cabinet build advice

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New User
Tod Parks
I don't do much with plywood but I recently started a project to build display tables, a sales counter and a service counter for a new computer store. Most of the work will be in hardwoods but the counter carcasses will be 3/4" birch plywood with a hardwood face frame, hardwood tops and a hardwood frame and panel front.

I've got biscuits, pocket screws, dados and rabbets, pax screws, glue and lots clamps. What combination will give me ease of assembly without compromising strength in the plywood carcasses?

I'm currently leaning towards butt joints with biscuits and glue, screwed together with a few pax screws to hold it together while the glue dries. Is this to much or not enough?


New User
I make 1/4" dado's into the side of my 3/4" plywood and place the 3/4" shelving into the dado with glue and brads. The faceframes can be put together with pocket screws and glue followed by biscuits to attach the faceframe to the cabinet. My two cents. Works for me.


I usually just butt them and screw together using assembly screws from Wurth, as shown by Danny Proulx in his book "Making Your Own Kitchen Cabinets." I prefinish my panels in the flat,and sand off finish where pieces join if I use glue in addition to screws. Pocket screw the face frames together, and pocket screw the face frames to the cabinet. Pocket screws for attaching face frames are on the outside of the cabinet. Add an end panel to cover screws, plus it's replaceable if damage occurs.


Recovering tool addict
Corporate Member
I've done it in a variety of ways with biscuits, pocket screws and dowels. I've found it to be overkill. The easiest way is to glue/ butt-joint, tack it with a few brads to keep everything in place, then drill/ countersink for some screws. Ordinary wood screws from McFeely's do well. No need to clamp. A few biscuits can help if the plywood isn't perfectly flat. Pocket screws work great for face frames.
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