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I'm building custom walnut cabinets for my kitchen and normally I see cabinets built in separate units then basically screwed together on site (e.g. a 24" screwed to a 36" sink cabinet). I was curious if it was better to build a fewer larger cabinets so that alignment it easier and it presents a more monolithic front. Obviously it makes moving them in to place trickier, but I wasn't sure what the best process was.

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  • Apologies but I'm voting to close as this is bound to attract opinion-based Answers. Some people are going to prefer the one-cabinet-at-a-time approach, others like working with small subassemblies and there's no reconciling the two positions. There's no best practice here, just what you like/are most comfortable doing. – Graphus Sep 29 '18 at 17:02
  • Indeed. Many of those standard sizings you see are a result of off-site factory subassembly builds, where pieces have to fit through standard doorways, as well as ship and install relatively easily. For custom builds these restrictions aren't the same, of course. – jdv Oct 1 '18 at 15:48
  • You didn't say whether you're doing a face frame or euro-style box. If you do a face frame, you can have the monolithic front with smaller boxes behind. And in truth, aligning cabinets really isn't hard, so that shouldn't drive your decision. (For the record, I once built a pair of overhead cabs about 6' wide and 5' tall and regretted it.) – Aloysius Defenestrate Oct 6 '18 at 16:47
  • As written, it is opinion-based as @Graphus mentioned. I do think it could be edited to focus on the downsides of larger cabinets, and would then be a good question for the site. – mmathis Oct 18 '18 at 12:28
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Considerations to include when determining the size to make cabinets:

  • How large a cabinet can you easily accommodate in your shop, transport and position onsite.
  • What cabinet storage areas do you want to separate from each other such as kitchen chemicals, plumbing, pots and pans (etc.) and food items.
  • Locations and sizes of drawers, sliding trays etc.

There is no real advantage to one option versus another other than they must be string enough and meet the needs of the specific design. Cabinet manufacturers make smaller units because the number of options available to individual consumers are increased.

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