Author Topic: Joining face frame wall cabinets  (Read 2478 times)

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Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 526
Joining face frame wall cabinets
« on: February 27, 2021, 09:18 AM »
Looking for advice on proper way to arrange face frames and join together.  In the few I have done, I over hang the face frame by about 1/8" on the sides.  If you have a run of these (4 in next project), would you still put that space on the sides where they join?  If so, in my case, the actual cabinet would have 1/4" between.  I assume you just try to maintain that 1/4" going back to the wall.  I do use the Bessey face frame clamps to pull the faces together to join there. 

Are there other/better ways?

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6416
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2021, 09:37 AM »
Yes, leave the space.

If you are fabricating the cabinets, make this run as one unit.

Tom

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4162
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2021, 09:40 AM »
If you know that you're going to put up four cabinets and know that you'll never change the configuration once installed, why not just make up the four boxes to the exact size, hang them precisely, then make a single face frame to cover all four boxes?  It will make for a neater overall appearance, and if you need to do any scribing, you'll be able to do it all at once. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 526
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2021, 09:49 AM »
Yes, leave the space.

If you are fabricating the cabinets, make this run as one unit.

Tom

Thanks Tom.  The plan is 4x 30" wide cabinets.  Are you saying make one 120" cabinet?  If so, I would never get it hung.

If you know that you're going to put up four cabinets and know that you'll never change the configuration once installed, why not just make up the four boxes to the exact size, hang them precisely, then make a single face frame to cover all four boxes?  It will make for a neater overall appearance, and if you need to do any scribing, you'll be able to do it all at once. 

Hey Willy.  I have thought of that but there is a 25% chance we will move in 2-3 years and my wife will want those cabinets wherever we move too.  The single face frame has always appealed to me though.  Not having those vertical lines between cabinets should look very nice.

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6416
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2021, 09:53 AM »
Yep, 120" cabinet, we hang ours on cleats. Longest one we've done one piece was just over 15'.

If you don't want to do a 120---2-60's?

Tom

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5228
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2021, 12:05 PM »
Yep, 120" cabinet, we hang ours on cleats. Longest one we've done one piece was just over 15'.

If you don't want to do a 120---2-60's?

Tom

If you have 120”material a 120” cabinet makes a lot of sense but a 15 foot cabinet? We’re you able to get 16 foot material? If not, how did you overlap to make a solid structure?

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6416
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2021, 02:49 PM »
We can get 16’ maple for face frames.

Tom

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 474
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2021, 03:12 PM »
I don't mind the look of face frame cabinets butted if the vertical frame members are kept narrow. It is very much a personal taste thing though.

We do mostly frameless, but we have  done a few inset face frame jobs. The one in the picture is a face frame kitchen with European hardware.

We held the verticals flush on the inside of the gables, so we did not need to shim the hardware.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 526
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2021, 03:26 PM »
Thats an impressive set of cabinets.   I would like to do some inset doors at some point.  I do understand and agree that the verticals need to be narrow.  The ones I recently done are 1 1/5" wide and even that, butted up, looks too big.  But I think I need to match the ones I already have in this room.

Offline Getmaverick

  • Posts: 189
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2021, 03:28 PM »
Standard overhang on FF cabinets are 1/4". 1/8" you risk splitting out when you screw the together.

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 526
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2021, 04:32 PM »
Standard overhang on FF cabinets are 1/4". 1/8" you risk splitting out when you screw the together.

Thanks for that.  I  just checked the ones I did last year and they were 1/4" vs 1/8".  Guess I got lucky.

Offline morts10n

  • Posts: 292
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2021, 10:21 PM »
Oldwood...there are really tall baseplates for Blum hinges available now so you dont necessarily need to worry about shimming anymore

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6416
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2021, 09:42 AM »
When we do insets the rsailland stiles are 1-1/2" execpt the upper/wall cabinet to rail, it is 2". The 2" is to accomadate a riser, it finishes at 1-1/2" with the riser installed.

The white base with the cook top is just under 15', the black vanity is just over 13', the black tall with what will be glass doors is 12'ish.

The black vainty tower is just to show a fun door to make.....

We did have a 23' base with insets, we split a stile at 3/4-3/4, Dominos and screws make the seam pratically invisible. The unit was shot joined the separated for transport.

and yes, I'm getting to old to be moving these things....

Tom

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 12:31 PM »
Screwing face frames together is pretty low risk if you pre-drill the whole way and align with clamps. However I agree that making one long cabinet/face is better. Face frame screwing is for when you order cabinets.

