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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building some shop carts to practice building cabinets before I tackle some built-ins. I'm currently building a planer cart with a hard maple face frame (3/4" thick, 1 1/2" wide). I'm planning to cut the frame a tad wide so I can flush trim it to the cabinet sides. Any pointers on a flush trim bit for this? I think I need a 1/2" shank, 1" cut depth / bottom bearing, but beyond that... 2 flutes? 3 flutes? spiral? cut diameter?

Thanks in advance for advice!
 

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You wouldn't trim a real cabinet so you shouldn't trim the practice one. Typically face frames for cabinets are slightly larger than the cabinet so that they can be screwed together and still look tight. You can see this if you look at your kitchen cabinets. The only tip I would give is to use a pocket hole jig, If you don't have one then take a look at Kreg. There are other brands available but stick with one that you clamp the wood into and not the kind that you clamp the jig to the wood. To me making face frames without pocket hole screws is like trying to make one without a table saw.
 

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You wouldn't trim a real cabinet so you shouldn't trim the practice one. Typically face frames for cabinets are slightly larger than the cabinet so that they can be screwed together and still look tight. You can see this if you look at your kitchen cabinets. The only tip I would give is to use a pocket hole jig, If you don't have one then take a look at Kreg. There are other brands available but stick with one that you clamp the wood into and not the kind that you clamp the jig to the wood. To me making face frames without pocket hole screws is like trying to make one without a table saw.
I don't understand. Why not?
 

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I'm building some shop carts to practice building cabinets before I tackle some built-ins. I'm currently building a planer cart with a hard maple face frame (3/4" thick, 1 1/2" wide). I'm planning to cut the frame a tad wide so I can flush trim it to the cabinet sides. Any pointers on a flush trim bit for this? I think I need a 1/2" shank, 1" cut depth / bottom bearing, but beyond that... 2 flutes? 3 flutes? spiral? cut diameter?

Thanks in advance for advice!
Any flush routing bit with bearing will be fine. We often use a 1" for face frames..
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Excellent idea to build shop cabinets to build up your skill and confidence.

I second using pocket hole jigs to make face frames. The important part is that you make certain your saw is set up EXACTLY 90 degrees to the table so your cuts are square. If they are square, you can measure the cabinet line two pieces of your faceframe stock on top, then measure the remaining width to get an exact fit. If you want it flush, cut the exact length, if you want 1/8th overhang, add a quarter to your measure for the rails.

Drill the pocket holes on the ends of the rails using the jig in the Kreg kit. When you screw in the pocket hole the joint will tighten up and be fairly strong. If you were accurate in cutting the 90s, it will also be square. I prefer the screws with the square head, they drive in more reliably than the phillips type. Use fine thread for hard wood, coarse for soft. I find 1 1/4 length is perfect for pocket holes. The pocket holes go on the edge of the cabinet so you don't see them.

All this assumes your cabinets are square. That is largely a function of your cuts, which means your table saw's blade is perfect 90 to the table. I popped for $30 and got a Wixey Digital Angle gauge from Amazon. It will get you to 90 exactly every time.

Square cabinets are also aided by use of proper clamping. There are a number of ways to do this.

Parallel clamps have wide jaws that are engineered to hold cabinets square during glue up. Augment this with a 90 degree corner brace clamped to the cabinet sides to hold everything square. Bessy makes the most common parallel clamps, but I got the Jet models instead because they have a quick release lever. They are expensive and you need to get one a foot longer than the maximum height of the cabinets you're making.

Rockler makes a plastic, L shaped gadget you can clamp into the corners.

You can use pocket screws to put together the carcuses. If they're cut square, these will pull the cabinet square. You'll use glue as well, so you can fit dry, open the joint by unscrewing the pocket hole screw, glue, then retighten. Kreg makes a clamp that helps with this process.

Pocket holes are not pretty. Not a problem on the top of a wall cabinet, but not so nice underneath. Kreg makes plugs you can cover and fill the opening with, but it will take patience and a japanese saw to do this. It requires using a wood filler, so finishing can be problematic. My kitchen wall cabinets are not finished underneath because we installed LED lights.

For base cabinets, you can hide the pocket holes with a counter top, and put them underneath the bottom. BTW, buy screws 500 at a time, they go fast on a cabinet project.

This is a lot of detail, but the real point is make sure your blade(s) are set exactly to 90 degrees.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. I realize the face frames for built-in cases would have overhang, but I'd probably still need to flush trim the edging on the shelves, so I figured this would be worthwhile practice. I noticed that Whiteside bit has a double-bearing. What's the advantage of that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks DesertRatTom. I'm definitely planning on using pocket screws for the face frame and I have everything on hand that I should need. I appreciate the detailed advice. I was looking at these Woodpecker box clamps as they seem like they'd be pretty handy for case construction. I've already done the case for the little rolling cart cabinet I'm currently building, and even without those I'm pretty happy with how they turned out (for a shop cart). I'll need more precision for something my family looks at every day though :)
 

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The whitesides is just an example. The double bearing is just an example

You always make your frames the exact size they are intended to be.

At some point I'll do a write up on building cabinets.

At this point are you using dado's to assemble your cabinets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For this rolling cart/cabinet, a simple rabbet on the top and bottom (also to help support the weight of the planer that will sit on top of it). The back will sit in rabbets too. I have some nice 4/4 hard maple waiting for my jointer to arrive before I tackle the face frame, top, and drawer fronts. And yes... my garage shop is carpeted. Whichever previous homeowner decided to lay carpet in there needs to be tortured indefinitely.

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Yeah, Kreg jig for me. I had good results using the jig, especially the modified one! :) Built a lot of projects using this type of screw/joinery.
 

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When it comes to cabinet shops.

Cabinet frame members are very precise. 2" is exactly 2" and so on. This way when frames are done they can be perfect. In your case there isnt much movement with a rabbit joint. So when making the cross members you might want to add a fraction to the rails to give you some play mounting to the frame...
 

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My version works great. A lot less money than the official Kreg jig.

And it also makes a good pecan cracker! :)
 

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The woodsmith poket holer is a excellent jig.

You should try it If you get a chance. I was going to make a larger version, but moved into furniture making and got away from it.

I may try and make one this winter if I can keep my attention o can it...
 

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Rebelwork I don't know about building one as elaborate as the one shown. It's big so it takes up a lot of space, and you have to buy a separate router and bit plus the hold down clamp and the wood. In the end are you any better off than just buying one? MT stringer yours looks like the Kreg at least the blue part of it.
 

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The Kreg K4 kit is the way to go for most of us. You will also need some clamps. This right angle clamp has proven very useful in holding a corner together while inserting screws.
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