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New to Frameless.8/5
We are getting ready to finally add a frameless demo to our showroom after many years of doing frame only. Have a few questions for the pros. We do have a cnc and bander, but not a horizontal borer.
Is domestic prefinished plywood ideal for carcasses, or should we stick to pb core?
Are solid wood cope and stick doors and drawers risky with the tight reveals? How do you handle different reveals on the hinged side? Different hinge plates?
Best type of drawer guides to use?
Best way to deal with built in appliances like ovens, microwaves, etc? Just oversize the opening and finish a frame to match?
Thanks for any help.
We do about 60% frameless and 40% inset faceframe. The majority of our cases are made from prefinished plywood. The only consideration is that you'll need to make the necessary material thickness adjustments in your software.
I'm not sure why you'd have concerns about cope and stick doors. Regardless of the style of door, they will need to be precisely sized in order to maintain the typical 1/8" reveals that are common with frameless cabinetry.
The hinge side reveal is only an issue if you plan to hold your fillers and endpanels flush to the doors. We do flush fillers and doors the majority of the time. We also use a variety of trim elements above and below the cabinets. As a result, we adjust all 4 outside reveals on every cabinet we make in every circumstance. That's just the reality of custom frameless cabinetry.
Unless you plan to use different material thicknesses, there should be no reason to adjust hinge plate thicknesses.
Most types of drawerslides are adaptable to frameless cabinetry. In fact, you could say that most drawerslides are specifically designed FOR frameless cabinetry and must be adapted to work with faceframe cabinetry.
You can choose to deal with appliances as you've described. It's definitely simpler if your clientele will allow you to get away with it. The other option of course is to custom design your cases in width, depth and height to work with each specific appliance.
We have been doing frameless since the early 80's. the most important thing I learned along the way was to switch to metric. We measure everything in the field in inches but once it goes to the shop it is in metric. In the beginning it was a learning curve but well worth the effort. Frameless was developed in Europe and they use the metric system. Everything is soooo much easier to calculate in metric. Most software today will do it automatically. It is just you that has to change your mindset. Try it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
First off, don't refer to Euro cabinets as "Frameless" to your customers. Frameless implies something is missing.
Should you get a horizontal construction boring machine? Yes if you intend to assemble your cabinets with dowels. If you have the space and the work, get a case clamp as well.
You can build Euro cabinets with either Melamine, or plywood, Your preference. We usually use plywood for our sink base cabinets and melamine else where. But, it depends on the cabinet.
As for drawer guides, Blum seems to have taken over the market with their undermount and a dovetail drawer box. They are expensive, but its the market you serve that will determine the drawer box and guide. A set of Blum self closing undermount guides will cost over $25.
As for the varying over lap on the sides, you can do either, going to a thicker base plate, or going with a special application hinge. You will have to do some studying and learn the different applications. Your sales rep should be able to help you here as well.
I have been building Euro cabinets since 1987. Before that, I build faceframe cabinetry. I first think I notice with Euro was that I could build cabinets almost twice as fast. I do think installation is more difficult, the boxes can be racked out of square and that causes a problem. Most of the problems we encounter with Euro has to do with the installation. The cabinets need to be plumb and level.
As for the doors? No difference. As stated above, the industry allows for an 1/8" between the doors. However, you can do whatever you want. We make our doors 3/16" less than the door width. In our area, I found that with the 1/8" gap, sometimes the doors touched when we had high humidity. There is no "Gap Police", so do what works for you.
Regarding appliances, we usually build to the width and allow a space for above and below. We then fill in the space with a trim piece. Sometimes the literature is not clear and appliance manufactures reserve the right to make changes without any notice. On heavy appliances, like double ovens or even a heavy oven, we will install a cleat beneath the shelf holding the appliance. If we plan on a cleat, I will allow for a trim piece under the appliance so that there isn't any interference with a drawer under the oven.
We do about 90% Euro. Sometimes the designer will do both for the same job. Open cabinets usually have a frame applied over the box.
Wow. Excellent advice. Thank you all.
Seasonal movement was my concern with solid wood doors and draws. More so with slab drawer fronts, but I suppose that is something to discuss with the customer as to whether they will have climate/humidity control.
Is there a drawer guide that is more resilient to a panel that is bowed? We don't install our cabinets so I want to make sure we don't get call backs for stuff like that.
We plan on doing qualified tenons with screws for joinery to start, and send finished applied end panels to be scribed and attached by installers.
Is there a preferred type of banding, pvc or prefinished, .5mm for all interiors and cabinet members? My natural thought was to use pvc. Runs nicer through the bander, solid color so no raw wood to finish, better impact resistance.
The Blum drawer slides are stiff and look like angle iron. If you get the "H" series the angle iron is the full length of the slide. It will take the bow out of most panels without deforming the slide itself.
I've always done a 5/64" (2mm) reveal for doors and drawers as I think the 1/8" (3mm) looks to sloppy.
If you are building cabinets in the winter, the widths of the doors and drawer fronts of 5 pc frames get 3/32" reveals which will turn into 5/64" in the summer.
Dan Cook made an excellent point about learning and using the Metric system. We do the same as Dan. All of our tools except out CNC are metric.
