How To Attach the Top and Bottom of The Cabinet

In this lesson, I will show you how to attach the top and bottom of the cabinet. In doing so, I will touch on various points such as flushing off endgrain, drilling holes for screws, and profiling edges.

This lessons objectives:

  • How to flush joinery after assembly
  • How to choose the correct drill prior to screwing
  • Profiling the top
  • Accurately attaching the top

We cover a lot of techniques in this video so make sure to take notes! Below is a summary of the key points covered in the lesson.


When planing endgrain on the top of a tall components, in this case the sides, effective clamping will make all the difference. If you're trying to hold it down to your workbench while using a block plane. Or clamping the bottom in the vice while planing the top, you're going to have all manner of difficulties. By clamping as close as possible to the edge you are working on, you're saving a whole lot of effort. Usually the easiest way to do this is clamp it directly to the side of your workbench.


When widening pre-exisiting holes, it's important you use a standard twist drill as opposed to a brad point (lip and spur) style drill bit. This is because the twist drill will self centre itself. However the brad point drill bit will be unable to engage in the material before the main cutting action starts. The result of this is shown in the video.



This is how long you need the screw to be from head to point. As the components are both 15mm thick, I went for a 25mm long screw.

P = Pilot

We drilled these in a previous lesson. The pilot hole needs to be sized according to the shank running through the screw. Usually between 1.5mm to 2.5mm for most standard sized screws.

C = Clearance

The clearance hole is what was drilled in this lesson. As I was using a 4mm x 25mm screw, the clearance hole was 4mm in diameter. Realistically, any size screw will work for this (as long as the length is 25mm.) Generally, I try to use as of coarse of a thread as possible when attaching components.


When profiling the top, work on the endgrain before the front. This makes it more likely you will be able to remove breakout if any occurs. It's advisable that you try to get within 1mm of the marking gauge lines consistently along the edge before trying to hit the line. Once this consistent offset has been achieved, work back to the line using long strokes that smooth out any lumps and bumps.

Supporting Material

Click the images below to see supporting material helping you with this part of the project.

How To Screw Wood Together

This lesson will show you how to screw two pieces of wood together using pilot, clearance and countersinks.

How To Pilot The Stretchers

Want a refresher on the piloting and countersinking process? Go back to the relevant lesson here.

How To Attach The Base

Want to see how I attached the base of the box and how Rob got it wrong? Go to the lesson here.

Have you got the plans yet?

Package includes working drawings, a cutting list, and a 3d SketchUp model!

The Student Series

Want to see another beginner make this project before you? It's a great way to scope out any mistakes before you make one yourself!

*to be filmed*

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