How to attach face frame to installed cabinet - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-25-2019, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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How to attach face frame to installed cabinet

I am in the process of building cabinets for a complete kitchen remodel. All the cabinets so far have been built and assembled in my shop, but the pantry cabinet had to be built in place given the height of the piece (8'). I now have to attach the face frame, but am unsure how to clamp this. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 08:51 AM
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Glue and hold in place with 23 gauge pin nails. Or larger headless brads or nails which will require filling. Biscuits are also a good option.....23 gauge pin nail too.
Painters tape or strapping tape might work but you may need a lot to prevent the face frame from sagging off.
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Last edited by JIMMIEM; 02-26-2019 at 08:53 AM. Reason: add info
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Very helpful, Thanks! I will give this a shot.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 05:48 PM
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You can buy face frame clamps: https://www.rockler.com/3-way-face-clamp

The last time I attached face frames on my own cabinets, decades ago, I used finish nails: drilling, setting, filling, and sanding each one. These days, I would use 23 gauge pin nails as clamps for gluing.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Probably gonna try a combination of a few strategic pin nails to hold and tape for the rest. I like the 3-way face clamp, but buying enough for this job will be more expensive than just getting the divorce straight out . . .
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I also added pics of this project to my photos
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 09:05 PM
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Nice job! A pocket hole jig that would allow you to drill pocket holes on 3 of the sides, I believe. Then a right angle clamp could hold why you put in screws I believe. I don't think you could clamp the jig on the side next to the wall. That may be a glue and nail.

Great progress.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-26-2019, 09:31 PM
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Cabinets in most cases are a lower grade of cabinetmaking than furniture work. Most cabinet shops just nail the faceframes to the boxes through the front. Back in the day when cabinets were made out of particleboard it was common to dado the back side of faceframes and the components were toenailed in dado's. On exposed ends the side paned was recessed in from the side 1/4". Once the cabinet was built the exposed side was covered with 1/4" plywood. By doing this very few nails were driven through the front. Just the edge strip on the bottom shelf and the dividers were nailed through the front.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-27-2019, 11:43 AM
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Another thought about pocket holes, if your cabinet can spin away from the wall you could use the clamp on jig to drill on each side as well as top and bottom to drill holes. Then use the clamp that fits in the hole and pulls the face frame tight to screw it down. If necessary the holes may be plugged.

Last edited by samandothers; 02-27-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-05-2019, 10:58 PM
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You dont say If its paint grade or stained. Paint grade, nail the f/f to the cab, fill holes with wood bonds sand and paint. Stain, stain f/f nail to cab, use crayon to fill nail holes, wipe with wax wash, touch up spray with w/b or solvent base finish whatever you used to finish cab.
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the cabinets are unstained birch. I've never tried, but I wonder if pocket holes with screws are even feasible coming through the end of the plywood into the face frame. Is there any real holding power in the 3/4" ply in this manner? Gonna try a test first. The face frame is now finished and ready to attach and I'm loath to use pins.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaDoog View Post
Yeah, the cabinets are unstained birch. I've never tried, but I wonder if pocket holes with screws are even feasible coming through the end of the plywood into the face frame. Is there any real holding power in the 3/4" ply in this manner? Gonna try a test first. The face frame is now finished and ready to attach and I'm loath to use pins.
I built some paint grade cabinets with that very method, then filled the holes that would show.

Worked great, no issues with going through the ply.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-11-2019, 07:47 PM
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Pocket holes can be used to fasten the box to the fast frame, I believe this is one of the reasons they were created or discovered. Your idea of some test fits is a good plan so you feel comfortable.
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-03-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Final Report: Pocket holes worked perfectly and just needed to get two of the 3-way clamps mentioned above to hold in place while fitting the pocket screws. Also got a Bessey clamp that worked great for the side up close to the wall to hold the Kreg jig. Thanks for all the help folks!
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