There is a good book by Andrew Linkletter called "Measuring America." In it, the author states that Thomas Jefferson was the originator of the Metric System. Jefferson designed our currency on a system of ten and he designed the metric system to be similar. When I am trying to teach the metric system, explaining it by comparing it to our currency seems to help.
The key to using the metric system in construction is the opposite of what we are introduced to in school. In school they always talk about centimeters.
In construction centimeters do not exist. The cabinet shop should only use millimeters. Carpenters in the field use a combination of millimeters and meters.
Its the same as shops only using inches and carpenters using feet and inches.
Centimeters confuse the matter. I'm amazed and surprised that Dan still site measure's in inches and converts it to mm in the shop.
The best thing to do is use a metric/inch tape measure for 6 months. Then switch entirely to a metric ruler/tape. Never look back.
The reason we measure in the field in inches is strictly for the contractor as they don't know anything about metric and so we give them drawings etc. in inches. Once it comes to the shop the computer converts it all to metric. Years ago when learning metric I had a gentleman tell me something that helped me. He said "if you can keep nothing on your mind you can do metric." He then showed me a metric tape and said everywhere you see a whole number add a "0" and then it will all make sense. We only use millimeters so when you see a "10" you add a "0" and it becomes 100mm then the next mark would obviously be 101, 102, etc. This made is so much easier as we were now dealing with only mm and not centimeters which confuses things because of our different way of thinking. The really nice thing is when you start calculating as you are putting in whole numbers and getting whole numbers back that you can directly read on your tape....no converting of fractions. A mm is less than a 1/16" so accuracy is improved and usually the least measurement you need is .5mm which is still easy to find. Much easier to find than say 27/32". Division is much easier as you don't have to convert fractions to decimals to calculate and then try to figure out what the fractional equivalent is for that. Also when measuring things such as line holes it is much easier to do
I suggest that you study what was refered as the 32mm system. The beauty of this system is the ease of modifing the cabinets, the ease of mounting hinges and drawer guides. Over 90% of my boxes are built in increments of 32mm. There is a reason for that. We call it "On system". It is very rare that we go off system, but sometimes you have to. Study this system before you jump in.
Thanks guys. Much appreciated.
I can definitely see where metric could make life a lot simpler. Now to get the crew on board....
Maybe with a pot tea in the morning rather than coffee...?
Switch to metric or don't, that's completely up to you. But you have a CNC router, so there's no need for you to stick to the 32mm system. Making cabinets on 32mm centers is for shops that still use manual boring equipment where the hinge plates, drawer slides, shelf holes and construction holes all needed to be synchronized. With modern software and a CNC, nothing is gained by keeping the association between those elements. You are already well positioned to move beyond that era of cabinetmaking.
Try the adding the zero to whole numbers when illustrating on the tape and get Stanley's metric/English tape at lowes(they are pretty cheap there). So 10 becomes 100 and 11 becomes 110, etc. then it becomes obvious that the next line is 111 etc. this really helped us get the guys on board. Now they don't like using inches.
I understand using ft/inches in the field to communicate with the other architects & trades.
Imagine framing a house. One guy measures & one guy cut [foot/inch scale:
The guys reads 2271 in a millisecond no mistakes. He actually hears you and doesn't completely f it up. If you want to go more accurate in the shop cut the thing in half 0.5mm = 1/64"
Once you start doing it you wonder why on earth the States does ft inches.
Good advice above, most helpful one is to go metrics, but you'll need to do the whole shop. I would not try to build face frame cabs in english, frameless in metrics.
Go whole hog. You'll probably have to deal with the clients/builders in english but everything past your office door needs to be metrics.
It is a world of difference.
In AU the entire set of house plans is done in millimeters. No gross meter measurements. The whole house would be dimensioned 24125 x 10610. A larger window would be 1800h x 2710w.
The only time meters is used is talking about gross sizes of uncut material. "I need a 2.4 x 1.2 sheet of melamine. "Hand me a ninety-thirty five(90mm x 35mm) x four-eight(4.8 m) stud." Rough translation 2 x 4 x 16.
When doing face frame it is helpful to think of face frames as really thick edge banding. The frame is still 3/4"(19.05mm). Simply make all of your panels 19 mm narrower at the front so all of the holes line up with the front of the cabinet.
Thanks again for all of the great advice. One more thing came up while working out our frameless offerings..
We do a lot of 90 degree corner face frame cabinets currently.
How does everyone deal with these in the frameless realm? Hand band the top/bottom/adjustables? Or is this something that you just avoid like the plague?
I really wish this country had a politician that would make metric standard like the rest of the world. Fewer satellites would be lost. It was almost done in the '70s.
As for banding I dislike .018 PVC because it is poor about protecting edges. Same with veneer but you can get 1.5mm multi layer veneer banding that works well.
Do you find that thicker banding is necessary on interior cabinet parts like ends, tops, bottoms, adjustables, etc or just exposed items like doors/drawer fronts?
We are a commercial only shop so we expect our work to be treated roughly. That said, I would still use a thicker banding than .018 on anything. Even 1mm is a big step up in durability. The cost difference to a job is pretty insignificant. A failure has a much bigger cost especially to your reputation.