Thicknessing Face Frame Stock

      Cabinetmakers discuss how they dimension rough stock for face frames. October 13, 2005

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas about how to get face frame thickness. Do you start with rough, skip + miss (15/16), or 13/16? Do you ever face joint to make sure of flatness or just glue/nail/pocket-screw them so that they are? Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
I buy hit or miss lumber at 15/16" and straight line one edge, then clean up the worst side to 29/32" and wide-belt to 7/8" finish thickness after assembly. Buying hit or miss is very common, but I know that 7/8" finish is not.

From contributor W:
Way back when we were building face frame cabinets we would use 13/16 lumber. When we got the ripping done we would then wide-belt the lumber to 180. Once the frames were assembled using pocket holes with screws, we would orbital 180 then 220. The face jointing on face frame stock seems to be a bit overkill, not to mention time consuming. If the stock is not flat it will be pulled to the case during assembly or if it is bad, will end up in the trash pile.

From contributor B:
I buy 13/16" lumber. It gives me plenty to work with and pretty much the same process as Contributor W.

From contributor F:
To the original questioner: As you can see, there are numerous ways to prepare the thickness of face frame stock. My method is rough rip .9375" hit or miss stock to .1875" over width followed by rough cross cut when the stuff is extremely bowed, crooked, and or twisted.

Then I flatten one face on the jointer, and transfer that flatness to the other face with the planer. Although it is true that the carcass will be a straight surface to pull the face bow out of the face frame, I prefer to flatten it first. Also, if you make you own doors - flat, straight material makes for a nice true door. Then after the stuff is straight face wise I joint one edge of all stock and rip it to .040" over width and edge plane to finish width. Then it’s crosscut and put on the horizontal boreing machine for dowelling.

From contributor G:
We used to use the method that Contributor F describes. After we did a time study of our processes we found that it was taking much too much time processing face stock. We went to a wide-belt assemble with face screw and orbital sand. We discovered that there was some loss of material, but the material does not cost as much as labor.

From contributor R:
Contributor F’s method is basically what I use when using air dried stock. I would think using premium pre-planed stock could eliminate some of that.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Custom Cabinet Construction

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article