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Old School
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24,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When installing multiple cabinets with face frames, there's the tedious task of getting the face frames to line up flush. This is a tip that may be of some help.

For example if you have three upper cabinets each having their own face frame call the first "A", the second "B", and the third "C". If you've installed the face frame on the cabinets, lay them on their backs and line them up so the face frames are as close to flush as possible. Start with "A" and "B". Clamp the two FF's together. From whichever side you are comfortable drilling and screwing, drill pilot holes and countersink in at least three places (top, middle, bottom) from one FF into the other. Make sure the holes are not drilled where hinges will be installed. Insert screws that will be shorter by 1/4" to 1/2" than the ones you will use when installing. Bump screws in tight. Remove clamps. Do the final scraping or sanding on the two FF's at once so they are flat and even. Then go to the "B" and "C" cabinets and do the same thing, etc.

When installing, after placing them where they are to go and leveling them, screw cabinets to the wall, but not up tight. Using the slightly longer screws, align the FF's, clamp, and insert screws into the same holes and bump tight. Then do the final tightening of the cabinets to the wall. If the wall is not flat,(how many are?) shimming the back of the cabinets may be necessary, so that there is no strain on the FF's. This method helps make final alignment easier.
 

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Senior Member from MN
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219 Posts
Quick question, why do you screw the face frames together instead of the sidewalls of the cabinet? Is it because of the small gap, say 1/32 to 1/16, formed by the slight overhang of the face frames?
 

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Old School
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24,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quick question, why do you screw the face frames together instead of the sidewalls of the cabinet? Is it because of the small gap, say 1/32 to 1/16, formed by the slight overhang of the face frames?

There are a few lines of thought on this subject. The FF's are the very front of the cabinet and they should be tight. Since most of my cabinets are frameless, I treat the fronts the same way, except that the inside of the cabinet is used to screw them together.

With FF's, it may be difficult to get a clamp on the two joining ends. A large "C" clamp could be used, or any clamp with enough throat to reach. If there is a slight overhang on the two FF's, then screwing the cabinet walls will put a constant pressure on the two face frames.

For the finicky craftsmen like me, the holes drilled in the edges are drilled to accept plugs that can be sanded flat, thereby hiding the assembly screws.
 

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Senior Member from MN
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219 Posts
Excellent.

The reason I ask is I am getting close to hanging 4 cabinets over the laundry area. My current problem is that I get little bits of time to work on it every so often, which has led to mistakes that I wouldn't have made otherwise.
 
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