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  #1   Report Post  
damian penney
 
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Default Face Frame Alignment

I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?

  #2   Report Post  
David
 
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Shoot for close to flush; say less than 1/32" higher than the bottom of
the cabinet. Perfectly flush is a mark of attention to detail and some
cabinetmakers make the FF flush with the bottom as a matter of course.
Others leave it a bit higher.

David

damian penney wrote:

I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?

  #3   Report Post  
SonomaProducts.com
 
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It's a production thing. If you are building fine furniture you design
the edges to be exactly together and hand plane them to an exact smooth
finish, gently creating razor thin curls of wood as classiscal music
wafts slowly through the shop.

In the real world, you design them with a 1/4 overlap so as long as you
get withing 3/16 it's all good baby and you bang it on with your nail
gun as Howard Stern blasts out of the raspy stereo speakers in the
corner.

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Swingman
 
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"damian penney" wrote in message
I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?


Anybody can do flush. I leave an elegant 1/8th" lip ... it is a "mark of
distinction" to me, and I defy you to find a better built cabinet.

IOW ... go with what you like and don't worry what others say. ;)

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04




  #6   Report Post  
damian penney
 
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Okay, thanks guys, personally I like them flush so I'll shoot for that,
knowing my luck they will end 1/8" lower than the bottom though...

  #7   Report Post  
Robatoy
 
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In article .com,
"damian penney" wrote:

I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?


A flush FF at the bottom makes it one helluva lot easer to sweep out.

Okay.. leave 1/32 if you must.

Rob

Don't sweat the petty things or pet the sweaty things.
  #8   Report Post  
Swingman
 
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"damian penney" wrote in message
Okay, thanks guys, personally I like them flush so I'll shoot for that,
knowing my luck they will end 1/8" lower than the bottom though...



Just keep in mind that you will then have to "edge band" your shelf paper.


--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


  #9   Report Post  
Rick Samuel
 
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Do you use biscuits to maintain flush? I find it works great.


  #10   Report Post  
Roger Shoaf
 
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"Mike G" wrote in message
ews.com...

I make mine flush because I like them that way and I'd like to think I
turn out a far better cabinet then what you'll find at Home Expo but,
when you come right down to it, it really doesn't make a hell of a lot
of difference in the functionality of the cabinet.


Be kind to SWMBO, if the frame is not flush it leaves a little place for
crud to catch. If flush, it is much easier to wipe clean.

--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
they come up with this striped stuff.




  #11   Report Post  
John DeBoo
 
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****, I *wish* mine would come out flushG!

damian penney wrote:

Okay, thanks guys, personally I like them flush so I'll shoot for that,
knowing my luck they will end 1/8" lower than the bottom though...

  #12   Report Post  
Leon
 
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"damian penney" wrote in message
oups.com...
I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?


Think about it this way.

1. If you spill something in the cabinet, would it not be easier to wipe or
sweep it out over a flush edge than a raised edge?
2. Does it seem that a flush fit would be harder and require greater
expertise than having a lip?

Expo does have some decent stuff but it will never compare to well thought
out and well built cabinets.


  #13   Report Post  
damian penney
 
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That is how I was planning on getting it flush, yes.

  #14   Report Post  
Unisaw A100
 
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It's easier/cheaper to have it not align. In other words,
less skilled labor can be used.

UA100
  #15   Report Post  
 
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I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame
should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a

1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like

that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?


I make mine flush because I like them that way and I'd like to think

I
turn out a far better cabinet then what you'll find at Home Expo but,


when you come right down to it, it really doesn't make a hell of a

lot
of difference in the functionality of the cabinet.


I guess I'm not getting this. To make it flush would mean the width of
the face frame at the bottom would be no more than 3/4" (the thickness
of the wood it is covering). Isn't that right?



  #16   Report Post  
Doug Miller
 
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In article .com, " wrote:

I guess I'm not getting this. To make it flush would mean the width of
the face frame at the bottom would be no more than 3/4" (the thickness
of the wood it is covering). Isn't that right?

Flush just on the inner edge of the face frame. The frame can be as wide as
you like.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)

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  #17   Report Post  
 
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Doug Miller wrote:
In article .com,

" wrote:

I guess I'm not getting this. To make it flush would mean the width

of
the face frame at the bottom would be no more than 3/4" (the

thickness
of the wood it is covering). Isn't that right?

Flush just on the inner edge of the face frame. The frame can be as

wide as
you like.


Ok, but you'd have a big edge of the face frame hanging over the edge
of the cabinet, right?
Any pics to demonstrate what this might look like?

