It seems like we are building a lot of diagonal upper and lower corner cab units. We put a 45 on each outside edge of the face-frame and also on the two side panels. The problem is sliding the side behind the face frame and shooting a 2 inch #16 with glue at an angle through the frame into the side. It is hard to hold and work the edge down as you shoot and have it pull up tight with no gaps. Does anyone have an easier or better approach to our problem?
From contributor B:
I leave my face frames square and 45 my sides. I glue sides to face frame, and shoot 1" 16g brads through the sides into the face frame. It is fairly easy to hold together this way, and the joint is fairly strong. Add a little filler if needed, and the joint will look great. The joint isn't pretty on the backside because they don't meet right in the back, but you've got to stick your head inside the cabinet to see that. I've built them several ways, and this seems to work the best for me.
Make a full scale layout of the two stiles from the perspective of looking straight down on the end grain, or simply hold the two pieces together with tape and look at the ends. Now look at the line where the two pieces join and you can see where a line of line of clamping pressure would need to be in order to clamp the two together with out them rocking apart. I start with a 1.5" wide or so piece of .25" thick plywood the length of the stiles and then I glue a triangular shaped piece of wood of the correct angles to transmit the clamp pressure directly through the joint on to the .25" plywood. These triangular shaped pieces will be the surface that the clamps jaws will put the pressure on.
In some cases I am able to glue a square cleat to the other edge of the .25" plywood that will hook the inside edges of the stiles to help prevent the jigs from slipping when the clamps are applied. Sometimes I am only able to use a small C clamp at the top and bottom of each sile to hold the jigs in place.
In any case I place them to where there is about 1/8" of wood at the miters tips showing outside of the clamping jig so that the glue squeeze out will not stick to the clamping jigs. If your parts (stiles) are machined well it won’t take so much clamp pressure that the jigs slip as you clamp the joint closed.
Keep in mind that I glue these joints together while working on the face frame alone. In other words, after the joints are glued up and the jigs are removed and the dried glue squeeze out has been scraped off, I then attach the face frame to the cabinet’s carcass. Also, I glue up the center section of the faceframe (I make my faceframes with dowells and clamps) together before I saw the 22.5 degree miters on its edges. If you need to clamp your face frames, this method is easier than having to apply clamp pressure to an already mitered stile.
I like to saw my bevels with the saw blade buried in an auxiliary fence type table saw setup. This way, once the saws fence and blade height are set correctly for the face frames stock thickness, all of the parts (both edges of the face frames center section and also the two extra stiles or ears can be beveled with the same saw setting. I make this setup so that the stiles are at finished width and the miter is sawn right to the edge and no dimension is removed from the long side of the miters.
In other words, if you are utilizing 1-1/2" stiles for your corner cabinet, set the fence of your saw to approximately 1-1/4". After you have cut both stiles, remove the dado blade and insert your saw blade. Now cut the outer edge of both stiles at a 45 degree angle. You may have to adjust your fence, but the idea is to have at least 1/4" of outer edge stile that will ride against your side partisans.
This will allow you to build a corner module with square sides, as the roof-top dado cut will set flush against the front of the sides and shelves, and the outer edge 45 degree cut will join perfectly with the cabinets at both sides.
There is no need to nail. Before inserting the top and bottom sections, pocket hole the pieces. After the face-frame is attached, lay the module face down, and let the cabinet's own weight secure the face frame to the front of the sides.
Our panel sides are 23" deep with a 45 degree cut one front (frame) edge. We glue and staple through the angle from inside into the back of frame, this securely attaches the frame and eliminates the need to face nail. We make sure cabinets adjacent to the corner are built with a style that is 1/2" wider than normal, when they are joined with the corner all stiles look like a 2" stile.
Now on the job, after tapping out both waste pieces, positioning and leveling the cabs, pre-drill through the corner cab stiles as if it was a normal cabinet and screw to each adjacent cab. The major advantage of this method is that all the stiles in the corner are virtually seamless when the screws are drawn tight. Nearly all custom shops in my area of Connecticut use this or some small variation of this method with out exception, it works remarkably well and is a lot easier to manufacture than my post makes it seem