For Less headaches Later, Start With a Clear Overall Concept

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This is Part 2 of this series, Part 1 starts here


The  Molding Details

Once the basic wants and needs have been thoroughly discussed, it’s  time to dive into the overall cabinet and joinery  details. There are many factors to weigh and balance in these decisions. Some are as follow.
I like to, if possible, keep the dimensions of components within standard lumber thicknesses. This saves material and time, both add up quickly.  Standard rough lumber comes in 4/4 ( 4 quarter) which is about 1″  and  mills out to 3/4″ to 7/8″ and 8/4, about 2″ which mills out to 1 3/4″ to 1 7/8″.  Depending on species and supplier you can sometimes also get 5/4 (1 1/4″), 6/4 (1 1/2″) and 12/4 (3″) This gives us a few constraints to work from.



Typical sea-rails

An end view of three “typical” sea-rails

The sea-rail can be designed with nearly infinite variations, but most of the time with fall within a fairly “normal” range. An owner may want them to be flush with the cabinet top or more likely a little bit above the top. The latter choice will probably “age” better, ( more on Aging Gracefully ) be less of a problem to assemble and will act as a stop for anything trying to slide off. Sometimes an owner will want  to incorporate a hand grab into the sea-rail, maybe just in key locations and sometimes pretty much anywhere that makes sense. This adds a bit of a challenge and potentially, a very functional and attractive  benefit.


Three different ways to do corners on sea-rails

Three different ways to do corners on sea-rails

After the profile is figured out we need to look at how the corners will be handled along with how they will compliment and engage the corner post. The three most likely choices are, just a simple miter, a corner block with the grain at 45 degrees  ( or what is appropriate for the situation) and a corner block with nicer joinery, such as an “S” joint. Generally these will have a radius that is concentric with the corner post, but do not have to.






How the sea-rail and corner post relate . Shown in a front and top view

How the sea-rail and corner post relate . Shown in a front and top view

The depth of the sea-rail (front to back)  will relate to the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, overall look and feel and  construction constraints. (show section view) On the section view you will see that the sea-rail extends far enough past the cabinet box to be securely  fastened.  This also will need to be done with corner post, and, if the cabinet has it, toe kick trim.





Cabinet Corner Post Examples

Five yacht cabinet corner post examples

Along with the previous parts we  need a corner post. Like the sea-rail there are nearly infinite variations, but, again, most of the time they will fall within that fairly “normal” range.  Generally, at least in larger boats, I like to make these  1 3/4”  x 1 3/4” . The proportions look good, not too petite, nor too bulky and it leaves enough room for outlets and/or  switches in the side of the cabinet without infringing on inside.




Next –  The Cabinet Box

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