  #19   Report Post  
Doug Miller
 
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In article .com, " wrote:

Doug Miller wrote:
In article .com,

" wrote:

I guess I'm not getting this. To make it flush would mean the width

of
the face frame at the bottom would be no more than 3/4" (the

thickness
of the wood it is covering). Isn't that right?

Flush just on the inner edge of the face frame. The frame can be as

wide as
you like.


Ok, but you'd have a big edge of the face frame hanging over the edge
of the cabinet, right?


Yes. So what? That's the way the bottom rail of most cabinets is attached
anyway.

Any pics to demonstrate what this might look like?


Looks like a normal cabinet.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)

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Roger Shoaf
 
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wrote in message
oups.com...


Ok, but you'd have a big edge of the face frame hanging over the edge
of the cabinet, right?
Any pics to demonstrate what this might look like?


=========||

In the above, assume the == line is the bottom of the cabinet and the ||
line is the face frame. The face frame is usually about 1 1/2 inches and
the bottom of the cabinet is usually 3/4 inch. In a base cabinet there is
no problem since the lower part of the face frame stands clear of the floor,
and on a wall cabinet the overhang is no problem either as the face frame
just hangs down a little.

Note I could not figure out how to get the top of the || to be flush with
the top of the == so use your imagination here. Also if you look at the
cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom you can probably see it in real life.

--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
they come up with this striped stuff.




  #21   Report Post  
Swingman
 
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"Unisaw A100" wrote in message
It's easier/cheaper to have it not align. In other words,
less skilled labor can be used.


The subject "lip" has always apperared to be a "traditional" design element
of sorts to me. The question is whether its genesis is based on "skill" or
some other factor?

Many custom cabinetmakers attach the FF to the carcass with a groove.
Whether the top of the bottom FF rail is flush with the top of the floor of
the cabinet is just a matter of cutting either a rabbet or a groove in said
rail. The "skill" is the same to cut either with a power tool, and a lot
more skill to cut the groove which insures the "traditional" lip, by hand.

IOW, if there was indeed a "skill" factor involved in the days of yore, it
seems that the lip could have taken a tad more skill to produce.

I've rarely seen a face frame cabinet without this "lip" ... even the
Mexican 'cabinetmakers' around here who "build-in" monolithic units use it
when doing the traditional face frame cabinet.

In short, if you see a face frame cabinet with the subject lip, don't
automatically assume that it is somehow inferior and made with "less
skilled" labor.

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


  #22   Report Post  
Leon
 
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wrote in message
oups.com...
I guess I'm not getting this. To make it flush would mean the width of
the face frame at the bottom would be no more than 3/4" (the thickness
of the wood it is covering). Isn't that right?



There is nothing stopping you from and wrong with the face frame extending
past the bottom of the cabinet floor into the toe kick area. Typically the
bottom of my Face Frames are 1"- 1 1/4" wide, extending past the bottom of
the cabinet floor about 1/4" - 3/4".


  #23   Report Post  
Nova
 
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damian penney wrote:

I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?


Having the frame and the bottom flush sure makes thing easier to clean any
spills on the inside of the cabinet.

--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)


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Swingman
 
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wrote in message

Any pics to demonstrate what this might look like?


OK ... Here's a cabinet with the 1/8th" lip.

Sorry about the focus (new camera, and all that) and the white in the
cabinet corners are artifacts/reflection from the camera flash, but it will
give you an idea of the subject.

http://www.e-woodshop.net/files/cablip.jpg

The bottom rail is coming toward you ... the "lip" between the top of the
FF rail and the floor of the cabinet is, in this case, subtle, but present.

As far as the much mentioned "cleaning" aspect of a subtle lip like this, it
has never been a problem IME, and I'd bet that anyone with actual experience
with this "design element" will verify that is rarely the case.

As in all cases, ymmv

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


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TheNewGuy
 
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If "the lip" is a sign of craftsmanship/attention-to-detail, but you
want to maintain "cleanability," then "just" chamfer the bottom rail's
inside-top edge in advance of the FF assembly ;^)

Right? ;^)



  #26   Report Post  
HerHusband
 
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I read in my Building Kitchen Cabinets book that the face frame should
be aligned so that it's flush with the inside bottom of the case.
However looking around Home Expo all their cabinets have about a 1/4"
lip between the face frame and the cabinet bottom (and it's like that
in our current cabinets). Thoughts ?


I recently built a whole house full of cabinets, using 3/4" birch ply and
common #2 pine lumber. They aren't "fine craftsman" quality, but they're
certainly nicer than anything we saw at the home centers (and a lot less
expensive).

