Author Topic: Sloped tops for upper cabinets  (Read 1474 times)

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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1578
Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« on: May 07, 2022, 08:45 AM »
These are quite common in hospitals and their satellite offices. They put them in places where there are no soffits. As I understand it, for a few reasons. They don't collect dust and are far easier to clean. They also prevent people from storing or hiding things up there. In new construction, the angled supports are built into the sides of the cabinets and the top is a loose piece that is installed after the cabinets are on the wall. Once in a while they are built as a free-standing unit that can be retrofitted to standard flattop cabinets. For normal straight runs, these are taken care of by the countertop department. When they wrap around a corner, they come to me. Mitering something like this is not particularly effective, since the odds of the walls actually being square are astronomical. "Adjusting" a miter seam on something like this, which is 18" wide, in the field? I wouldn't want to, so the solution that I came up with many years ago, is coping. This is a bit of a challenge itself, but it can compensate for a slight out-of-square condition (either way) fairly easily.
The biggest challenge is the angle on the back of the overlying piece. The lower the angle of the slope, the more exaggerated this becomes. I have done dozens, if not into the hundreds, over the years, all of them around 90 degree corners. Yesterday had three firsts on the same unit. I have never done one with a 3mm PVC edge, one on a 45 degree corner, or made from MDF. This one had all them all. Usually, I can cut the main miter angle and bevel the back side "mostly" with the TS55 and the maximum 45 degree angle is enough, or close to enough. The little hook on the front goes the opposite direction, so the cut can't be completed this way though, it takes some hand work at that point. This one was way over that though. The pencil line that you can see on the back of the upper piece is 2" from the long point of the bevel. I do that totally by hand with the RAS115, "carving it to a line. The dust from the MDF was quite a mess. It is very hard for the CT to catch this because of the angle. The contact with the material is so minimal, that the sanding pad or brush cannot trap/steer the dust to the collection port. Years ago, I did this part with that tiny Porter-Cable belt sander. It worked, I really liked that tool, but the RAS115 does it better.
I've done a few outside corners too, but you are stuck with mitering there.
Sorry for the long winded explanation, but this is something that a huge percentage of people have never seen and will likely never have to replicate, but I thought it would be interesting. Maybe inspire some thought outside the box?
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Offline afish

  • Posts: 1299
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 08:55 AM »
My first employer as a carpenter did almost all Hospital work.  Seen my fair share of those and lead drywall.  Was always told it was dust and easy to clean feature. 

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 397
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 02:15 PM »
I worked for a shop that did a lot of medical facility cabinetry, and the hospital's infection control manager insisted on sloped tops.  On 90 degree corners, we would cope them like that, but I never had to deal with anything as difficult as that.  That shop's lead installer favored Roo Glue and 23 gauge pins on those mitered corners, and he would cut the miter close with a circular saw, then back-bevel the cut with a jigsaw and sander, the same as countertop scribing.

The hospital's internal woodshop lacked the skills to make sloped tops, so they would run a vertical flat panel to the ceiling, like a piece of crown, even if it was thirty inches tall.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1578
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2022, 04:51 PM »
I worked for a shop that did a lot of medical facility cabinetry, and the hospital's infection control manager insisted on sloped tops.  On 90 degree corners, we would cope them like that, but I never had to deal with anything as difficult as that.  That shop's lead installer favored Roo Glue and 23 gauge pins on those mitered corners, and he would cut the miter close with a circular saw, then back-bevel the cut with a jigsaw and sander, the same as countertop scribing.

The hospital's internal woodshop lacked the skills to make sloped tops, so they would run a vertical flat panel to the ceiling, like a piece of crown, even if it was thirty inches tall.

Some places we deal with want them similar to that too. We do them with a few inches of a return on the bottom edge, so the come out flush to the doors. Effectively making a soffit out of it. I have no idea what influences that difference?
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1327
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2022, 05:22 PM »
Impressive work CRG.. As you say, there is no such thing as a corner and walls that are square or plumb - that’s the starting point anyhow. And the fact that we imagine things being square, plumb and level - most fitters are aware, especially in old buildings and leave the level in the van.. and use their eyes and hang/fit following roof lines for instance.

- Fun being the “potato” that do all the things the others scratch their head about?  [smile]
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1578
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2022, 05:58 PM »
Impressive work CRG.. As you say, there is no such thing as a corner and walls that are square or plumb - that’s the starting point anyhow. And the fact that we imagine things being square, plumb and level - most fitters are aware, especially in old buildings and leave the level in the van.. and use their eyes and hang/fit following roof lines for instance.

- Fun being the “potato” that do all the things the others scratch their head about?  [smile]

Thank you. Yeah, a lot of what I do is trying to make things as easy as possible for the installers. I have done my time there and know exactly what the run into. Some of the disassembly of the parts is based on needing to fit into elevators, other times it's about how easily it can be put back together or both. Of course, all I can do is set this up like the walls are correct and hope it works out ok.
Old churches are just as bad as some of these commercial buildings that get remodeled every few years. The old ones are plaster, which is never straight/flat and the exterior walls could have moved a lot after standing there for hundreds of years. The newer office spaces are remodeled as quickly as possible, so you just never know there either. Square and plumb are just suggestions and going around corners, inside or out, complicates things
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2022, 08:51 AM »
Impressive work CRG.. As you say, there is no such thing as a corner and walls that are square or plumb - that’s the starting point anyhow. And the fact that we imagine things being square, plumb and level - most fitters are aware, especially in old buildings and leave the level in the van.. and use their eyes and hang/fit following roof lines for instance.

Square and plumb are just suggestions and going around corners, inside or out, complicates things

It's like learning physics, where everything is a perfect sphere in a vacuum on a frictionless surface...

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1936
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2022, 07:34 PM »
Ran across an appropriate quote today: Intelligence is figuring out what to do when you don’t know what to do.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1578
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2022, 07:42 PM »
Ran across an appropriate quote today: Intelligence is figuring out what to do when you don’t know what to do.

I've never heard that one before.

The one a buddy of mine always says is "Experience is mostly about memory"

 
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set

Offline mino

  • Posts: 976
Re: Sloped tops for upper cabinets
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2022, 08:40 PM »
Many with memories, yet no experience to speak. For they passed it by, just tagging along.

Memories are like building squads. Want something done? You cannot do without. But dare you not hire one without a Foreman. Dare you not rely on memories without understanding.

/snip

Thanks for the "why" part!
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.