Removing cabinet face frames from ply boxes

Hey ya'll, We've been going thru a rebuild process on a serious budget after the hurricanes in FL in '04.. We got given an entire kitchen full of wood cabinets, Oak face frames, and doors, finish 3/4" ply boxes.
Problem is , they style, and wood wise dont fit with anything else we have allready built. My question is, how would I go about redoing the face frames? IE: removing them from the ply box's which are all perfectly configured to our kitchen layout?
I'm good to go about building the face frames and doors, but I wantr to know how to seperate the face frames from the boxs sans ripping em all up
Thanks in advance, I look forward to hearing back
Steve and Barb @ Creations by Black HAwk
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"steve" wrote in message

Most, if not all, face frame style cabinets are also attached to each other through the face frame, as well as to the wall through a tack strip on the back.
There may also be a space between two cabinet sides due to a "scribe" allowance on the width of the FF themselves. (you can generally see this by looking at the wall cabinets from underneath)
IOW, even if the FF's are not glued to the boxes, which they would be if the cabinet maker knew what he was doing, removing them may seriously effect the stability of your installation.
Someone who has installed kitchens should be able to tell you by looking at the installation.
That said, it is amazing what you can do to kitchen cabinets by _refacing_ the doors, drawer fronts, side panels, and yes, even the face frames, with a wood veneer of your choosing.
There are companies who specialize in the very thing, so professional help is definitely advised ... attempting to remove the FF without some professional guidance is not.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 2/20/07
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I couldn't imagine anybody trying to remove any of my face frames off any of my boxes without making one helluva mess. DAHIKT, 'k?

Or even sanding them down and re-staining. Hinge holes and all that come into play, but worth trying before applying veneer.

I am shuddering at the thought...*yikes*
Quality work in re-finishing isn't cheap either. The bulk of the cost is in the doors and hardware as it is. Boxes themselves, although a solid chunk of the budget, can sometimes be replaced without surpassing the budget of a proper re-finish. The emphasis on 'proper'.
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I've done this on occasion, but never to a whole kitchen mind you! I simply clamped down on a stile or rail with one of my 24" Bessey clamps (to make a lever) and used the leverage to gently break the glue bond to the plywood case. I was able to add new face frames to several custom cabinets that were in a basement. The face frames were replaced to match some new cabinets I installed. It worked well. Just make sure the frames are not secured to each other before attempting to break the glue bond. --dave
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RE: Subject
I have some dumb questions.
If the F/F are glued, what type of glue is used?
If it is something like TiteBond II, then why not use a 1,500 watt heat gun to break the TiteBond II joint lose?
Just curious.
Lew
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remodeled her kitchen. They were a high end(from Lowes, yah, right!) line. A couple of them were not square and it was obvious they were glued together with hot glue and the glue had cooled before they were clamped. They came apart with a little coaxing with a heat gun.
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Jerry
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Ok, I guess I should have made myself a little more clear. These cabinets have been uninstalled from another home by a cabinet maker, that is replacing them with custom cabinets-so they arent tied together at present, or mounted.....they are all individual component pieces that will make up an entire kitchens worth.
Getting at things to attempt to take them apart, or stability with other cabinets isnt an issue as they are on the ground, adn all component pieces with their own full box ( no shared sides etc with other cabinets)
Ok, that said..I may try to take apart one of the smaller cabinets that probably wont be used in the kitchen, and use it as a crash test dummy so to speak. If I can get it apart, YIPPEEE, if I cant, im not going to be out much.
If all else fails, I guess I can strip, and restain the cabinets and do new doors.
Therein lies my next question......how dimensionally stable is pecan wood? I've never messed with it, but ended up with about 1500 BF of 7 year air dried 1" and 2" thick stock
Thanks for the suggestions ya'll Steve
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steve wrote:

Table saw. One pass on each side to trim the outer edge of the face frame flush with the plywood, then another pass right along the glue line to cut the face frame off the plywood.
As for dimensional stability, feel free to google search the list archives. Note that pecan is basically equivalent to hickory.
Chris
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