spacing for inset doors and drawers

I'm building a new cabinet for my kitchen and am trying to determine the right size to make the doors and drawers. The plans call for using inset doors and drawers (i.e. flush with the face frame). How much spacing do I need to allow for between the doors/drawers and face frame?
I live in Raleigh, NC where the summer humidity can be pretty intense but the winters are just cold enough to run the heater for 4 months, so I imagine I'll get some decent expansion/contraction. The doors are frame and panel, as are the large drawers, but for the small drawers I'm making the drawer fronts out of a single piece of poplar. They'll be 6" wide.
Thanks, -Doug
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3/32" to 1/8".
UA100
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"Doug Neumann" wrote in message

Somewhere between a 1/16th - 1/8th looks nice ... I generally try to get closer to the smaller dimension.
Inset doors and drawers can be a bitch to fit if you don't have much experience with them. Here are some tips from a previous post of mine to ponder::
Requirement: Perfectly,.as possible, "square" face frame.
Requirement: Perfectly, as possible, "flat" stock for the doors rails and stiles, so the door has NO warp.
If the door is warped, do something to get rid of it ... the warp, or the door. If the FF is warped ... well.
Make the door/drawer oversize in both dimensions ... about 3/32" wider and taller than the door opening ... you want to end up with about a 1/16 - 1/8" gap, all around, between the door and the face frame of a single, inset door in a cabinet.
I generally start by placing a bottom and top side, usually the bottom rail and hinge side stile, in the door opening.
Then start your choice of planing, cutting, jointing, sanding, on the top rail and opposite stile for a TIGHT fit of the door in the opening.
You got a choice of methods. If you're real good with a plane, you may find that an option. I generally use my stationary belt sander as there is generally less damage/chipout when sanding, and I often use the jointer now that I own a good one. A well set up table saw with a good blade is an option. Sanding is probably better if you've never done it before.
Once you get the top and hinge side reduced to where the door will go JUST go in the opening with NO room to spare, pull the door out and make a mark 1/8" across the top rail and opposite stile.
Plane, cut, joint, sand, to this line ... but sneak up on this line carefully.
Check the fit often ...
HTH ...
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Somewhere(Lowes ??), I found a book on "Kitchen Makeovers" that are articles from Fine Home Building....
There is an excellent story of a guy who builds these real snazzy kitchen cabinets that all have inset doors.
The "kicker" is that he hangs the doors and then builds the face frames "around" the doors, which really cuts down on the BS of fitting inset doors, which scares the crap out of me for a single door, but 30-50 doors that are ALL inset would just not be in my future....
Ahhh here it is:
http://www.taunton.com/store/pages/070637.asp
It's a handy little book on kitchen redo's....
Swingman wrote:

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"Pat Barber" wrote in message

Actually, and with the right tools on hand (a jointer is quickest) I can fit an inset door in just a few minutes ... it would take me much longer to build proper FF's around one door than that, much less 30-50. ;>)
Different strokes ...
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I think that it depends a lot on the size of the door(s).
I just finished a paint/finish/storage cabinet for the shop that had 4 inset doors, each about 22 x 72.
After I used the jointer to get the first one just right, I thought that it would have been a lot easier to build the FF's around each since they were a PITA to feed through the jointer - not to mention to mortise the hinges. Unfortunately, I had already had the FF's in place, so my "brilliant" idea will have to wait until the situation comes up again.
For regular cabinet doors of normal size, I think it's still better/easier to size the door to the opening.
My 2.
Lou

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I tend to cut my doors 3/16" under the opening height/width. Works for me. Of course doing it this way depends on the hinges you are using. SH
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Hi Doug, I also live in Raleigh and have wondered the same thing. Just built a chest of drawers/changing table. I used the 1/8 inch gap in the drawers. I think it is a bit too big of a gap. If I was to do it over I would go with something less. I like the post that says to cut to exact size than use a jointer to slowly take back the excess. Wish I read it prior to making the seven drawers. Oh well, live and learn.
So long, Brad

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I've been using the partial wrap hinges from Lee Valley for inset doors lately (Amerocks? http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.asp?pageA984&category=3,41241,41257&ccurrency=2&SID ). I have been sizing the gap to match the closest hing placement (about 3/32"), but have found that this is not enough with hard maple doors in my climate (NH). I'll be going to 1/8" and adjusting the doors out on the hinges a bit.
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As far as spacing, I use a 3d nail - seems about right.
Lou

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