OMG This cabinet has a few screws. Normally I use no metal fasteners
on the carcass'. This cabinet FF's have rails that are just under 80"
long and I have no clamps that long. I used pocket hole screws on the
floating tenon reinforced FF joints to simply draw the joint together
while the glue dried. This is cabinet number 47, that has front and
back face frames, that I have built since December 2011.
I got the go ahead from my veterinarian to build this cabinet for her IT
room last Thursday morning. Monday I bought the materials, MDO and
poplar and began cutting. Two days later the cabinet was in the clamps.
The customer will paint and hang the cabinet.
As usual all panels fit with dado's and fit into groves on all rails and
stiles on both front and back FF's. Groves and dado's are 3/4" wide by
1/4" deep. I glued the FF's together after cutting all groves and then
completed dados on the FF"S where the joints are.
The front and back face frames, 3 vertical panels, and top and bottom
panels all went together in a single glue up. That was approximately
650 linear inches of groves and dado's that had to be glued in about a
10 minute period.
If you look closely at the bottom of the rail, both sides you will see
half of a French cleat. This will greatly aid in positioning the
cabinet near the ceiling before attaching with permanent lag screws
through the back face frame rails and stiles. The customer is going to
cover the 8'x8' wall with 2 3/4" sheets of plywood, glued to the wall
and screwed into the steel studs before hanging the cabinet.
The French cleat is white oak and attached to the FF with 8 floating
tenons and a pocket hole screw on each end on each opening. BTW, the
cabinet is up side down in this picture.
I really like working with this MDO product although as Swingman pointed
out earlier there can be a few thin spots under the outer veneer.
However out of 6 sheets that I bought for this job and the garage
cabinet job that I installed last week I have only found one spot where
the veneer had a void under it. I still much prefer this product than
paint quality plywoods. I just do not have issue with tear out and the
thickness is pretty consistent.
Next week I begin on the 4 doors.
On Friday, April 15, 2016 at 5:02:56 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:
I have to say, I looked REALLY close, and I just didn't see the half cleat.
The one man army of cabinet making is on the loose again! That's a lot of
work with your sure-shot methods to build a long lasting service cabinet, a
nd I will bet your clients are tickled pink to have someone produce that ca
liber of workmanship so quickly. No one around here could crank that out t
I haven't used any MDO for a while, but I will be looking into that product
when I need a paint grade panel. When it came up before under discussion
here I was waiting to hear what you thought. The last time I used it was a
while back and I made panel doors to match existing cabinetry, and as I sa
id, at that time I really liked the product for its consistency along with
the fact that it held paint very well.
Looks like this project is already well in hand!
On 4/16/2016 1:10 AM, email@example.com wrote:
If you look closely at the bottom of the rail, both sides you will see
No, not that picture, this one. ;~)
Look at the top of the bottom rail, zoom in and you can detect the bevel
on the back side.
I do not normally build quite as quickly as with this project, but I had
committed myself to be done by the end of the month and I had other
irons in the fire. Plus the weather was threatening all week so I
gambled and purchased materials first thing Monday morning. Then I hate
to have full sheets of material sitting around over night... ;~)
I have known about the product but never really thought to use it until
you mentioned it earlier. I love the fact that because the outer
veneers are coated with a resin they tend to not let moisture penetrate.
That IMHO is why the material remains very flat. This makes cutting
dado's in the material very easy especially when I do not have to worry
about the depth being the same all the way across the panel. And no
tear out of the outer veneer, cut edges remain crisp and sharp through
out the milling process and build.
I have not yet seen the product painted. ;~) I'm taking your word
about paint worthiness, but that has been backed up by my supplier and
At this point I need to build 4 doors and it will be complete. I'm glad
that the customer understood from the start that I would not be hanging
it. I thought the French cleat would aid greatly in getting the thing
into position so that they could fasten it with out worrying about
holding it up too. There are about 1.5 sheets of MDO in that cabinet.
I do not feel that the MDO is really much heavier, if any, than standard
paint grade plywood.
On Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8:44:32 AM UTC-5, Leon wrote:
Got it. My spacial orientation was goofed up.
Thanks for the report back. It makes sense that the more stable resins used
in the product could certainly lead to a more stable, consistent product d
ue to the difference in manufacturing. Some of the new "XXX boards" are re
ally wood products at this point, no longer wood plies of specifically orie
nted plies to make a stable plywood product. Personally, I have lost any o
f the romance of working around inferior grade products and their defects t
o prove my craftsmanship. I want a kill shot. So all the series of "MD wh
atever" stuff is good for me as long as I can turn out a quality end produc
Since you specify exactly what operations you used on the board (dadoes, cu
ts, cross cuts, etc.) that make your thoughts based on your experience valu
Crap... roll out the big gun, why dontja? To heck with me and your supplie
r, you summoned up "The Flannel One"! No one does that lightly... ;^)
I'm hoping to get my material for FF's tomorrow or the next day. This
post of yours reminded me of a question to ask you. You mentioned
cutting the completed dado's on the FF's. I have seen the before and
after's of the backsides of your FF's and wondered how you finished
the dado. If you used a saw for the edges and a chisel to hollow it
out, or a jig and router? or, or? :)
Btw, thanks for the posting of the basic information, it is a
confidence booster when doing your own stuff.
