How to Assemble Base Cabinets with Glue and Cam Locks

Assembling your RTA base cabinet takes a bit more time and work than the basic kitchen wall cabinet. With that being said, you can still get it done quickly and easily with just a few products. The instructions for assembling base cabinets are very similar to wall cabinets, with just a few added steps. All you need here is some wood glue and a screwdriver.

1. Prep for your RTA cabinet assembly. Open the box containing your RTA base cabinet and separate all of the parts. Place the door and face frame facing down on a protected surface to start. Apply wood glue to the edges of the face frame, making sure to not apply too much. Make sure there is an ample amount of glue in the joints.

2. Assemble first few parts. Use a screwdriver to make sure the cam locks are in an open position on the side panels. Insert one of the wall side panels so that the male and female parts of the cam lock fit effortlessly. Repeat with the opposite side panel.

3. Assemble toe kick. You want to install the toe kick panel (bottom piece) with wood glue. It should fit into the grooves easily. Tighten all remaining locks.

4. Finish assembling pieces. Add glue to the dadoes (groove in the wood of the side panels). Add the back panel with the unfinished side facing out. It will fit into grooves nicely). Tighten all cam locks remaining and wipe off any excess glue. Move the cabinet so the face frame and door are facing the ceiling.

5. Assemble drawers. You will have four pieces and then the bottom (so 5 all together). Apply glue to the grooves of the front drawer piece. Add the two side boards by matching the grooves together. Then install the bottom of the drawer by sliding it into the grooves. Add the back of the drawer piece with glue. The grooves should match up nicely. Screw in the locking devices/clips. Then screw in the sockets. Slide in drawer slides. Now is a good time to install the shelf clips and place the shelf on top of them.

6. Insert drawers. Then it’s time to insert the drawer you assembled earlier. The box should fit smoothly in the drawer slides until you hear the locking mechanism “click”. Open and close the drawer a few times to make sure it works.

After assembling, you’ll need to install your RTA base cabinets. Measure the base cabinets and use a pencil and level to mark a line of the height point in the floor to the cabinet height. Use the stud finder to locate the studs and mark them accordingly. Fit your cabinet into place and check to make sure it is level. If so, predrill the top framing piece into the wall studs and secure with screws.