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
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.
On 14 Aug 2003 13:56:11 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
Tom Watson - Woodworker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 22:10:38 GMT, email@example.com (Renata)
I get my hardware from Briggs but I think they only sell to the trade.
So far as I know there are no reasonably priced undermount slides.
Tom Watson - Woodworker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
...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?
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.
All these things can be done by us (the industry). Talk to other shop
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)
I agree with what you are saying here in your whole statement (without
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
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
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
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
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
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).
ELM Woodworks, LLC
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?
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 ...
"Woodstock" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
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.
Tom Watson - Woodworker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
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