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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you make your face frames slightly oversized then flush trim with a router once the frame is mounted to the cabinet? This can prevent a mistake that causes the side wall to show from the front. Or do you just cut to size?

Related question regarding my current project: When you have two cabinets that hang next to each other, do you leave the face frame overhang that edge by a bit (like 1/16 or 1/32) so there are no gaps between the two adjoining face frames when you screw the side walls together? Or do you make the face frame flush to the side wall? I was thinking of leaving a bit of an overhang, but have never hung cabinets.
 

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Do any of you make your face frames slightly oversized then flush trim with a router once the frame is mounted to the cabinet? This can prevent a mistake that causes the side wall to show from the front. Or do you just cut to size?
I never flush trim with a router just in case it scares the wood.

Related question regarding my current project: When you have two cabinets that hang next to each other, do you leave the face frame overhang that edge by a bit (like 1/16 or 1/32) so there are no gaps between the two adjoining face frames when you screw the side walls together? Or do you make the face frame flush to the side wall? I was thinking of leaving a bit of an overhang, but have never hung cabinets.
I always overhang as you mentioned
 

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Old School
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I do allow an overage only when cabinets are together, but not for the fudge factor. It allows the cabinet walls to have some clearance so that the FF's get drawn tightly together. On finished ends and bottoms, the FF's are made to the correct cabinet dimensions. If the bottom or wall is bowed, it is then straightened to line up with the FF.

Just to add a note, I rarely do a FF'md cabinet unless there is some design or profile on the FF that is important to the design. Since most applications I do, doors cover most all of the face of the cabinet, FF's present their own differences to the cabinet, like milling spacers for side mounted drawers, the whole task of making and installing FF's, stops or catches for inset doors, etc.
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!

Daryl, do you use a plane to flush trim? I just finished trimming the first cabinet with a router, but then again I left a large fudge factor. Too much to plane. If you use a plane, which one do you use? I have two nice planes, but can't say I have mastered them yet. I have not yet made the face frames for the other 4 cabinet boxes, so I might try a different technique.

Cabinetman, if your side walls are plywood or melamine, and you are not using a face frame, what do you use to finish the front edges? A glue-on strip of matching laminate?

My cabinets are made from 3/4 melamine. I used mahagony face frames in my design to add strength and color, but maybe it's not needed.

Thanks!
 

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Daryl, do you use a plane to flush trim? I just finished trimming the first cabinet with a router, but then again I left a large fudge factor. Too much to plane. If you use a plane, which one do you use? I have two nice planes, but can't say I have mastered them yet. I have not yet made the face frames for the other 4 cabinet boxes, so I might try a different technique.
I have not had to build face frames that were even at the sides exept my shop cabs and I just took my time and made sure they were flush. How did your router work for you??
I think a plane could be mighty risky but are you prebuilding the frames and then glueing them on or brading them on after the cabs boxes are built??
 

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I do allow an overage only when cabinets are together, but not for the fudge factor. It allows the cabinet walls to have some clearance so that the FF's get drawn tightly together. On finished ends and bottoms, the FF's are made to the correct cabinet dimensions. If the bottom or wall is bowed, it is then straightened to line up with the FF.

Just to add a note, I rarely do a FF'md cabinet unless there is some design or profile on the FF that is important to the design. Since most applications I do, doors cover most all of the face of the cabinet, FF's present their own differences to the cabinet, like milling spacers for side mounted drawers, the whole task of making and installing FF's, stops or catches for inset doors, etc.
I too always leave the face frame a millimetre or so proud of the cabinet side when fastening cabinets together to help them pull together tightly.

Unlike Cabinetman however, most of my cabinets incorporate face frames - for two reasons.

1. Virtually all my cabinets are built from veneered MDF - a face frame provides a neat way of covering the exposed MDF of the sides.

2. I can charge more for it - a more substantial looking piece of furniture has a higher perceived value, with my customers at least!

I generally make the face frame slightly over-sized, fix to the cabinet with biscuits and glue, and then trim flush with a router which I have permanantly set up for this purpose.

Cheers
Brad
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am prebuilding the face frames with pocket screws, then gluing them to the case. The router worked great. I just had to clamp blocks of wood to the corners so I wouldn't have any tearout and would have good support for the router as I transition beyond the corner.

I just used glue/clamps to attach. I did not use biscuits.
 

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Why not measure, cut, and assemble face frames after the cases are hung on the wall? Seems less complicated and headache generating during both the installation of the cases and the face frames.
 

