Face Frame On Cabinet Between Walls - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-04-2009, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Face Frame On Cabinet Between Walls

I'm building an upper kitchen cabinet that will go between a wall and the back of a cabinet containing a wall oven. The oven cabinet is fairly true, but the wall bows inward about 1/4 inch over 42 inches. I'll have to build the cabinet to the least width that will fit, and add the face frame later. I want the face frame stiles to match the wall contour and avoid using small molding to cover any gaps between the cabinet and wall.

Any tried-and-true techniques?

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post #2 of 25 Old 04-04-2009, 10:46 PM
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Question Hey guy, I'm trying to picture this but...

I don't get it. Did you mean to say between the wall and the "side" of the cabinet? The wall side being bowed inward and the cabinet side being fairly straight....This makes sense to me. Yes?
Assuming that's the case you will need to template the wall by using a pencil compass/dividers set to a touch more than 1/4" and transfer the curvature of the wall onto a scrap of 1/4 inch ply. It may not work exactly the first time since you must keep the compass perfectly horizontal. But after you cut the curve you will get a perfect fit. Keep trying the cut line against the wall to insure it's correct. You can then transfer this line to your stile when you are ready to attach it. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-04-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-04-2009, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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You are correct. Looks like I learn to scribe. How do you get both stiles plumb and (appearing to be) the same width?
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-04-2009, 11:54 PM
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Sometimes when I run into a situation like that, I actually run the stile on the out of plumb wall with the wall and make the opening of the cabinet out of square. And, depending on the style of doors you use, when you hang the doors, you can adjust them just enough to make the out of squareness not noticeable. Not the best thing to always do, but sometimes this looks better than having a trapezoidal stile that is even more of an eyesore. But this really depends on what you prefer. Many guys out there would NEVER build an out of square cabinet, but I've always gone by the rule "Better to look perfect, than to be perfect." hahah.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sausagefingers View Post
Sometimes when I run into a situation like that, I actually run the stile on the out of plumb wall with the wall and make the opening of the cabinet out of square. And, depending on the style of doors you use, when you hang the doors, you can adjust them just enough to make the out of squareness not noticeable. Not the best thing to always do, but sometimes this looks better than having a trapezoidal stile that is even more of an eyesore. But this really depends on what you prefer. Many guys out there would NEVER build an out of square cabinet, but I've always gone by the rule "Better to look perfect, than to be perfect." hahah.
I agree with this. Personally I prefer all to look well to the eye. Nobody is ever going to see that the inside frame of the cabinet is not square.

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post #6 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 06:40 AM
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Lets see what we have.

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Originally Posted by kreuzie View Post
You are correct. Looks like I learn to scribe. How do you get both stiles plumb and (appearing to be) the same width?
First is the wall just out of plumb or is there a curve to it? That's the reason for the template...if it's curved. If not, and the wall is straight, but out of plumb, then ditch the template idea!
Plumb the wall with a 48" level first, see if it's out and how far and where top or bottom. Check in the corner and at the depth of the new cabinet. Plumb the existing cabinet side ,,,same as above. Record the offsets on a piece of paper larger than your new cabinet using the straight edge of the paper as a reference, you could use a piece of ply also. Layout your cabinet dimensions within the plumb lines. This will be your minimum carcass width minus an 1/8th or less to allow for installation. After you scribe and fit the wall template, establish a plumb line on the template using the "back" side of the level while holding the template firmly against the wall, you might need 3 hands for this...or if the existing cabinet is plumb measure over the same distance top and bottom and mark your template with these reference marks. A 24" framing square will do the same thing off the existing cabinet. Just add the dimesion to the 24 over to the wall, assuming your new cabinet is greater in width than 24". This is all to establish a maximum size rectangle that will slide into the opening being bound on both sides by the wall and the existing cabinet. Whew! That becomes the dimensions of your new cabinet carcass.If you use a rabbet corner and a rabbet back panel and a dado shelf or two this will all be much easier with "square" corners and right angles rather than trapezoids. You could, I suppose, build the new cabinet, piece by piece in place as you go, but that wouldn't be my choice. Cut and fit, cut and fit, etc. or in this case fit and cut! At some point you will have to chose whether to build the face frame piece by piece and assemble on the "hung" carcass or build it as an assembly and then attach it to the carcass.
Well, that's about all I can offer for now, bill good luck.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-05-2009 at 06:48 AM.
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to "build" it piece-by-piece, to make sure everything fits nicely, then assemble the pieces with pocket screws and attach the face frame as one piece, probably with counterbored and plugged finish screws. Lucky it's only a four-piece face frame.