I made the face frames by ripping 1x6 and 1x8 pine boards into 2" strips. I
then cut selectively between the knots to end up with mostly clear lumber
for the face frames. I cut the frames to size and assembled them with
pocket screws.

I made my face frames the same height as the cabinet sides, and the cabinet
bottom is flush with the top of the lower rail of the face frame. Despite
my best efforts, I didn't always achieve "perfectly" flush joints between
the cabinet and face frame. But, a few minutes with a palm sander resulted
in perfectly smooth joints. Much easier to clean the shelves than if the
face frame stuck up a bit.

One advantage to having the face frame hang below the cabinet bottom is the
ability to mount undercabinet lights on the bottom of the cabinet.

I didn't do any fancy joinery with my cabinets. The carcass is simply glued
and nailed together with an air nailer. I also glued and nailed the face
frames on. The glue provides the strength, the nails just hold everything
together till the glue drys. Yes, we had nail holes to set, fill, and sand,
but that was a minor issue and just adds to the character of our cabinets.

The carcasses were made of the 3/4" birch plywood, except where the sides
of the cabinet shows. For those I glued up pine boards into panels that
would match the cabinet doors and fronts.

I finished the cabinets with Minwax "preconditioner", followed by a coat of
Minwax "Windsor Oak" stain, and two coats of Olympic Oil Based Satin
Polyurethane.

We were aiming for a "rustic" look and are very pleased with the results. I
tried to leave a select number of tight knots in the pine panels and
whatnot which further enhanced the rustic appearance.

The only item I wished I had done differently was to stain the door panels
before assembling the doors. We built the doors first, then sanded,
stained, and finished them. However, a few weeks after moving into our
house, the heat and dryness from our woodstove allowed the door panels to
shrink away from the door frames. So, there are small unfinished lines
running along the insides of the door frames. No biggy, but it wreaks of
inexperience... Live and learn...

By the way, my favorite book on cabinet building is "Building Kitchen
Cabinets" by Udo Schmidt. It's part of Taunton's "Build Like A Pro" book
series. I learned a lot from that book...

Take care,

Anthony
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Swingman
 
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"TheNewGuy" wrote in message
If "the lip" is a sign of craftsmanship/attention-to-detail,


I think the "lip" is a matter of preference, which can be made into anything
you wish it to be ... and, in many cases, justification for the label "less
skilled" labor involved ... but not always.

but you
want to maintain "cleanability," then "just" chamfer the bottom rail's
inside-top edge in advance of the FF assembly ;^)

Right? ;^)


Actually, with a subtle lip, like the kind I prefer, a bit of 220 grit to
"break/ease the edges" (as DJM is fond of saying) before assembly is
generally all it takes.

AND, for all the naysayers, there is at least one benefit to the "lip" in
the cleaning controversy:

Anything spilled in the cabinet stays in the cabinet ... instead of dripping
all over Mom's apple pie, or that roast that just came out of the oven, and
sitting on the countertop.

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


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Roger Shoaf wrote:
wrote in message
oups.com...


Ok, but you'd have a big edge of the face frame hanging over the

edge
of the cabinet, right?
Any pics to demonstrate what this might look like?


=========||

In the above, assume the == line is the bottom of the cabinet and the

||
line is the face frame. The face frame is usually about 1 1/2 inches

and
the bottom of the cabinet is usually 3/4 inch. In a base cabinet

there is
no problem since the lower part of the face frame stands clear of the

floor,
and on a wall cabinet the overhang is no problem either as the face

frame
just hangs down a little.


Ok, forgot about the toe kick area, and I certainly wasn't thinking of
cabinets that hang on the wall!

Thx.

  #29   Report Post  
igor
 
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On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 09:22:27 -0500, Mike G wrote:

Lately I've taken to an entirely different way to get perfect fitting
face frames.

I cut and dry fit the rails and stiles making one stile is slightly over
sized in width. I cut biscuits for the joints in the face frame then I
glue and clamp one of the stiles in place on the carcass. That one I
flush too the side of the carcass. When the glue has set up I apply glue
and insert the biscuits and fit the rails glue and clamp them down to
the carcass. Since each is hand laid they are easily placed flush with
the shelves. When that glue is set up I apply the second over sized
stile in the same manner and when the glue has dried I use a flush cut
bit to trim it flush to the carcass.

Due to clamp time it takes a couple of hours longer to do it that way
but the result is a perfectly fitting face frame every time with no rush
to fix things if I find I happened to maybe cut a rail a tad shy or
proud or something thing isn't exactly square, it happens to all of us.

Note, I use the second stile with clamps but without glue to close the
joints between the first stile and the rails.


