How do you best mount a cabinet face frame?
I have already made a carcass and it has raised panels on both sides. I
now want to use a face frame to mount 3 doors (previously was just
going to edge mount). How should I attach the face frame so that I dont
have to drill or mar up the raised panel sides? The side railes are
about 2" wide using 3/4" oak.
I was just going to build the face frame as a unit then attach to
carcass. Face frame will probably be about 1.5" wide using 3/4" oak. I
have a biscuit cutter I could use to biscuit around the edge of the
carcass w/matching cuts in back of frame, then glue and clamp. But
since there would be constant weight of doors/frame pulling frame away
in line with the bisquits, it doesnt seem like the bisquits provide
much strength in that orientation and its all glue for strength with no
Thanks for any tips.
I agree with Leon. Much of the work I do these days I use only a brad
nailer along with glue. I've had people question the practice however,
a decent glue joint is stronger that the wood itself. The brads are
simply to hold position until the adhesive cures.
Also, keep in mind that biscuits have a number of benefits. In this
case a bicuit would increase the adhesive surface area.
Add my voice to the chorus, too -- and I'll also point out that the
carcase doesn't need to be solid wood, either. Even if the carcase is
melamine-covered particle board, glue-only still works just fine. Before
actually doing this, to test the concept, I glued (Titebond II) a scrap of
cherry to the edge of a piece of melamine PCB and allowed the glue to cure for
36 hours. Then I tried to remove the cherry, first with my fingers, then with
a hammer. The glue joint held, and the wood broke.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
The "strength" provided by the proper glue without mechanical fastening will
be the least of your worries.
Since you are doing it as an afterthought, you will very much appreciate the
"alignment" that carefully placed biscuits will provide when mounting a FF
on a carcase.
Besides biscuits, there are as many ways to attach a FF as there are to make
one ... among them splines, pocket hole screws, dadoes/grooves, dowels, and
the time honored, but much maligned these days, finish nail.
And, as Leon says, glued wood to wood should provide sufficient strength,
combined with any of these methods, or in many cases, by itself.
Biscuits won't add strength but will help alignment of you think it
will be a problem. More hassle than worth in my shop.
You can use pocket screws from inside th cabinet into the back of the
frame if you have a portable pocket screw setup. I've seen lots of
these done with just glue. The shop I am in has two big racks of pipe
clamps just for this purpose.
Lots o' guys use finish nails but being a furniture person I just hate
to see that but it is done in production of pretty highend kitchens
The best way is pocket screws. Very easy and very clean to use. I just
finished a book case and the are wonderful. I use the Kreg set up. You can
get these at Menards or the specialty shops.
The biscuits will do fine. I've used them to install lots of face
frames, though usually I will assemble the frame on to the case piece
by piece rather than as a unit. If the back of the cabinet hasn't been
installed yet, and if the design will hide the holes on the inside,
pocket holes & screws might be an option.
Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - email@example.com
For the two sets of face frames I've made up, I used dowels and dowel
centers to mark the locations on the face frames. Then glue was used
to hold them on.
BUT if I was doing a whole kitchen I would look at pocket hole
attachement as that would allow someday a simple face frame and door
upgrade to the kitchen.
If one used dowels or biscuits, I suppose a one side flush cut off saw
could be used to severe the face frame from the cabinets.
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