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Why not measure, cut, and assemble face frames after the cases are hung on the wall? Seems less complicated and headache generating during both the installation of the cases and the face frames.
You would have to Brad them on and when it comes to fine woodworking and cabinets we try to stay away from them.
There is a few reasons for this one of which is Bow Out. Thats when the brad hits a hard substance within the wood and Blows out the side of the cabinet and that creates a real headace and could ruin the project.
Another reason is you have to fill all the holes and if you do not get a perfect match you end up with again "(Another Headace ) to deal with not to mention wood changes color over time and filler does not so they end up showing later.
 

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You would have to Brad them on and when it comes to fine woodworking and cabinets we try to stay away from them.
There is a few reasons for this one of which is Bow Out. Thats when the brad hits a hard substance within the wood and Blows out the side of the cabinet and that creates a real headace and could ruin the project.
Another reason is you have to fill all the holes and if you do not get a perfect match you end up with again "(Another Headace ) to deal with not to mention wood changes color over time and filler does not so they end up showing later.
You're right about the brads, but for 95% of my work, a couple of pin holes aren't an issue. Different niche, i guess. If using brads is completely out of the question, it shouldn't be too much of stretch to come up with a couple of creative clamping arrangements to get the job done, though that might be as much of a complication as planing or routing them as you reccomend...
 

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If using brads is completely out of the question, it shouldn't be too much of stretch to come up with a couple of creative clamping arrangements to get the job done, though that might be as much of a complication as planing or routing them as you reccomend...

I had to do this once and have never botherd again and what I did was I used a series of clamps around the cabinets and made up some small wedge pieces that fit between the facings and the clamps and tapped them into place to create pressure. Well talk about a lot of fidding so kinda figured it was easier the other way and I was right.
 

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As to the question. Yes and no.
When I have two adjoining cabs, at least one face frame overhangs the cab so it will butt tight to the next one.

When I need to flush one up, I use this...
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I am now on the finishing part. Then I can finally hang these and free up shop space for new projects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here is my 1st attempt at photos:

Here is one of the boxes. The cutouts are for an electrical box and cords:
IMG_7341_1_1_1.jpg

Here is the wall I am dealing with (with one box temporarily hung without a faceframe):
IMG_7337_1_1.jpg

And here is another view of two boxes. The holes in the back fit the wall conduit. The back wall of the boxes are offset from the wall (and ends of the sides with a deep rabbet. I now realize there were easier ways to deal with it.
IMG_7339_1_1.jpg
 

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I build mine backwards from everyone else.
I always make the frame first (that defines the size)
I then tongue and groove the sides to the frame.
(no nails or holes in the frame face to show)
I then slide the top and bottom into daddoes in the sides.
It makes a super strong box and is so much easier.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jim,

Nice idea.

I got to reading this again and thinking about the top. I see that the bottom slides into a dado but is the top located at the top edge of the side, or is it offset like the bottom? In other words, does the top fit in a rabbet or a dado? If the top fits in a dado, then the top of the face frame would not be flush with the top of the cabinet, correct?

And is the front edge of the top and bottom tongue and groove also? Or just glued flat to the back of the face frame? From your picture of the bottom, it looks like it is just glued flat as I see no groove.

Your method sounds slick.
 

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I don't like butting outside corners because no matter how good the joint is, sooner or later it will show up through the paint. I also don't like the looks of flat sides on cabinets and use fiinished panel sides instead. What I do is make up plenty of lock edge mitered stock with extra for the exposed outside corners.

The end panels are in addition to the interior sides ofl the cabs, and are left loose on the back to they can be shimmed tight to adjacent window or door casings.

I rabbet cabinet bottoms and insert into dados on the sides with the rabbeted edge up. Straight dados are too hard to get tight on the visable side because of the thickness variations in plywood.

If the plywood is just a little thick, it will put a kink in the side when it is inserted. If it is a little thin, the joint doesn't look good unless you shim it to the top side of the dado from the bottom. Neither of these conditions exist if you rabbet the bottoms.

If I were required to make flat, flush exposed cabinet ends, I would miter without the lock edge.

Cheers,
Jim
 

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. I see that the bottom slides into a dado but is the top located at the top edge of the side, or is it offset like the bottom?
And is the front edge of the top and bottom tongue and groove also?
The top is off-set about 1/4", enough to have a strong daddo.

I usually use a couple of pocket hole screws through the top and
bottom (undrneath) to pull them tight against the frame so they won't
sag and help stiffen the frame.
 
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