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Applied Ends

Applied ends are separate panels that get applied to the ends of cabinet boxes. With applied ends the box material doesn't need to mach the exterior because the door/drawer faces and applied ends completely enclose the box. Applied ends are cut a bit oversize and scribed to the wall (/floor). The applied end can match the cabinet faces (e.g. be a frame and panel 'door') or be made from, readily available, 2x veneer PBC or ply. An applied end flushes out with the drawer/door faces and presents a cleaner balanced look as it hides the end of the doors/drawers. When using applied ends the wall scribes (fillers) are made to match. The wall scribes flush out with the drawer/door faces and present a face similar in size to the applied end. Applied ends can be used with full overlay and hybrid style cabinets. I don't make full overlay cabinets and use applied ends on half overlay cabinets to make hybrid cabinets.

Applied EndsI do a lot of built-ins with bookcases on top. I had been using the panel + overlay applied end (top-left) with my half-overlay cabinets. A customer who wanted a heavier look got me to try the bottom-middle design. While I really like the clean 1-1/2" edge (bottom row), the 1/2 overlay (top row) is easier and more forgiving. The applied-end buildup is glued on with spring clamps (...now using a glue-up fence) and the end-panel provides a stop. The middle-top image is easiest because the applied-end is mounted to the end-panel with the Mod-eez (system hole registration) and glue squeeze-out isn't an issue. I use edge-banding on wood and prep MDF with OneTime.

The bottom row can be tricky. The first time I did this I used the middle version (with 19x19 on both sides for the scribe) and it worked OK. With a 1/16" radius on the seam edges, any slight variation in thickness is hidden. I'm currently trying the left version. The idea was to set it up for 1" masking tape so that paint wouldn't put the panel and applied end on slightly different planes (I'm anal about paint, all surfaces get some level of coating). The 1/4" void removes potential issues with cupped panels and makes the use of hidden fasteners (Mod-eez) easy. In mock-up, the scribe (bottom right) wasn't rigid enough and I ended up with a more complicated solution. This is one case where through-boring all panels came in handy (glue-up registration using 45mm shelf pins), its easier but doesn't seem 'right'.
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Finished Ends

When the end of a cabinet box is finished its called a finished end. While the box end may extend past the back of the cabinet and may be scribed to the wall, the use of an applied molding - called scribe mold - is most common. Scribe mold can be used with any style of cabinet.

When using finished ends we have 3 options:
  1. End panels have a material/color on the outside that matches the drawers/doors. If you are using white melamine for your boxes and oak doors you probably want your end panel to match. To avoid having different materials on the inside of your box you will need an end panel with melamine on one side and oak on the other (not a concern for something like a dresser). There is a very limited selection of stock panels that have melamine on one side and wood veneer on the other.
  2. All panels are a different material/color for visual effect. There are a lot of possibilities here. One that I like is black boxes and cherry faces.
  3. All panels have face material to match drawer/door faces. This is probably the nicest way to do it but material and labor costs will be a lot higher. PBC Oak panels will cost a lot more than white melamine and we have to put a finish on all that material.
In all three cases we need separate scribe mold, whether solid wood or edge-tape. A typical scribe mold is 3/4" x 1/8" solid stock with one eased edge. The scribe is pushed tight to the wall and pinned in place. Another option is to use prefinished edge-tape or matching PVC mounted with two-sided tape. While fairly common, scribe mold isn't suitable for high-end applications. Having all wood faced boxes and then using scribe mold doesn't make much sense (high-end interior, low-end exterior).
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