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What are some of the methods that you all are using to attach your face frames to your cabinets?
Castle pocket screws on the face frames and pocket screws from the prefinished ply boxes into the frames. Nice and simple.
What the last guy wrote
and some glue.
What do you do for finished ends?
Our face frames are 1 1/2 wide, plywood is flush to the inside of the opening and finished ends are applied to the outside tucked behind the face frame. All pocket screw holes are then covered on exposed areas. Finished ends are screwed from inside the case.
Thanks that is the same way I have been doing it for several years just wanted to see if anybody had any new ideals. Thanks
We are glue and pocket screws as well. 1/2" prefin ply boxes. We build flush interiors so finished end whether smooth ply or 5 piece are applied. There are times on whole house jobs where we will leave off the side on the box and use only the 5 piece side but that is rare because its an ugly interior. In that case the 5 pc side and faceframe are glued and clamped (long grain joint) and then finished as one.
Mark you say you set your 1/2 plywood sides flush inside to leave room for your 5 pc. Side to go outside. Do you leave a 1/4” stile over hang? I do about the same but I set mine to where I just have about a fingernail overlay on my finished end and then sand it flush. My one problem I have had in the past with setting my 1/2” plywood flush is when I run my pocket screws in they have a tendency to bust through my stile.
15 gauge nails. Through the face, into the box.
Finished ends are nailed, then clamped.
Small returns for appliances and the like are glued and pocket screwed to the faceframe, then it's nailed onto the box.
Paneled ends are mitred onto the face frame. 23g cross pinning the miter together.
Pocket screwing an entire frame on would make me scream.
Glue and clamps. Rarely use pocket screws for FFs. If I have a very large cabinet that needs to be assembled on site I'll use pocket screws to assemble it.
Nailing through the face frames would make me and my customers scream.
There are many different ways to build a cabinet. We have always attached our face frames with nails. In the "old" days when I was taught, it was a big ol 15 gauge nail gun. We have since gone to a 1 1/2" 18g brad nail. In 26+ years in the custom residential market, I can honestly say that not 1 time has a contractor or private client ever commented on this. To each his own, and I certainly do not want to start an argument, but I do believe that a lot of people in our industry leave profits on the table because we force our opinions on our clients.
Just because you don't like a nailed on frame, does not mean that everyone you meet feels the same way. Same goes with cabinet backs. Do I think a cabinet box looks more finished with a back in it, yes I do. Does that mean I force all of our clients to pay the additional costs of backs, no it does not. There are always "better" ways to do something (almost always an opinion not a fact), you need to identify what your clients are willing to pay for and go from there.
Yep, I nail on frames on non-painted cabinets. The finisher who handles my finishing does an excellent job filling and color matching nail holes. We do try to keep the amount of nails limited. If something doesn't sit down nicely, I throw a clamp on it instead off wacking more nails in. By the time I've cut a back and farted around with other things, it's dried enough to pull the clamp(s) off typically
How do you guys attach trim and crown to cabinets?
More than a few times I've had peers in the industry go for the superiority card because we nail frames on, but for us I haven't come up with a better solution. We use plywood, it's a nightmare to keep a carcass straight without yanking things around as your putting the frame on. Half way through getting things where they need to be and either screwed down or with a clamp on them, the other half would be tacked and a bear to move.
Dado-ing partitions into the frame is an option, and using those diamond shaped nails in the back of the frame is an option, but I feel like that creates as many problems as it resolves.
Still wondering why you do face frames? Why not at least consider frameless? It has so many advantages. Just my opinion as I started out doing face frames and switched years ago. We still do face frames on bookcases when needed, but generally frameless on everything else.
If you don't have the equipment to do frameless, getting into making them profitably is near impossible. Most people don't have the spare cash to buy all the right stuff but already have enough equipment to do face frame.
Because frameless isn't a traditional look and that's what many of my clients are looking for. They start out looking at frameless and ask me if I do framed. When I say yes most of them choose the framed version over the frameless.
I am well aware of the space savings you get from not having the frames and so are my clients. Yet they choose the look of framed instead because it suits them.
Most of our work is pretty traditional. Face frame and inset.
Even when we do the rare slab front full overlay job, I still throw a frame on the box and just use hinges I hate to make it work. It's cheaper for me to make a face frame than it is to manually edge band parts.
We'll do some frameless stuff in the future. Just not right now. We finally have a router, but with out an edge bander, it's a tough one to be competitive on. One of my builders is super excited we got the cnc because we're one step closer to doing the closet systems for them. But once again, with no bander, it's tough to make money at. With a cnc and a good edge bander, it's pretty easy money.
