How to Assemble Base Cabinets with Glue, Dowels and Brad Nails

base cabinet

How to Assemble RTA Cabinets

Although many people tend to assemble their base cabinets with glue and cam locks, it can also easily be done with glue, dowels and brad nails.

1. Prep for assembly. Start off by placing the face frame on the ground. The two side panels with toe kicks should slide easily into the frame’s grooves. Next, insert the bottom panel board into the groove on the bottom of the two panels with toe kicks.

2. Assemble main pieces. Insert the two dowels onto the opposite end of the openings (this is the top of the door’s face frame). They should fit into the grooves nicely. Your last panel slides in the empty slot (this will be the back of the cabinet). Insert dowels on the ends of the toe kicks and then add a panel to the front of the toe kicks. This panel should fit perfectly underneath the face frame.

3. Add supports & drawer pieces. Place corner supports on the top of the cabinet and nail them in with brad nails. Then install in drawer sockets and drawer slides.

4. Add door front & shelf pieces. Attach the door front by nailing in the hinges to the face frame. Add in shelf supports and slide shelf in.

5. Assemble the 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. Slide in drawer slides. Attach decorative drawer front and secure with nails.

After assembling, you’ll want to install your RTA base cabinets. Measure the base cabinets and use a pencil and level to mark a line of the highest 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.

Click here to watch a video tutorial of how to assemble your ready made base cabinets.