Help with adding blocking to face frame cabinets - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Help with adding blocking to face frame cabinets with 3/8" lipped doors

Hello all,

I just purchased my first home built in 1966 and am trying to refresh the existing kitchen cabinetry.

I'm attempting to change the hinges for the existing partial inset cabinet doors on the face frame cabinets from the existing external hinges (colonial style) to a more clean European hinge (blum).

I was able to find out the solution for my application here:



However, my cabinets are face frame and so I need to add blocking (as noted in the above photo). I have measured the amount of the face frame that needs to be blocked out as 1-1/8".

My question is: what is the best way to build 1-1/8" of blocking material?

I have looked at my options at the hardware store and have not seen a clear solution to building (or simply buying) a block of wood that is 1-1/8" thick. Ideally, I would be able to just purchase sheets, strips, or posts of some sort that are 1-1/8" thick, but I have not yet found such an item.

I could also add together various thicknesses of plywood, but I've discovered that plywood sold as 3/4" (for example) is not actually 3/4" thick, making additive solutions to end up at 1-1/8" thick difficult or impossible.

The best solution I've found so far is to use 1" thick (actual) solid PVC strips (used for fencing?) and then add an 1/8" (actual) piece of plywood (used for floor underlayment?) to end up with a piece of blocking that is 1-1/8" thick. For some reason it seems like a bad idea to use a material like PVC for this application rather than wood, but maybe that is misguided. Also, I'd prefer to not use 2 pieces of blocking if I can use just one.

Sorry for the large block of background text. But again, my question is: what would you do to acquire pieces of blocking that are actually 1-1/8" thick?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I thank you (as does my wife!) in advance.

Last edited by womp945; 12-11-2015 at 02:13 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 11:36 AM
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I take it you don't have a planer either powered or hand operated?
I would buy a block of wood and plane it to the thickness I need.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 12:31 PM
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Couldn't you just get euro concealed hinges that are made specifically for face frames? That sounds easier.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 12:40 PM
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Rip a 2x4 or any 8/4 stock of your choice to 1 1/8", no rocket science here...
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
Couldn't you just get euro concealed hinges that are made specifically for face frames? That sounds easier.
Not for partial inset like he has, for full overlay, yes.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
Rip a 2x4 or any 8/4 stock of your choice to 1 1/8", no rocket science here...
Funny thing is my father is an actual rocket scientist, and even he doesn't know how I should accomplish this task

The problem with ripping a 2x4 is that I need the blocking to be at least 2" deep in order to mount the hinge at the correct depth. A 2x4 has an actual thickness of 1.5 inches, and therefore will be 0.5" too short.

Your suggestion to use dimensional lumber made me curious as to what other sizes are available. I discovered that there is a 5/4 x 6 (used for decking?) that some places list as having an actual thickness of 1-1/8. However, other places list the actual thickness as 1.0". If the 5/4 x 6 lumber at the local box stores is actually 1-1/8 thick, then problem solved. But if it measures 1.0" thick, I can still buy some 1/8" thick plywood and the problem is solved, although I'd prefer to find a solution that doesn't use 2 pieces of blocking.

Any other suggestions?
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanchez View Post
Couldn't you just get euro concealed hinges that are made specifically for face frames? That sounds easier.
I looked tirelessly for a simple solution. I did find one, but unfortunately the hinges cost $40/pair:

http://www.rockler.com/salice-soft-c...ed-door-hinges

I wish Blum would create some competition to these face-frame hinges, but currently they do not. It would seem as easy as developing the face-frame mount for use with the 155 hinges.
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-11-2015, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by womp945 View Post
Funny thing is my father is an actual rocket scientist, and even he doesn't know how I should accomplish this task

The problem with ripping a 2x4 is that I need the blocking to be at least 2" deep in order to mount the hinge at the correct depth. A 2x4 has an actual thickness of 1.5 inches, and therefore will be 0.5" too short.

Your suggestion to use dimensional lumber made me curious as to what other sizes are available. I discovered that there is a 5/4 x 6 (used for decking?) that some places list as having an actual thickness of 1-1/8. However, other places list the actual thickness as 1.0". If the 5/4 x 6 lumber at the local box stores is actually 1-1/8 thick, then problem solved. But if it measures 1.0" thick, I can still buy some 1/8" thick plywood and the problem is solved, although I'd prefer to find a solution that doesn't use 2 pieces of blocking.

Any other suggestions?
Alright, so the 2x4 is 1.5" thick, and 3.5" wide right?

Rip a 2" section off of the width, then turn that section and rip the 1.5" portion to 1 1/8". BAM, rocket science... :)

Or just go the other way and set the blocks back 1/2", or make a 1/2" "filler". Also realize there is likely going to be some variation of the 1 1/8" across the cabinets.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-12-2015, 07:46 AM
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Turn your 2x4 on edge and rip off the required amount.

You never provided an introduction so we do not know what equipment you have nor your personal experience.

George
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-12-2015, 04:15 PM
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If you need 2 inches, use a 2x4 and 1/2 inch plywood.

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post #11 of 18 Old 12-13-2015, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
Alright, so the 2x4 is 1.5" thick, and 3.5" wide right?

Rip a 2" section off of the width, then turn that section and rip the 1.5" portion to 1 1/8". BAM, rocket science... :)

Or just go the other way and set the blocks back 1/2", or make a 1/2" "filler". Also realize there is likely going to be some variation of the 1 1/8" across the cabinets.
Thanks for the suggestion. That would work. If possible, I'd like to not have a gap between the face frame and the blocking. To me, that would look unfinished. I can't imagine a cabinetmaker putting out a finished product like that.