We don't edge band any of our shelves. Everything gets a solid edge that has a 1/4x1/4 groove machined in that slips into a tongue that's cut into the shelf core. We don't nail that I guess. That change came about just to make it a very simple job for a less skilled worker to handle. It's a great place for new hires to start.
We all have our niche.
We prefinish all of our cabinet parts before assembly so that is why we can't nail through the face frame. In my corner of the world prefinshed and face frames are the norm. We offer frameless but our customers only buy them about 20% of the time, more often for closets.
I was taught back in the day to do paint grade cabinets with a 15 gauge. We would nail the dadoed boxes & frames with a 15 gauge. We would glue and clamp clear coated work.
I've been using the pocket screw method for 16 years. On a base cabinet we use 3 on the side, 2 on the bot and 2 on any stretchers. Its simply to hold the frame until the glue dries. The castle machine makes it super fast.
I haven't filled a nail hole in 16 years. The customers and I don't like nail holes. We do mostly beaded face frame and inset doors. I think its a waste of time to try to make a bunch of nail holes in sapele or cherry or whatever look good. Staining would be a real pain.
We use a pinner and adhesive for our mouldings.
With regards to the flush interiors and the pocket screws, we use to always just glue and clamp them on as Leo mentions but when things got busier and needing to move things along faster and no time for clamping we switched to pocket holes. With the 1/2" boxes and flush interiors we use 1" fine thread fillister head pocket screws and we make sure to set the hole depth just a hair shallow. This leaves the head of the screw barely proud of the back surface of the ply (perhaps less than 1/32") and gives enough screw engagement to hold the face frames along with the glue. If you had a castle style machine that let your screws run nearly parallel with the faces of the material it would be even less of an issue but we are stuck running the non-castle pockets so we have to make accomodations.
The major advantage to pocket screwing is in the finishing stage. We do a lot of semigloss white inset cabinets. The chance of getting print thru from a filled nail hole is zero if there is no nail hole. No filling, no sanding, no worrying.
If someone is considering getting into pocket screws buy a Castle machine. My little old Porter Cable was one of my best decisions in cabinetmaking. Switching from the Kreg style to Castle is a big upgrade. The floor machine has made us a ton of money.
exactly as Dustin. I've done it many ways and think this is the best.
Face frames are the norm in the middle of the country and seen as traditional and better quality. Frameless is very rare and I never have anyone ask for them. Even the guys with the big banders and panel saws do framed cabinets in my area.
We switched years ago to prefinished plywood, prefinished faceframes, adjustable front legs/rear ledger, pocket screwed ff, euro hardware, and pocket screw ff attachment. We do dado/rebates for alignment and glueing of the prefinished plywood. Yes, I'm aware you can butt joint and screw structurally. It doesn't work in my system or level of quality(Architects & Builders still like dado construction)
The hybridizing of cabinet construction makes it possible for us to do builtin furniture for not much more than the costs of regular ff cabinetry done the old school way.
95% of our cabinetry is inset door. 80% is beaded ff. It looks and feels like furniture. No putty, joints are perfect. Installs are fast. Boxes are managed in smaller parts until assembly.
When designing the boxes I think of the frames as thick edgebanding. Keeping the panels just shy of the frame edge as often as possible to avoid blocking. Tray units are run flush on knob side, full panel with miter return on hinge side to clear the door. I can do this faster than packing out all of the slides. Easy to do with prefinished ply.
I love the frameless argument of you waste less space. In a 5000sq/ft house space is not a concern. The kitchen is the size of my first apartment.
Before we put down the counters the kitchen looks a bit crazy. Big gaps between the cabinets & empty corners. We haven't done a lower corner cabinet in 10 years. They are the most expensive, ugly, useless cabinets in a kitchen. The lazy susan is a joke. I can remember having a conversation with a really good architect 20 years ago. He told me to do my best to kill the corner cabinet. Like it was his personal mission in life.
Most big cabinet manufacturers do a 1/2" dado on back of face frame
Due to lack of space, I most often make my face frames on the bench with a variety of joinery methods depending on the style. If I'm using regular leaf hinges, I'll fit and hang the doors on the bench also.They then get finished and then get racked for final assembly. I mostly use 3/4 pre-finished birch or maple for carcasses and get all the parts cut and banded as required, install all the drawer glide, hinge base plates and hardware I can. Then, a few days before install date, assemble the carcasses, biscuit and pocket screw the face frames on, hang the doors, and drawer fronts, deliver for install .