Get some T-jacks. Two people lift and then one sets the jacks. You can fine screw them into place. (Cabinet jacks are trash IMO). Although doing a cleat might be fine if the wall is flush-ish. 

https://www.amazon.com/T-Jak-TJ-104D-Drywall-2-Foot-Extension/dp/B00007BHYO/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=t+jack&qid=1614533273&sr=8-3
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Offline Mark Katz

  • Posts: 76
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2021, 07:56 AM »
Take this with a grain of salt since I have never built face-frame cabinets (so far only frameless) and have never had to hang a run of them.

What if you built your cabinets individually at 30" as planned, then build a single face frame for the whole run but joined the face frame to the cabinets with removable fasteners (for example the domino connectors)? I you ever move and need a new configuration, you would just need to build a new face frame (or set of them) for your new setup. You might even be able to salvage parts of your original face frame for the new configuration.

This approach would require being pretty careful with the connector placement so everything fits together during the install but I think it is doable.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 431
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2021, 08:30 AM »
The 1/4" setback of the face frame allows for a couple of advantages over a flush version.

It allows for scribing to the wall.  It allows for unevenly plastered walls that might cause a gap in the front if it were flush.  And it allows for 1/4" plywood end panels.

When I build face frame cabinets, I place the pocket holes that hold the face frame on, on the outside of the cabinet.  I use through confirmats to clamp the sides to the tops and bottoms and through dowels for rigidity against racking.  It leaves the inside of the cabinet unblemished by fasteners and I cover exposed ends with a 1/4" plywood end panel. 

The trough dowels are stronger than blind dowels, and faster and easier to drill and insert. 


Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 526
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2021, 08:44 AM »
What if you built your cabinets individually at 30" as planned, then build a single face frame for the whole run but joined the face frame to the cabinets with removable fasteners (for example the domino connectors)? I you ever move and need a new configuration, you would just need to build a new face frame (or set of them) for your new setup. You might even be able to salvage parts of your original face frame for the new configuration.

Thanks Mark.  I have the Domino but have not worked up to connecters yet.  I would worry that the connecters might be too big for the face frame?  No experience there so not sure.

When I build face frame cabinets, I place the pocket holes that hold the face frame on, on the outside of the cabinet.  I use through confirmats to clamp the sides to the tops and bottoms and through dowels for rigidity against racking.  It leaves the inside of the cabinet unblemished by fasteners and I cover exposed ends with a 1/4" plywood end panel. 


Thanks Packard.  If I have 4x 30" cabinets, I can see how I could attach the face frame, via pocket holes along the perimeter, but what about the stiles between cabinets? 

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 482
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2021, 09:08 AM »
Quote
Are there other/better ways?

If you're not doing inset doors, then why not use frameless / euro construction ?  Easier for sure, and in my opinion better.  Express you artistry and show you craftsmanship in the fronts.

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 526
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2021, 09:21 AM »
If you're not doing inset doors, then why not use frameless / euro construction ?  Easier for sure, and in my opinion better.  Express you artistry and show you craftsmanship in the fronts.

The first set is already done, using the face frame method.  After I did those, I did 8 cabinets in my garage and did use frameless, full overlay doors, using my LR-32 for holes, etc.  I like them, but her, not so much.  Because these new ones are in the same sewing room as the old ones, I pretty much have to match them up.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 1047
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2021, 09:39 AM »
Yes, leave the space.

If you are fabricating the cabinets, make this run as one unit.

Tom

Thanks Tom.  The plan is 4x 30" wide cabinets.  Are you saying make one 120" cabinet?  If so, I would never get it hung.

If you know that you're going to put up four cabinets and know that you'll never change the configuration once installed, why not just make up the four boxes to the exact size, hang them precisely, then make a single face frame to cover all four boxes?  It will make for a neater overall appearance, and if you need to do any scribing, you'll be able to do it all at once. 

Make a single unit and get some help hanging it. You will be happier with the results and have a lot more options for mounting it as every stud is available and you will not have to screw each cabinet to the next. 120" is completely doable.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4162
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2021, 09:43 AM »
If I have 4x 30" cabinets, I can see how I could attach the face frame, via pocket holes along the perimeter, but what about the stiles between cabinets?


Same methodology, but from inside the cabinets, presuming of course, that you have access to pre-drill the pocket screw holes prior to cabinet assembly.  If the visible pocket holes are an obstacle for SWMBO, cover them using Kreg's Pocket Screw Plugs.  The ones shown are white, but there are other colors available, if I remember right.
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 474
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2021, 10:12 AM »
Oldwood...there are really tall baseplates for Blum hinges available now so you don't necessarily need to worry about shimming anymore

We looked at those. Most of the cabinets have drawers and that was a bigger issue than the hinges.