I should have posted an introduction and stated my equipment and experience. Unfortunately I don't have a table saw or planer, so ripping would have to be done by the local lumber store. I do have basic tools like jigsaw. I am a first time homeowner and don't have much experience, but I'm willing to do research and take things slow.

I think the best solution (so far) is to use the 5/4 x 6 lumber stacked with 1/8" plywood. That would allow me to block directly against the face frame, have the required thickness, and the required depth, without needing to rip lumber, and providing a finished appearance.

As for the variation of the 1-1/8" across cabinet face frames - that number is an approximate average. I did measure slight variation across each cabinet, but not more than about 1/16" in either direction. This is fine because the Blum brackets allow depth adjustment of +/- 2mm.

Thanks all - and if you have any more suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I guess I should post a photo of the finished product (when that finally happens!)
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-13-2015, 12:07 PM
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This is a great opportunity to purchase a table saw. It is a foundation tool that will allow you to accomplish many tasks. There are a number of "bench top" type saws that are very good, and would easily allow you to make the cuts discussed. It seems you want the appearance to look professionally done on this, making the cuts yourself is going to give you the best results.

How are you going to address the floating stiles on the wall cabinets? By floating I mean the stiles that have no partition behind them.
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-13-2015, 02:16 PM
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How exact does the dimension need to be? A piece of 1/2" dimensional ply laminated on a piece of 3/4 dimensional ply should come to 1 3/16 which is only 1/16" over your ideal dimension.

EDIT: If you can find 5/8" dimensional ply and double it up you would also come up with 1 3/16", but would only have to buy the 1 sheet.

Last edited by d_slat; 12-13-2015 at 02:31 PM.
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-13-2015, 02:23 PM
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"I think the best solution (so far) is to use the 5/4 x 6 lumber stacked with 1/8""

This will give you a piece that is 1 3/8" thick. Not what you said you wanted.

George
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-13-2015, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Thanks all - and if you have any more suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Man, you need a new friend...preferably one that owns a table saw!

Actually, this would be a good time to do it right. Buy a new table saw. It should last you a long time. It will come in handy more than you think as you come up with projects around the house. Cabinet for storage, knick knack shelves and cabinets, etc. The possibilities are endless.

And first thing you know, you will be hooked on woodworking.

A used craftsman purchased off Craigslist or maybe a new portable compact saw should work well for small stuff like cutting trim. I bought a refurbished DeWalt DW7480 from CPO Tools for a little over $300. It has worked well cutting material and building drawers, and trim for a recent kitchen remodel. I couldn't take my big saw, so I bought this one specifically to take to the field.

With a table saw, you could rip off the rounded edge of 2x4 material. Then rip the width you need. Finally turn the stock on the flat edge and rip the desired thickness of 1 1/8 inches. Remember to use a push stick.

Good luck.

Also, check out Custom Service Hardware website. They sell Blum hinges. I have bought a lot from them. Pretty quick shipping too.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-13-2015, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate it!

shoot summ & MT Stringer: now that you've made me think about it, I agree that a table saw would be a great purchase for me. I'm going to look into it right away. Maybe this project will be my excuse to buy one. I'm also planning on doing some countertop work as well as re-organizing my utility room with new shelving, so a table saw would definitely be a big help. Storage space is a bit of a problem for such a big tool, but I did just clean all the previous owner's junk out of the shed today and have more room than I thought I would out there...

Any suggestions on a brand or model? I avoid buying anything made in China or other third-world or communist countries. I just moved to the USA 2 years ago and I like to support domestic manufacturing whenever possible.

shoot summ: If I understand your question about the floating styles correctly, you are asking how I will be attaching the blocking to the floating styles? As luck would have it, my kitchen configuration does not have any floating styles that have a hinge attached to them.

d_slat: Unfortunately I've determined that I need almost exactly 1-1/8" thick blocking. Differences between cabinets are about +/- 1/16", and the Blum hinges allow +/- 2mm adjustment. I think I'll end up just barely within tolerance (fingers crossed).

GeorgeC: I've read online that 5/4 x 6 lumber has an actual thickness of 1.0" or 1-1/8". I haven't measured in person locally yet, so we'll see what the actual thickness is. Let me know if you know something I don't about the actual thickness of 5/4 x 6 lumber!

MT Stringer: Thanks for the suggestion Custom Service Hardware. I looked but they don't sell the particular "special application" Blum hinge that I need. It seems that this is an uncommon application. The pricing at CSH sure looks good though!

Thanks again to everyone for your advice on what seems like kind of a dumb question!
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post #17 of 18 Old 12-14-2015, 11:51 AM
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Does your local big box store sell short lengths of poplar, pieces of 3/4" & 3/8" thick will give you 1 1/8", might be cheaper than a table saw.

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post #18 of 18 Old 12-16-2015, 10:17 AM
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one face of this board will show inside the cabinet, so a "good" cut on a table saw, or a planed/jointed board is desired there.

the 1 1/8" thickness is only one dimension you have to concern yourself with (to match the setback of the face frame), you will also need to be wide enough to support the base of the hinge mounting plate. so you may have to buy the hinges first to have those in hand before you install any boards. unless you install a 3-4" wide board to make sure.

you can buy the tools you need, or go to a local shop or lumber yard, this is an easy job for them to dimension your boards.
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