Cabinet Face Frame - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cabinet Face Frame

I have checked videos on YouTube, but couldn't find an answer. when installing a face frame to the caucus is the inside face frame flush with the sides, then you leave a little on the outside which can be taken off with flush trim bit. Thanks.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 07:34 PM
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Bill normally a face frame extends past the inside of the carcass. The number I've always gone with is about 1 1/2" on the ends and if there is a center divider then it is around 2". The object is so that the gaps around the doors that shows the face frames is roughly equal to the eye.

Another option, which is closer to Euro style, is to add wood to the edges of the melamine (which is the normal material of choice) or ply, and go with 1/2 or full overlay of the doors. The normal Euro style is to tape the edges of the panels and go with inset doors.

I strongly recommend installing drawers instead of shelves. Drawers eliminate getting down on your knees to find what is on the back of a bottom shelf. I did this with my last design but you may not be able to use the Euro hinges with it unless you plan so that they won't interfere with the drawers pulling out as they stick out quite a bit and the old style American Standard face frame hinges didn't stick out at all.

I put face frames on my own cupboards but then I had to add spacers behind the slides to incorporate drawers and now I'm looking at what hinges I can use with it. If I were to do it over again I think I would have added spacers between the individual units and then doweled or biscuited the face frames on after so that they were flush to the insides which would have made things a little easier.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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well my cabinet I am starting with is for my drill press, it will be just drawers.. I wanted to get practice in before I build the ones for the house... Thanks

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 08:20 PM
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I make face frames to fit flush to the outside of the carcass. If you have built it square, the faceframe should fit exactly. If over slightly, you can use a trim router to make it even. I generally make faceframes using 1.5 inch wide stock. Cut precisely on the ends, and cut all same length pieces at the same time or use a stop block. I put them together with pocket hole screws and the jigs cause the ends to close up tight and square (if the ends are square) Square is the key word. How you attach them to the carcass is a choice to consider, biscuits work and are invisible, but I generally just use glue or pocket holes inside and out of sight. Pocket holes are a pain to make disappear if they are visible. If you're using a table saw, get your Wixey out and make certain the blade is 90 to the table, and use a good square to make certain your miter gauge is 90 to the blade,or use a sled you know is 90 tothe blade.

I measure the face carefully then calculate the rail length, minus two style widths for an exact fit. There are lots of ways to do a faceframe, but pocket screws have made it easy and reliable for me, and they don't show from the front. Glue if you like but glue squeeze out can mess up a finish, and once attached to the carcass, the pocket screws are never going to let go.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bill.marshall.94 View Post
well my cabinet I am starting with is for my drill press, it will be just drawers.. I wanted to get practice in before I build the ones for the house... Thanks

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Bill, almost sounds like what I did! When I mentioned to my wife, that I might build our cabinets, instead of buying them, when we were discussing renovating our kitchen and living room. She gave me that look. Since we were renovating our master bath, I made a deal with her. I told her I was going to build our vanity, instead of buying it, just to see if I could do it. If it came out bad, I'd use it in my shop and buy one for the bathroom. But, if we both liked it, then I would make the cabinets for the kitchen. I built quite a few things, but never a cabinet. When she saw the finish product, she asked me why I wasn't in my shop, starting her cabinets!! ?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-15-2016, 11:22 PM
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for drawers.. flush to the drawer side...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 12:14 AM
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Bill; most commercially made cabinets leave the face frame proud of the carcass by a tich on the outside. It allows you to snug the cabinets up tight to one another when installing. Pretty risky doing an exact flush fit to the the gables.
Assuming you're using 3/4" hardwood plywood (or MDF) the only gables that will be exposed (seen) are possibly the ones at the end of a run, if they're not up against a wall.
ie the only frame to gable joints visible are those.
The inside is another story. See the other comments. Having said that, if you're not going to have significant frame exposure than why bother with face frames? Euro style construction works great and eliminates a whole bunch of issues with doors/drawers etc.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
I make face frames to fit flush to the outside of the carcass. If you have built it square, the faceframe should fit exactly. If over slightly, you can use a trim router to make it even. I generally make faceframes using 1.5 inch wide stock. Cut precisely on the ends, and cut all same length pieces at the same time or use a stop block. I put them together with pocket hole screws and the jigs cause the ends to close up tight and square (if the ends are square) Square is the key word. How you attach them to the carcass is a choice to consider, biscuits work and are invisible, but I generally just use glue or pocket holes inside and out of sight. Pocket holes are a pain to make disappear if they are visible. If you're using a table saw, get your Wixey out and make certain the blade is 90 to the table, and use a good square to make certain your miter gauge is 90 to the blade,or use a sled you know is 90 tothe blade.

I measure the face carefully then calculate the rail length, minus two style widths for an exact fit. There are lots of ways to do a faceframe, but pocket screws have made it easy and reliable for me, and they don't show from the front. Glue if you like but glue squeeze out can mess up a finish, and once attached to the carcass, the pocket screws are never going to let go.
I agree with you Tom on assembling the cabinet facings with pocket screws, they work great. But if I intend to add more cabinets together side by side like in the kitchen, then I make the facings slightly larger then the carcass , so that when connecting them together, I get a better fit.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 07:36 AM
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I used pocket hole screws on everything on my cabinets. Boxes, face frames and doors (shocker style). On the boxes, you put them on the inside on exposed sides and outside on walls that you can't see (facing walls of two cabinets). None show on the faced frame, they face inward. The only ones that really show, on my cabinets, are when you open up the doors. You see the ones that hold the frame of the doors together. I took extra care in placing and fitting them. I sanded them right away, as the glue was still wet, and the sanding dust helped fill any little gaps, and so they really don't look bad!

I also made my face frames protrude my boxes. About 1/16.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 07:48 AM
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For one cabinet do it as a piece of furniture and make the outsides flush. As far as the size of the framing goes that depends on whether or not you are using European hinges. If using them then decide how much wood that you want to see on the frame and go with the appropriate overlay hinge. A center stile is not needed unless the cabinet is large and you are going to have a shelf which it sounds like you aren't. As others have said use a pocket hole jig, with one you can make not only the frame but the complete cabinet, and you can do so in a quarter of the time.
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