There are always lots of ways to get the job done though.

As mentioned we do mostly frameless and attaching the frames flush to the inside allowed us to construct the boxes and drill for hardware without changing the cabinet programming. We did allow a .5 mm reveal on the frame to insure we did not expose the edge of the melamine.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 474
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2021, 10:30 AM »
When we do insets the rsailland stiles are 1-1/2" execpt the upper/wall cabinet to rail, it is 2". The 2" is to accomadate a riser, it finishes at 1-1/2" with the riser installed.

The white base with the cook top is just under 15', the black vanity is just over 13', the black tall with what will be glass doors is 12'ish.

The black vainty tower is just to show a fun door to make.....

We did have a 23' base with insets, we split a stile at 3/4-3/4, Dominos and screws make the seam pratically invisible. The unit was shot joined the separated for transport.

and yes, I'm getting to old to be moving these things....

Tom

You do beautiful work Tom. I like the look of the monolithic but always shied away because of the transportation and installation complications. It is the traditional way of doing face frame though.

It looks like you get some very interesting jobs.   


Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Imemiter

  • Posts: 201
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2021, 10:52 AM »
Thanks Packard.  If I have 4x 30" cabinets, I can see how I could attach the face frame, via pocket holes along the perimeter, but what about the stiles between cabinets?

This would be a great excuse to buy three or four of those FastCap Stile Rite clamps.
https://www.fastcap.com/product/stilerite
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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 431
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2021, 11:04 AM »
I build face frame cabinets as individual boxes.  I am not sure how others do it when they gang the boxes into one unit.

As an experiment, because I've seen it done on home improvement shows, I built a small cabinet (20" x 32" x 8") using nothing but my nailgun and glue.  It is a surface mount medicine cabinet.

I fastened the face frame to the box using nails and glue.   I was surprised by how sturdy it all seemed. 

I had demoed a bathroom in my 1953 built home.  All the vanity cabinets were site build using nails only.  It was surprisingly difficult to tear apart.  We (as a group) may underestimate the capability of nails and glue (and mounting to the wall). 

It was not a very satisfying build, however, and I won't be building more like that.


Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 361
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2021, 11:06 AM »
I think the combination of Sparktrician's advice and the Domino connectors might get you there.
Build your cabinets - 4 boxes.
Build the face frame to fit those boxes and cut your Domino mortises.
The D500 connectors work perfectly if you're doing 3/4" face frame.  They actually make the parts/system compatible with 18mm ply so 3/4" FF is no problem.
The only thing you would see on the inside of your cabinets is the round grub screw connector, but they make caps to cover that hole. The kit comes with a few different colors to try out.

To make it easier for yourself you might want to do your marking, Domino holes and connector test fit with the cabs and face frame on your work bench before install. 

One seamless frame looks nicer to me than face frame butted together.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 11:08 AM by jarbroen »

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 431
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2021, 11:30 AM »
If not a large amount, I think drilled dowels or biscuits would work fine.

Offline Imemiter

  • Posts: 201
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2021, 11:37 AM »
I'll often hide screws behind the hinge arm ahead of the cup. I wonder if a pocket screw for the face frame could fit in there.
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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 431
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2021, 12:27 PM »
My early cabinets used biscuits.  I did not calculate the offset for the biscuit joiner, I simply shimmed up the base plate with 1/4" plywood that would be used for side panels.  Clamped and glued, biscuits are sufficient for the job and require less precision than other methods. 

Of course, if you are building individual boxes, this is not an issue.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Joining face frame wall cabinets
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2021, 12:49 PM »
The 1/4" setback of the face frame allows for a couple of advantages over a flush version.

It allows for scribing to the wall.  It allows for unevenly plastered walls that might cause a gap in the front if it were flush.  And it allows for 1/4" plywood end panels.

When I build face frame cabinets, I place the pocket holes that hold the face frame on, on the outside of the cabinet.  I use through confirmats to clamp the sides to the tops and bottoms and through dowels for rigidity against racking.  It leaves the inside of the cabinet unblemished by fasteners and I cover exposed ends with a 1/4" plywood end panel. 

The trough dowels are stronger than blind dowels, and faster and easier to drill and insert.

Do you have a picture? I'm too dumb/tired to comprehend that atm.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40