Adding framing to frameless cabinets


I have been reading all about building face frame and frameless cabinets and I like the face frame look - it really shows off a good wood. But I don't like the idea of the seam that is evident between each cabinet (where each face frame cabinet is butted up to the next cabinet - that is, the seam between the stiles on adjacent cabinets). So, I plan on doing this: 1. Build the cabinet carcasses as if they are frameless cabinets (no gaps between adjacent cabinet sides) 2. Install the cabinets and butt the sides of each cabinet to each other 3. Add the face framing at this point using biscuits or pocket screws to hold the face frame to the sides. 4. Set and install the doors/drawers hardware using typical face frame hardware
The advantage of this approach is that the top and bottom rails can be continuous (no breaks) and there is no seam in the stiles that separate the cabinets. The disadvantage is that you cannot set your doors or drawers until the cabinets are installed into the kitchen. So a good percentage of the fabrication occurs in the kitchen (which isn't a problem for me - the homeowner)
Has anyone else done it this way? Are there problems that I didn't consider?
Thanks
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How straight are the walls and how long is the longest run? If the walls aren't straight (unless Tom Silva framed the walls with ripped microlam they aren't) the rails are going to have noticeable bows. You will also need to make sure the cabinets are plumb, level and aligned vertically. Standard cabinet installation allows for all of these imperfections.
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RayV wrote:

Standard cabinet installation uses shims, scribing and other methods to make sure that a block of cabinets is flush in both planes. Really no difference between the two methods, and there's no reason to have non-planar cabinet runs or bowed rails.
R
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How are you going to hang the doors ???
Flush mount or inset or are you trying to create a "faux inset" look by hanging the doors first and then wrapping the face frames around the doors ???
snipped-for-privacy@hiwaay.net wrote:

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For Pat Barber, I am going to hang the doors last and use door and drawer hardware that attaches directly to the face frame. It mounts to the side of the face rame (sort of grabs it). Blum makes some good european style hinges that mount this way.
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That should work ok then.... Inset doors are a major pain in the arse and I just read an article in a FWW special on how to get around that.
I have used those hinges before and they are just fine.
snipped-for-privacy@hiwaay.net wrote:

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Thanks to all that responded - I feel much better about going forward as I described (PS For those that asked, the doors and drawer fronts are all going to be full overlay, so alignment is not that critical.
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snipped-for-privacy@hiwaay.net wrote:

That's the standard way to site build face frame cabinets. If you're using doors and drawer fronts with a lipped profile it's a snap. It's more work to make the doors flush, but if you keep the openings square it's not a big problem.
R
R
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How 'bout one big assembly? (If it's less than 8 feet)
-Steve
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Actually that is a best way and 8' is not a limit. I have an 11' cabinet in my kitchen that I built as 1 piece.
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snipped-for-privacy@hiwaay.net wrote:

soooooooo:
That shouldn't be a problem.

That will give you a nice thick gable to:

Pockets are going to leave those unsightly holes on the inside of the cabinets.... but will be fine to pre-assemble the frames. Biscuits will be fine to attach the completed frames to the cabinets.

I'm doing a kitchen this way now. Visible hinges. No rocket science req'd.

I prefer the look of the rails between the stiles. But we all have choices. (I even create a minute groove to enhance that look). I do like the look of a wide stile without seams between the cabinets. That's worth doing IMO.

In my case, I'd never stop messing with the adjustments.
If you go the euro-hinge route, you can either attach a special plate to the edge of the stile or you can get the much thicker plates to end agains the gable and up flush with the edge of the stile. Flush doors will be a whole lot of fiddlin'. That gap can't be very loose..or you'll see the edge of the shelves, Tupperware etc. etc. As suggested already, go with an partially 'let-in' overlap. That will hide a whole myriad of minor errors.

Maybe you are underestimating the hassles you'll encounter when you flush mount the doors. Not difficult, just tedious. If the doors are perfectly flat on all planes, perfectly rectangular... same thickness? Wood grain? I have done this many times and I have thoroughly disliked doing it that way as many times. The results are never up to standard. Not only do you have to make sure the gap is the same all the way around, but also the same as the cabinet next to it. ...One humid day and you'll be at it again. 5 degree temperature change..out comes the plane and the Valium.

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This is not a disadvantage ... it is a "good thing", most of the time. ;)

This is also a "good thing" ... custom is as custom does.

While I have done it both ways, I rarely have the option to take the time to do kitchens as you are anticipating, but it is precisely the way I prefer doing "built-ins", like book cases.
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2. Install the cabinets and butt the sides of each cabinet to each

I have done it both ways in that I added the face frame after the entire 14' cabinet was assembled as one unit. I prefer separate cabinets for maneuverability and not having to add face frames after the circuses are installed. Done properly you should not see the seams where face frames attach to each other.
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