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post #8 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 03:12 PM
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The usual way of doing this would be to make the cabinet narrow enough to fit with clearance to the minimum width. The floor of the cabinet would be full width (past the ends) to be scribed to fit, and likewise for the faceframe. Cabinets should not be fabricated out of square to fit out of square openings.






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post #9 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 03:15 PM
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Amen Brother!

Things are far enough out of kilter without creating new stuff!bill
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 08:50 PM
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Kreuzie,
What's the chance of just fixing the wall first? Seems to me a little mudwork would be a lot easier than all the fiddlin' you are planning for the cabinet.
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-05-2009, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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I know it can be done...I've just never done it. Cabinet shops, knowing that there's no such thing as a perfect wall, allow a little extra width on their end stiles for scribing. I think applying the drywall compound would be more of a hassle than scribing a stile.

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post #12 of 25 Old 04-06-2009, 07:02 PM
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Aw cmon Kreuzie,
You must not like drywall mud. Good set of knives, some of the quickset compounds, piece of cake. I tear out a lot of soffits and do a lot of wall repairs after tearing out old tile and whatever else. Not that hard with some practice. I taught my son how to hang and tape when he was around 15. We were finishing off a pretty good size basement. After showing him how to tape, I had bought him his own stainless mudpan and turned him loose with only one caution:"you sand what you tape". He actually did a good job, picked it up pretty quick.
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-06-2009, 09:53 PM
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I wouldn't attempt to learn a new trade right now

Quote:
Originally Posted by kreuzie View Post
I know it can be done...I've just never done it. Cabinet shops, knowing that there's no such thing as a perfect wall, allow a little extra width on their end stiles for scribing. I think applying the drywall compound would be more of a hassle than scribing a stile.kreuzie
Granted it's only visible where the stile of the cabinet intersects the out of plumb wall therefore you wouldn't have to mud the wall behind the stile hidden by the cabinet. but you would have to "feather" it out into the room until it's not apparent. You are looking to make a 1/4" gap disappear....not certain if the wall pulls away in the middle or at the top, top would be worse, but either way it's an aquired skill. For an example in my own home I don't use door casings! I just run the jamb (3/4" oak) into the room 3/8ths and drywall/mud right up to it for a clean uncluttered look. No carpenter would do it this way, too much work/time on the clock, but I like the look. So, I've done a fair amount of drywalling, including a 25 x29 shop with cathedral ceilings and other remodels. I've also done a fair amount of cabinet installs, so if I were you, I'd stick to the advice given by cabinetman and myself. Make the carcass (a true rectangle) the maximum size that will fit between the wall and existing cabinet. Then make the faceframe as assembly after accounting for the out of plumb or curved wall, by making the rails either equal lenghts top and bottom or unequal to account for the out of plumb condition. A curved wall
will still require a scribe on the stile for a "perfect" fit. As you stated production cabinets have a 1/4" face frame projection to the sides for slight variations in fitting. Don't strain out knats looking for camels as the saying goes...that's my advice. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-06-2009 at 09:55 PM.
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-07-2009, 03:09 AM
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I've done this before in situations where I knew I had a long cabinet or crooked wall. And I avoid trim if at all possible.

