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Old 12-21-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
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Frameless Cabinet Construction - How thick?

Hi,

I'm about to jump into constructing some frameless (aka Euro style) cabinets for my Airstream. Typically 3/4" plywood is used in frameless construction. By my estimates, my total plywood weight for all cabinetry would be about 250lbs. Plus I would need some 1x4s to frame in the toe kick area. So let's say 300lbs total for all cabinets in the Airstream. If possible, I could use 5/8" or 1/2" instead. I'm just not sure how sturdy it would be and if it would support the countertop well. 1/2" plywood would cut my weight in plywood to about ~175lbs for a total estimated weight of 225lbs.

Is 75lbs worth going to 1/2" instead of 3/4"? Considering these are frameless style, will sturdiness be impacted significantly? I welcome your thoughts.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #2
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IKEA uses 3/4" if that is any help.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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As a cabinetmaker and a person who just renovated my Airstream 310 interior, I was very concerned with weight. I used Coosa for my subfloor replacement (45% lighter than plywood). I pondered many ways to build the interior cabinets as light and sturdy as possible.
The way you're planning on building your cabinets will require gables. bottoms, tops and possibly backs in order to maintain squareness and rigidity. This will add a lot of unneccessary weight.
I built a pine 1 1/4"x 3/4 thick face frame held together with Dominoe biscuits. Once the frame was assembled, squareness would allways be achieved no matter what type of terrain I stopped on. This type of construction then allowed me to tongue in behind the frame 1/2" Baltic birch plywood gables just long enough to support drawer slides. These gables ran to the floor and were notched for the base. To mount the Blum self concealed hinges for doors I merely tongued in a 2 1/4" piece of 1/2" Baltic Birch behind the frame.

This type of construction is very light and strong. The floor under my 5 gallon fresh water system is just mounted on cleats attached to the gables. It is the only floor in that cabinet. There are no tops except for under my cutting board pull out on top of the bank of drawers. The top give rigidity to the cab as it's attached to the cabinet and wall. I did attach the gables to the floor with L brackets and thats it.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
As a cabinetmaker and a person who just renovated my Airstream 310 interior, I was very concerned with weight. I used Coosa for my subfloor replacement (45% lighter than plywood). I pondered many ways to build the interior cabinets as light and sturdy as possible.
The way you're planning on building your cabinets will require gables. bottoms, tops and possibly backs in order to maintain squareness and rigidity. This will add a lot of unneccessary weight.
I built a pine 1 1/4"x 3/4 thick face frame held together with Dominoe biscuits. Once the frame was assembled, squareness would allways be achieved no matter what type of terrain I stopped on. This type of construction then allowed me to tongue in behind the frame 1/2" Baltic birch plywood gables just long enough to support drawer slides. These gables ran to the floor and were notched for the base. To mount the Blum self concealed hinges for doors I merely tongued in a 2 1/4" piece of 1/2" Baltic Birch behind the frame.

This type of construction is very light and strong. The floor under my 5 gallon fresh water system is just mounted on cleats attached to the gables. It is the only floor in that cabinet. There are no tops except for under my cutting board pull out on top of the bank of drawers. The top give rigidity to the cab as it's attached to the cabinet and wall. I did attach the gables to the floor with L brackets and thats it.

Cheers
Tony
I'm always amazed what someone with great skill and talent can do in these situations...... AMAZING!

By the way is that last images showing bases for water bottles that then plum into the house system?

Cheers
Doug
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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If not purely aesthetic, why frame-less? Conventional frame-less cabinetry can be heavy. Isuzusweet's face frame is what I would do too. You could achieve a frame-less look without the weight. It's all about the hinge. 1/2" cabinet Birch is really strong.

Admirable design, Isuzusweet.

Many of "Us Hillbillys" down here don't know or use the Canadian term "gable" in cabinet carcass nomenclature.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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For a start, there are lightweight plywoods out there. I'm using Eurolite throughout the rebuilding process. Big weight savings there!

I've also become enamored with tormenting thin ply into curves. Laminating twin sheets of 1/8" Eurolite, I would normally have a floppy mess. Epoxy them together and form them into a curve... incredibly rigid! In my case, the tops of the lower cabinets will be 3/4" Euro with boomerang laminate. The carcass curved pieces are attached to 3/4" X 3" curved pieces top and bottom. the curvy kick spaces attach the same way, and then screw to the top.

I attach 1X3 strips to the vertical edges of the doors and cabinets, mostly as a place to fasten the strip hinges and latches.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:47 PM   #7
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SuzyHomemakr

Wow, been wondering what stage your interior was at.

Your trailer looks like more fun than Disneyland.

Great job!
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticfox View Post
I'm always amazed what someone with great skill and talent can do in these situations...... AMAZING!

By the way is that last images showing bases for water bottles that then plum into the house system?

Cheers
Doug
Thanks Doug

With my Airstream 310 I think it has been more blind luck than skill or talent.

The wife wasn't too crazy about drinking water from the holding tank, so I put this system in. If you look at the pic again you will see a 12 volt water pump to the left of the jug holder, that pumps water from the 5 gallon jugs to a separate spigot/tap on top of the counter which you can see in the front view to the left of the main faucet.

The BW3000 has the pump and the siphon attaches directly to the jug with a sealed stopper. I decided to go 12v instead of 110 as then I can use it without having to fire up the generator if I'm boondocking.

http://www.amazon.ca/FloJet-BW3000A-.../dp/B00GSI939W

I didn't pay anywhere as much as this price for this product, so shop around.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Thanks Doug

With my Airstream 310 I think it has been more blind luck than skill or talent.

The wife wasn't too crazy about drinking water from the holding tank, so I put this system in. If you look at the pic again you will see a 12 volt water pump to the left of the jug holder, that pumps water from the 5 gallon jugs to a separate spigot/tap on top of the counter which you can see in the front view to the left of the main faucet.

The BW3000 has the pump and the siphon attaches directly to the jug with a sealed stopper. I decided to go 12v instead of 110 as then I can use it without having to fire up the generator if I'm boondocking.

http://www.amazon.ca/FloJet-BW3000A-.../dp/B00GSI939W

I didn't pay anywhere as much as this price for this product, so shop around.

Cheers
Tony
That is exactly what we were planning to do! We always carry water bottles for drinking water and I was trying to come up with a siphon system. Thanks for the leads!!
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:05 PM   #10
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Dave

Yeah we did the small water bottle thing but after a few spills and splashes I decided with an engineered hardwood floor that that system was not going to do. I'd like to say I'm trying to make my coach idiot proof but I'm going to get hit.

You may start to find it difficult to find the BW3000 series as it has been discontinued (I guess not much call for 12v in a modern Moho). As you can see though there're a few still out there. I still might buy a 110 volt version for when I'm plugged in, but I'm still on the fence and will see how this one works first.


@SuzyHomemakr

Awesome interior and a lot of work I'm sure. I had thought about going all out, but time wasn't on my side and I did want an interior that I wouldn't have to worry about as the wife and kids are a bit klutzy.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:05 PM   #11
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Beautiful work!
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