Trade secret. ;~)
I do not have a picture but will let you try to figure it out by my
description. I have toyed with building something better and maybe
selling it, butttttttt... I even contacted "The Routerman" about this
task and he was not sure himself of how to do it.
So you cut all groves in the stock before assembly. After assembly, at
every joint, you have to complete the groove/dado into the stile and
some times the rails if you have mid point stiles.
When Swingman and I were working together building kitchens the front
face frames needrd the same finishing touch. Fortunately the front face
frames inner sides face the back of the cabinet so if the completion of
that grove/dado is not perfect, no big deal. It is only a few inches at
most, mostly less than 1" long.
But 5 years ago, I with the wisdom of a higher power, came up with a way
to build cabinets/furniture with back face frames. And often these
cabinets have glass doors and or doors that expose the inner back face
frame from the inside of the cabinet. This presented a problem as the
cut to finish those groves/dados was going to be visible and needed to
be as close to perfect as possible.
Still with me? LOL
The finish cut is done with a trim router with a 1/2" diameter blade.
When Swingman and I did this, IIRC, we marked where the material needed
to be removed and eyeballed the cut, 1/4" deep. Not always pretty but
hardly visible unless yo crawled inside the cabinet and looked at the
back side of the FF.
So Have you ever seen a way to cut dado's, with a router, on a panel
using a couple of boards clamped on the surface? You use a scrap piece
of material that will fit into that dado to be cut to gauge the distance
between those the guide boards. You use a 1/2" diameter "top bearing"
flush cut bit to ride along those boards.
Still with me?
The method described above is slow and I have to make that cut a minimum
of 8 times on one cabinet.
Here is the secret. I use a scrap to place down into the existing dado
that needs to be extended. That establishes the width that I need to
complete the groves/dados. I attach a 1/2" length of Baltic birch
plywood to both sides of that scrap piece while it is sitting fully
seated in the groove. I do this with pocket hole screws. Now, those
lengths of BB are my guide rails for my trim router and are the same
width as the existing groove. Set the trim router on the guide rails
and adjust the bit to touch the bottom of the existing groove.
Take care with tear out on the exit side of the cut. And turn the
router off before removing from the jig or you will surely nick the
guide rails. DAMHIKT.
Clear as mud?
I'll take a picture if you nee one. ;~)
Got it! The thought occurred to me as I was reading it, that something
similar to a hinge jig modified, with one edge micro adjustable, and
clamps would work.
I like your fore and aft stops or nick protectors.
My wood is coming this afternoon, and the weather is finally GOOD!
Thanks for the wood picture, it seemed very clear to me, and I'll
print it out for my first FF for the corners, just to be sure.
The beauty to my jig is there is no need for clamps, the jig fitting the
grove snugly keeps it relatively stationary.
But as Swingman said there is no need to use a jig , for perfection, on a
surface what may never ever be seen again.
But, again, it does make quick work of finishing the dado's if nothing
I do hundreds, if not thousands of faceframes for kitchen and bath
cabinets, and simply use a Bosch Colt, by hand, for that task.
I simply mark the two delineating lines with a square and freehand it
with a laminate trimmer; if the wood is dodgy, and/or subject to
tearout, I simply score the lines with a sharp chisel first.
... and yes, when _I_ do it, it is very rare that it is not "pretty".
To wit: ;)
TIP: If you need greater than 'by hand' precision, you can also use a
small framing square as an edge guide for your router.
Or - make a simple jig.
Context: If you are making one-off _furniture_ pieces, and using face
frames both front and back, by all means do whatever is necessary to get
a fine furniture "fit and finish".
That said, on kitchen cabinetry, using two face frames on single cabinet
is not only redundant and unnecessary for structural purposes, but far
from _cost effective_ , as it doubles the cost of both your faceframe
material, as well as the shop time in making them ... not something you
can get away with when competitive bidding on a large kitchen with
dozens of cabinets.
WOW! I have built just under 100 front and back FF's in the last 5 years
and maybe 50-60 in the years prior to that. If I had thousands under my
belt maybe I would not need a jig. Although with the jig I can knock out
4-6 dado completions on a FF in less than a couple of minutes, placing the
jig, cutting, walking over to the next cut spot and repeating.
Actually I think front and back FF's on permanently mounted cabinets would
be a waste of money and time. I do it because it greatly strengthens
furniture that most certainly will be moved from time to time and hopefully
will last for generations. I did do f&b FF's on my recent garage cabinet
job because I feel that they will be removed and relocated one day, and
that was what the customer wanted.
I'm considering that after reading Leon's post, but I want to do a few
first the way you guys did it just to get a handle on it.
Yes, I was thinking about that as well, and as these are kitchen
cabinets I bought so poplar for bracing and will more than likely use
1/4" plywood for the backs. If I don't then I will paint the walls
before doing the installation so as not to ruin the painted cabinets.
I couldn't locate your post this morning on the table saw riving knife
and the out feed table, I was going to reply to that first, but I will
do it later today when I locate it.
Thanks for your comments as well, Mr. HP ;)
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