Maple and recently seen Gregory Paolini mix Cherry with Maple which have a nice accent.

296349-0
296351-1

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2019, 08:37 AM »
A little creativity you can mix anything.

Walnut seat with cherry edge, maple bowtie, Ipe legs, Dominos in the seat are cherry. Surfix finish.

Also known as, time to use up some scraps

Tom

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2019, 09:36 AM »
Very cool indeed!

With regards to stretchers/partitions, per the 32mm cabinet information at davelers, you're supposed to use dual partitions when making Full Overlay cabinets versus a single partition with Half Overlay cabinets.  It seems logical to have symmetry for many reasons but I'm struggling with a few things perhaps somebody can help me understand.

Per davelers, Full Overlay has 1.5mm gap around door/drawer edges; however, will split the difference when sharing a single stretcher.  This results in the inability to move a middle drawer to the top or bottom of the same or another cabinet later on because it's not symmetrical.  Additionally, even if using two partitions, if you desire applied end panels, you either need to rabbet 1.5mm off the end panel to keep a consistent 3mm gap between doors/drawers or remove 1.5mm from the outer edge of doors/drawers which also means they cannot be interchanged to the opposite side of a cabinet.

I'd put two partitions into my design because I was following the 32mm cabinet making spec hoping to find a consistent method which once I learn does not require a lot of thinking or changing as I make different cabinets and reduces opportunity to make errors; however, Full Overlay really has me confused ... it doesn't seem consistent or symmetrical so I'm left wondering why do I need two partitions ... is there something I'm not understanding here?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 09:39 AM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2019, 10:56 AM »
It seems perhaps the White cabinets in the office and perhaps one other is Half Overlay, is that correct?  While I like the closer gaps of Full Overlay these do not look bad and perhaps make things much simpler in terms of balanced panels than Full Overlay?

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 163
Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2019, 03:58 PM »
I've drafted the cabinets with 32mm Half Overlay sizes which provide greater consistency between pieces resulting in less error and part interchangeability.  That said, should I have the first stretcher sitting on top of the partition or connecting to the side like the rest?  I considered the longer stretcher would not show any seem but there will be seems below anyways and I doubt you'll notice them with 3mm gap between drawers and looking from eye level downwards.  If anything, I think it would be better to have shorter stretchers since it's easier to find short material than full long length boards.

296375-0
296377-1

versus

296495-2
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 12:04 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Full Panel Shelf/Partitions versus Stretchers for Cabinets?
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2019, 04:05 PM »
Thanks for sharing ... do you have any interior cabinet photos as examples of the drawer glides and how they attach in these various applications?

I would’ve never guessed that was Hickory!!

@Bugsysiegals,

Picture of how it all comes together, both inset and overlay.

This is the bracket I use for insets with the face frames.

http://www.tenntex.com/uploads/4/8/3/9/48398755/inset_bracket_instruction_sheet.pdf

I include some hinge configurations also.

Tom