Non Face Frame Cabinets (european?)

Just curious about installing non-face-framed cabinets up against a wall, how does one compensate for imperfections in either the wall or heaven forbid the actual cabinet side panel itself? I know with a face-frame cabinet one scribes it in...
BTW, do I have the terminology correct in assuming that if there are no face frames it is "European?" If so what do they have against face frames in Europe?
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More efficient use of materials and their walls are all square flat and plumb.

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bradley snipped-for-privacy@XNOSPAMXhotmail.com says...

attached to the side of the case.
Kim
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Filler pieces of the same finish, scribing optional. Real world, the issue may be moot because there is not necessarily budget or concern for carefully fit cabinets..

The potential advantage is the design's optimized for what industry can do cheap, chipboard, automation, hinges that adjust out, etc., and minimizes what it cannot, complex joinery, solid wood, skilled labor, etc. There is no doubt that a face frame style adds strength, has the more woodwork-y aesthetic, and lends itself to the methods we use as hobbyists. But IME most commercial cabinet jobs of whatever style have other weaknesses, like mimimalistic drawer joinery and indifferent installation and maintenance, that are going to limit their lifespan anyway. Obviously, both styles have been around for years and years now and are available as good, or as schlocky, as anyone could want...IMO, just comes down to what people are used to seeing and think looks right.
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On 14 Aug 2003 13:56:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Woodstock) wrote:

My own and many other small shops, use what might be called a hybrid form of Euro and traditional in making casegoods.
I make frameless carcasses but do not use particleboard. I use hardwood ply. I use the Euro hinges and overlay the doors but, most often, there are pilasters applied that give the impression of face frame work.
I use maple dovetailed drawer boxes but use Euro slides, most often the undermounts, these days. I use a line borer to make adjustable shelf holes, as this usually works best for the client.
It's a, "Take what you want and leave the rest", sort of approach and allows for more of the budget to go towards good woods and finishes, rather than unnecessarily complex joinery.
Hanging rails are another good Euro feature that helps rather than hurts the process, as well as providing portability that is not there with traditional fastening methods.
It's and adaptive response to the marketplace that does not place undue burden on the quality of the job and, in fact, saves the money for that which can be seen and touched.
Regards, Tom Tom Watson - Woodworker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 22:10:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com (Renata) wrote:

Hi Renata:
I get my hardware from Briggs but I think they only sell to the trade.
http://www.chbriggs.com/webapp/commerce/index_right.jsp
So far as I know there are no reasonably priced undermount slides.
Regards, Tom Tom Watson - Woodworker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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...I once spent about a year working for someone who made furniture and cabinets in an (otherwise) one-person shop. We did two or three kitchens using essentially the the methods you describe...I agree mix and match generally makes for the best build quality and ability to target the budget to where it really counts. It stands to reason that the craftsperson-driven tradition is going to evolve a design that shows more concern for sound construction methods than will industry. The non-woodworkers I know have almost no way of perceiving value in cabinets except via brand name, high design, elaborate woods or finishes, or isolated features said to connote quality (e.g. "solid wood dovetailed drawers")...Of course, few people can afford to purchase the quality that small shops produce, and--except around here--next to no one can do it themselves. No?
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new custom kitchen cabs had these and they do look better to me.
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I'd like to rebut to this and add comments. Let's not get a big discussion going either. My shop cranks out frameless cabinets daily. About 90% of what we do is of this style. We do framed style when called for. You make it out that we are cheap and possibly looking for the almighty buck. This style of cabinet was designed in Europe and helps to conserve on the amount of wood used in construction. As for hinges and automation you speak of it's called a 32mm system. If you ever had to do this for a living you would learn to use the system and find it most helpful. Things are mostly set in stone which cuts down on labor hours. This has nothing to do with skill. It's just a tool to be used in layout and construction to minimize labor costs and time.

owners of small and large shops. Ask them where did they get their start. You would be surprised how many of them have started out in their garages doing then what you are doing now. As for skilled labor yes it's harder to find. We hire the best we can find. Don't blame us who hire people blame the school systems that are taking out the tech aspects of their school to save money. Just as now they are finding out that children that learn music have higher scores in school and learn better but where were the first budget cuts made in schools 20 years ago, the music area (yes I'm also an ex-professional musician)

