Tooling up for Euro-style cabinets
by Jon Elvrum
Therefore, a good saw that produces a clean cut and a straight cut is the most important resource. Your space available and the volume needs are the criteria you must develop and meet. There are sliding, vertical and beam saws. Your criteria usually leads you to a decision about what meets your own needs.
Second, one needs to be able to easily and neatly band panels. This really requires an edge-bander. The good news is that there are many, and there are lots of variations, all of which can meet your developed criteria for space, volume and price. To build frameless without an edgebander is a difficult undertaking.
The third element of acceptable frameless cabinetry is drilling. To undertake this successfully, one uses a line-drilling style called system drilling. System drilling is different from conventional line drilling because it permits complete hardware utilization from the 32mm system side as a direct function of the keeping of fixed reference edges. This also works in the assembly drilling to promote a "perfect corner joinery" that is the result of pre-determined planning and measurement, and when implemented under a systematic control, cannot fail, except for gross operator error. Nothing but management oversight can prevent operator error.
The last aspect of this style of manufacture is unfortunately the most frequently ignored -- the case clamp. Case clamps are finally being understood by manufacturers as not so much about speed (although they are very quick) but are completely about a square cabinet or furniture piece resulting from the other efforts you have made--sawing, banding and drilling.
Finally, nothing beats preparation--what I call doing the front end math and changing your own viewpoint in favor of making the process successful. Neither frame or frame-less are right or wrong, but they are independently right for you or for your customer.
Jon Elvrum, Director of Distribution and Sales at Ritter Manufacturing in Antioch California, is also a well known author and consultant to the cabinetmaking industry. He has written numerous articles on the 32mm cabinetmaking system and production woodworking in general.
The comments below were added after this Q&A was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).
Comment from contributor A:
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?