What connects the rails to the stiles? Glue? Glue and biscuits? It
_seems_ that in your process there is no force applied to the stiles into
the rails. I'm not saying that this is necessarily a problem. TIA. --
Igor
  #31   Report Post  
Swingman
 
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"Leon" wrote in message

Mike G" wrote in mess


I cut and dry fit the rails and stiles making one stile is slightly over
sized in width. I cut biscuits for the joints in the face frame then I
glue and clamp one of the stiles in place on the carcass. That one I
flush too the side of the carcass. When the glue has set up I apply glue
and insert the biscuits and fit the rails glue and clamp them down to
the carcass. Since each is hand laid they are easily placed flush with
the shelves. When that glue is set up I apply the second over sized
stile in the same manner and when the glue has dried I use a flush cut
bit to trim it flush to the carcass.

Due to clamp time it takes a couple of hours longer to do it that way
but the result is a perfectly fitting face frame every time with no rush
to fix things if I find I happened to maybe cut a rail a tad shy or
proud or something thing isn't exactly square, it happens to all of us.

Note, I use the second stile with clamps but without glue to close the
joints between the first stile and the rails.


Wow, so are your face frames not a rigid assembly? Will they hold the
cabinet square?


Heh heh .. different strokes. As long as his casework is perfectly square
by itself, this works, but I have never been that lucky.

Being one of those that if something can go wrong, it will, my preferred
method is to always make the FF first and take great pains in their assembly
and squareness, batch cutting all rails and stiles, and checking, and double
checking, "square".

Any FF that is not dead-on perfect is scrapped.

The cabinet sides, floor, and top on a wall cabinet, are then assembled _on_
the perfectly square face frame.

From then on out the cabinet is absolutely "square", they butt up to
similarly built cabinets with no gaps, and MOST importantly, the 36 doors
and umpteen drawers are guaranteed to fit right ... the first time.

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


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Leon
 
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"Swingman" wrote in message
...

Heh heh .. different strokes. As long as his casework is perfectly square
by itself, this works, but I have never been that lucky.


15years ago when I rebuilt my kitchen I used that method. I works but never
again.

Being one of those that if something can go wrong, it will, my preferred
method is to always make the FF first and take great pains in their
assembly
and squareness, batch cutting all rails and stiles, and checking, and
double
checking, "square".


I do the same. I measure the pieces to fit the cabinet, assemble the pieces
with pocket hole screws and then attach to the carcus.


Any FF that is not dead-on perfect is scrapped.


;~)

If my rail at the shelf level is too high I use a flush trim bit in my
router to make the rail even with the bottom of the cabinet.

So how's the house coming along?


  #33   Report Post  
Swingman
 
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"Leon" wrote in message

I do the same. I measure the pieces to fit the cabinet, assemble the

pieces
with pocket hole screws and then attach to the carcus.


Thank god for Kreg ..

Any FF that is not dead-on perfect is scrapped.


;~)

If my rail at the shelf level is too high I use a flush trim bit in my
router to make the rail even with the bottom of the cabinet.

So how's the house coming along?


Roofs on, plumbing rough-in and top out passed, electrical and HVAC started
.... now begins the endless minutiae and problem solving. Good news is that a
serious offer has been made, so we're actively looking at lots for this
year's start.

And speaking of cabinets ... I need to actually get off my duff and practice
what I preach in the FF department, real sooooon now!

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


  #34   Report Post  
igor
 
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On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 15:15:48 -0600, "Swingman" wrote:


Heh heh .. different strokes. As long as his casework is perfectly square
by itself, this works, but I have never been that lucky.

Being one of those that if something can go wrong, it will, my preferred
method is to always make the FF first and take great pains in their assembly
and squareness, batch cutting all rails and stiles, and checking, and double
checking, "square".

Any FF that is not dead-on perfect is scrapped.

The cabinet sides, floor, and top on a wall cabinet, are then assembled _on_
the perfectly square face frame.

Do you mean this literally? Could you prvode more details? For exampl,e do
you lay the assembled FF on the floor/table and then attach each cabinet
piece, one at a time, to the FF? W/ biscuits? -- Igor
  #35   Report Post  
igor
 
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On Fri, 07 Jan 2005 21:27:08 GMT, "Leon"
wrote:


"Swingman" wrote in message
...

Heh heh .. different strokes. As long as his casework is perfectly square
by itself, this works, but I have never been that lucky.


15years ago when I rebuilt my kitchen I used that method. I works but never
again.

Being one of those that if something can go wrong, it will, my preferred
method is to always make the FF first and take great pains in their
assembly
and squareness, batch cutting all rails and stiles, and checking, and
double
checking, "square".