taking it apart). Overall though it's still not the trade that does this but architects. I have as of yet come across a set of prints that the architect knew anything about cabinets. I fight on a daily basis on design of the cabinets. The way I feel about it is that the customer in the end is going to interact with my product more than that of anything else in the building (in most cases). I try and see what is to be designed and the possible use of the item and attempt to give the customer the correct item. We did a medical surgical clinic about a year ago that the owner after it was all done came to me and told me they were not happy with the cabinets. The contractor I worked for (his jaw about hit the floor and jumped right into that to defend me by saying he built to what was spec out). I'll admit I had a little bit of puckering going on also. She then clarified her statement. She liked our quality just not the layout and design. I built what was approved with only one design change that I could get approved. The architect would not approve anything else. I told her this and told her what my other wanted changes were and that is more of what she had wanted. Not what was built. The only change I could get (and this was after 4 letters to the architect) was the nurses station had 3 desk style cabinets in them. They were to be double drawers x 3 deep. These drawers by the size of the cabinet width would have been less then 6 inches wide each. That included the deep drawers for the bottom where they were laid out as obvious file drawer depth. Now what are you going to do with 18, 6 inch wide drawers where 6 of them were 10 inch deep. I have a hotel we are starting to layout and I'm already butting heads with the architect on it. There are 65 rooms and all with cabinets then there is the registration and breakfast area, break room, housekeeping room and etc. I won't get into the design problems I see and am trying to convince the architect about but the overall design is "goofy" to say the least. He wants laminate cabinets and doors with face frames. If we are doing wood lets do wood. If you want laminate cabinets then lets do frameless. I think mixing will just look, as I said, "goofy". It reminds me of another job that was spect out for multi-ply plywood (baltic birch, I forget the exact wording they used to describe the ply but it was for baltic), rabbet dovetail (half blind), nailed and laminated on all exposed sides, interior and bottom. A sample cabinet also had to be submitted for inspection before anything could be built or installed. I had not as of yet signed the contract and I backed out of that one after I saw I was going no where fast with the architect. I didn't like to do that to the contractor but he was the one who called me after he couldn't find anyone else to do the job. But he was also starting to play games with me and broke the contract up and would only give me the smaller portion. There were to be 400 work tables that he took out of the contract and I wanted those. That was where the money was on that job. He left me with only a few cabinets and it wasn't worth the hassle of the submittals for the very small amount of money.
We only build what we are told. We have to submit shop drawings for a job describing and showing details of what we are going to build and hardware used. There is also a spec book we have to follow and can submit for products to be approved before construction starts if we are going to use a type of hardware that is not approved. If the drawings are not what is wanted corrections are made to the drawings, we have to redraw these and resubmit. Once approved, stamped and signed off by the architect, this is when we can start building. This whole process can take a month or more (usually more). This is the "no fun" part.
I have worked with one architect on 4 different jobs and she will listen to me and take my ideas into serious consideration. We have worked together on 2 banks, 1 restaurant and a union hall we are currently working on. I have in fact educated her on a few areas only because I will take the time and go see her if I need to. Others in her trade will only look down on you as if you don't know what you are talking about (in the case of this hotel). I have gone to see the architect and he says his ideas will work and I say they won't. I have sent detailed drawings showing him that his idea won't work and have told him that I have already built cabinets like these for another hotel and this is what worked there. (I'm talking about the registration desk where equipment will not fit at current design).
Eric Morehouse ELM Woodworks, LLC
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I have recently felt the frustration in your post. Just built a house ... the architect too was "goofy", edging toward idiocy ... won't bore you with the details, but that is one class of folks to whom it is nigh impossible to attribute a sense of reality. Must be a genetic defect ... maybe one day a pill to alleviate the symptoms?
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Ok folks, between what I got here, and some other research I did online I found out about these frameless or "European" cabinets.
They were also called 32mm cabinets.
Apparently after WWII during the rebuilding process when solid wood was at a premium and many cabinets had to be manufactured this style was come up with to avoid the need of the face frame. Besides all that apparently the boring equipment used was standardized at 32mm so all the holes and measurements are 32mm apart. I am not sure why 32mm but WTH, I guess if it was 31mm or 33mm I would ask why it wasn't 32mm :)
The history of this development was quite interesting, and I usually don't dig history much , but there were no dates to remember in this lesson :))))
Anyone know much more about the concept and philosophies of these I would love for you to share. If the NG is not appropriate for such a discussion simply remove the simple enough spam spoiler from my email.. but I can't imagine it would not be interesting to someone else, and since wood was used I hope it is still on topic ...
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Absinthe wrote:

perspective.
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the term you are looking for is FRAMELESS
DAVE
Absinthe wrote:

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On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 13:49:03 GMT, "Absinthe"

Where frameless cabinets meet the wall, or where they meet another cabinet to form an el, a filler piece is used that usually sits in the same plane as the doors. It is attached to another piece that is screwed onto the sides of the carcasse.
I usually send these fillers out already attached to the carcasses and then scribe in the usual manner.
If you don't use filler pieces, you will have difficulty with the doors and drawer fronts banging into whatever is at ninety degrees to them when you try to open the door/drawer.
Regards, Tom Tom Watson - Woodworker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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