Instead of leaving the entire frame off, I would pocket screw the frame together (without glue on the removable stile) making sure I can still have access to the screws after it is on the carcass. It gets pre-finished then the stile pops right off on the job. I install the cabinet then scribe the stile to fit. Works every time and it goes much faster than trying to fit an entire frame to the cabinet on the job. I know because I've tried it.
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-07-2009, 07:52 AM
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Talking

Quote:
Instead of leaving the entire frame off, I would pocket screw the frame together (without glue on the removable stile) making sure I can still have access to the screws after it is on the carcass. It gets pre-finished then the stile pops right off on the job. I install the cabinet then scribe the stile to fit. job. I know because I've tried it. [/quote]
Question:
How do you scribe/cut and remove material from the stile if it already fits in the opening without increasing the gap at the wall. It's already too narrow in order to fit between the existing cabinet and the wall. Your idea is fine when there is not a boundary on the opposing side.
JUst a final thought on this whole question:
Template the entire opening!
Temporarally attach 2 lengths of 1 x scrap both to the wall and to the existing cabinet at the approximate depth of the new cabinet, running slightly long. These will act as stops to push the cardboard against , the next step. Take 2 pieces of stiff cardboard, with square corners, that are wide enough to overlap a few inches in the center. Hold one flush right and top, hold the other flush left and top and tape them together in the center. Assuming the corners are square and the wall has no "bow" I'm still waiting on that issue! that will be the finished face frame outline. Make and assemble your face frame and attach it to the finished carcass and it should fit like OJ's glove, not really, better. OK? I'm leaving now, bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-07-2009 at 08:28 AM.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-07-2009, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
How do you scribe/cut and remove material from the stile if it already fits in the opening without increasing the gap at the wall. It's already too narrow in order to fit between the existing cabinet and the wall. Your idea is fine when there is not a boundary on the opposing side.
Say you have a 30 inch opening at its widest point. You would make your frame like a typical 30 inch cabinet and add scribe material to the removable stile. Install the cabinet without the stile on. After the cabinet is installed, scribe the stile to fit. This method is based on trial and error over a 16 year span installing cabinets. It does require a certain amount of skill to do right - as does all phases of installing.

The whole point of doing this is when you're captured between a cabinet and a wall, or wall and wall or cabinet and cabinet, etc. But everyone has their own methods. This one was developed from hundreds of high end cabinetry builds for very demanding customers. I don't like my frames or anything else to look like they were scabbed on as an afterthought.

I don't know what the OP's level of skill is. If this is a relatively new experience for him, then templating the entire opening like you suggest is probably the safe way to go. But if his skill level is high...why install an entire frame on the job site?
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-07-2009, 10:41 PM
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Smile Just one more reply

I am always pleasantly suprised when a poster has an accurate and appropriate answer that is slightly different in detail but similiar in principle to my own. Especially when I look at the number of posts and its a low number, it's almost impossible not to "assume" that this fellow is just starting out and sincerely wants to help the OP. Then I find out that the answer comes from someone more far experienced than I am. So, it's great that together we can pool our experiences and have a little fun and go back and forth with it, and all come away a little wiser. Skill levels come in all sizes ages and no of posts. I try to answer the OP question and throw in a little Irish wit while I'm doin' it if possible. That's my contribution if nothing else. A recent comment was that the WWT Forum was like a magazine that comes every day, is continually changing and challenging and entertaining. I always eagerly look forward to the new threads and the new posts. I wish kreuzie the best of luck on the project and hope I have given him and others a few things to consider. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-08-2009, 10:43 AM
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Decided not to post after all

Last edited by woodworks; 04-08-2009 at 10:45 AM.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-11-2009, 10:45 AM
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Question Ditto for kruezie!

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Decided not to post after all
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f15/a...ex2/#post76051
Maybe he lost his appetite for the project?
Maybe he got lost in the ethernet?
Maybe we scared him off?
Maybe he hired the job out to cabinetman?
Kreuzie where are you? bill

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post #20 of 25 Old 04-11-2009, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm here!

I haven't forgotten you....

....try as I might!

Been busy prepping the wall for primer and paint before I install the cabinet. And wrapping up the spray painting of the cabinet interior.

I'll send a pic when it's finished (don't hold your breath - I take my time). As I tell the little lady: "You can't rush quality".

Heck, it's worked for 37 years....

Anybody know how to attach a pic on this forum??

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