I do the same. I measure the pieces to fit the cabinet, assemble the pieces
with pocket hole screws and then attach to the carcus.

It is my understanding from Swingman's post that he measures the carcass
_to_ the FF (I may be wrong about this), while you measure the FF to the
carcass. Also, I thought that squaring of the cabinet was done and _set_
when the back piece is attached. Certainly that is what happens (and is
all that could happen) w/ frameless cabs. So what is the big deal with FF
and square? -- Igor


  #36   Report Post  
Leon
 
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"igor" wrote in message
...

I do the same. I measure the pieces to fit the cabinet, assemble the
pieces
with pocket hole screws and then attach to the carcus.

It is my understanding from Swingman's post that he measures the carcass
_to_ the FF (I may be wrong about this), while you measure the FF to the
carcass.


I jumped too soon. I build the carcus first, the face frame second, and
then attach. After doing these for several years you learn what to watch
out for.

Also, I thought that squaring of the cabinet was done and _set_
when the back piece is attached.


For the tops I use backs but still rely on the face frame to square and keep
square the cavinet. For the bottom cabinets, which I have been building
lots of lately I do not use backs for the cabinets. I leave it all open so
that the plumbing does not become a nightmare when installing on bathroom
and kitchen jobs. Typically the wall is painted white and it helps to make
things lighter down there.

Certainly that is what happens (and is
all that could happen) w/ frameless cabs.


Possibly so however I have never built any frameless Euro style cabinets.

So what is the big deal with FF
and square?


I do not know. It is very easy for me to build a square face frame and as
long as the cabinet is built square and with equal height sides the frames
fit great.





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Swingman
 
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"igor" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 15:15:48 -0600, "Swingman" wrote:


The cabinet sides, floor, and top on a wall cabinet, are then assembled

_on_
the perfectly square face frame.

Do you mean this literally?


You betcha.

My first step is usually to build all the face frames, for both upper and
lower cabinets, _before_ I ever buy any sheet goods.

Could you prvode more details? For exampl,e do
you lay the assembled FF on the floor/table and then attach each cabinet
piece, one at a time, to the FF? W/ biscuits? -- Igor


Dado/grooves that accept the case parts are have been previously cut in the
FF rails and stiles and then the FF assembled (sometimes days or weeks
before the next step).

Dado/grooves that accept the floor, top and back panel have been precut into
the cabinet sides

Previously made FF is laid on the assembly table, face down. The cabinet
sides, floor and top are glued into the grooves pre-cut in the FF and
cabinet sides.

Note: All parts (FF and case parts) are batch cut beforehand, as batch
cutting is the best way to insure uniformity, accuracy, and therefore,
"square". (I try to NEVER move a fence until all the parts with the same
measurement have been cut.)

Assembling as above, using the known and carefully "square" built face frame
as a template, insures a square cabinet follows.

"Square" means BIG, HUGE benefits/savings in time and money during
installation, and the making and fitting of doors, drawers and door fronts.

This works well for me... as previously noted, it certainly is not the only,
or even the "right", way to do it ... ymmv applies.

--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 11/06/04


  #38   Report Post  
TheNewGuy
 
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Swingman wrote:

I think the "lip" is a matter of preference, which can be made into
anything you wish it to be ... and, in many cases, justification
for the label "less skilled" labor involved ... but not always.


Oh, I agree. Was being a bit flip. I should have just said that if
one WANTS the lip for whatever reason, then it could be chamfered to
aid sweeping out crumbs/spills/messes/whatever. Of course it adds to
production time, and more special handling of specific pieces.

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Unisaw A100
 
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Leon wrote:
2. Does it seem that a flush fit would be harder and require greater
expertise than having a lip?



The very reason I commented with the comment I commented
with, the added cost of labor to sand the two surfaces flush
with each other and not sand through the veneer on the
cabinet bottom, i.e., experienced workman.

UA100, who doesn't have a problem with the lip, just that
"better made" casework doesn't have a lip...
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Leon
 
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"Unisaw A100" wrote in message
...
Leon wrote:
2. Does it seem that a flush fit would be harder and require greater
expertise than having a lip?



The very reason I commented with the comment I commented
with, the added cost of labor to sand the two surfaces flush
with each other and not sand through the veneer on the
cabinet bottom, i.e., experienced workman.

UA100, who doesn't have a problem with the lip, just that
"better made" casework doesn't have a lip...


Ahh.. I am not saying the absence of a lip represents better made, just less
fuss to produce the lip. I sometimes purposely design in a lip to cut down
on labor time. A flush fit would be an exact fit where as with a lip any
height within reason is acceptable.


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