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Small gap at between Face Frames3/8
My company is doing it's first cabinet install using a manufactured cabinet. There is a 1/64" gap between the Face Frames in some spots.
My carpenter says the Face Frames weren't quite straight and we need to use matching putty and fill the small gaps.
After thinking about this situation, I have a theory. I am hoping someone has some experience in this area.
We used Pony clamps to fasten the cabinets. The first time he used them he split the frame and said that the Pony clamps put the hole too close to the edge and that was the reason for the split. He started using the clamps for alignment only and hand drilled the pilot holes away from the clamp.
My thought is that there is a small gap because he isn't drilling right where the clamp is putting it's pressure. Then the threads of the screw are actually holding the two pieces apart?
I know putty must be used in some cases, but I would like to avoid using it on the Face Frames if possible.
Any help on this matter is greatly appreciated.
Sounds to me like your problem is the installer. When everything else is causing problems that usually means the guy doing it doesn't know how to do it properly.
For instance, faceframes aren't perfectly straight? Break out a block plane and one or two swipes has them straight! You should need clamps only for pulling and holding the 2 cabinets together, NOT to straighten the faceframes! If your trying to force the faceframes straight by clamping and screwing I think putty is the least of your problems! And there has got to be more than a 1/64" gap as you could close that just by hand pressure? Hard to advise any better than that without actually seeing the problem, but it sure sounds like the installer to me.
Often when you pilot a hole when two pieces are being held together you get swarf between the two pieces when the bit comes through the first piece this will hold the two pieces apart if not cleaned out. Another problem is if your pilot is not over sized in the first piece and you screw is threaded all the way up it will not pull the two pieces together.
Get a new installer. Don't putty the face frames. Pull out the screws and fix the problem.
I also think that the installer is the part of the problem.
Some good ideas here, but they all seem to be affected by the op's pawning off of responsibility.
I guess when I read manufactured cabinet...I think cheap and to be honest 1/64th on a cheap cabinet, well I think you got off easy. All these guys are giving you great tips for someone spending money, but if this is "cheap" then 1 /64th is nothing, less than nothing and when the tops are on and no sunlight coming through you'll be fine.
Some guys on here forget you get what you pay for. If you are hiring a guy at $30-$40 bucks a box be happy you aren't seeing 1/16th+ gaps.
Just my two cents....
If your screws are pulling tight with no debris between the frames and you still have a gap, that's a good sign that your frames aren't straight enough. As mentioned above, straighten them out after some trial fitting. You should be able to pull two stiles together tight with just a couple of quick grip clamps and a couple of screws. Make sure your counterbore is deep enough so the screw thread will catch enough meat of the wood not to strip out.