Custom Cabinet Heights and the 32mm System

A cabinetmaker puzzles over how to design odd-height cabinets within a 32mm Euro cabinet system. September 10, 2008

I'm doing a custom cabinet job with an interior designer who wants specific height of cabs and has varying heights of uppers that I want to convert as close as possible to use my system. I have a Blum PDF that shows various heights of bases and uppers, with a 10mm top reveal. Can I add the heights and subtract 10mm and arrive at a cabinet height that will work out with the hinging setup for the doors? For example, add two 12 7/16 cabinets (327mm) to get a 24 7/8 cabinet, then subtract 10mm and end up with a 24 1/2 inch cabinet (644mm) so that when I put a door on that cabinet, I end up with a 10mm top reveal and my hinge boring machine will place the hinges lined up with the system holes?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
I use Blum standards also. You can build any size cabinet you need by adding 32mm increments to the cabinets. Boring for the doors remains the same as long as you add a 32mm increment (an extra hole).

From contributor M:
Be careful. Blum has (had) 2 systems,
1) Pearls
2) Process 32.

In process 32, your first hole starts at 46.5 from the bottom. If you use a 10mm reveal at the top, then the first hole will be 56.5 from the top. If you delete the 10mm reveal, then your hole will be 46.5 from the top. This is called a balanced panel. However, you must decrease the size of your sides. So, your 327 side (don't use imperial when it is designed in metric!) needs to change to 317.

Now, if you stack your 317's, you will have no reveal between your doors. Process32 is designed to have 0 at the bottom, 3 between, and 10 at the top. (You need this 10mm for counters, and if you mount an upper to the ceiling.)

So, if you still insist on removing the 10mm, you will have to decide if you want your doors flush with the bottom or if you want this system to remain symmetrical, and you must subtract 1.5 from the top and bottom of the door. You would then drill your hinges at 61mm from both edges. If you wanted your door to remain flush at the bottom, but 3mm reveal at the top, then you would drill the bottoms at 62.5 and the tops at 59.5.

The point to all this is that this is a really good system. When you tamper with it, as I have done over the years, it starts to become confusing and you negate the simplicity or the systematic approach. Yes, you can make modifications, but it does create difficulties elsewhere.

Now get a dual read tape and only use imperial when your customer is talking in inches and feet...

From the original questioner:
If I stack the 317 for size to make one 634 with one door, will I still end up flush on the bottom and have 10mm at the top? Or would it be 624mm to make the one door work? I just want to know if I can use the Process 32 heights and make various sizes of cabinets by adding the numbers together to get taller cabs with one door.

From contributor M:
Spend some time teaching yourself why the first holes are placed where they are. Frameless is just more work up front. You have to spend more for equipment, and do a lot of mental gymnastics. But it will benefit you to know how it works, so when you do have to make modifications, you can work with the system instead of against it.

Stacking as you are talking about and wanting to maintain a 10mm reveal at the top, you will have to make adjustments. (2) 317's with a 634 door will work with the hinges bored at 62.5 on the door. However, you won't have a 10mm reveal at the top, it will be flush. Now, if you stack (2) 327's, and increase your door size by 10 to include the 10mm reveal in the first cabinet, your boring will be off in your door. The bottom will have to be bored at 62.5, and the top will be something like 30.5.

It seems like stacking and using 1 door might be a waste of space and material. Space in that you have an additional 19mm deck. Or, if you have to stack, use 2 doors. You will have to make modifications either to the unit or the doors to maintain reveals.

From the original questioner:
I guess I don't mean stacking two cabinets, I mean making one cabinet that is the height of two. The Blum PDF gives a 327, a 423, a 519, a 615, a 711, and a 775mm. I sometimes need a cabinet that is closer to 48 inches tall but want to find a size that works with the system. So I thought if I add a 615 and a 519mm I would be close, but the 615 and the 519 are set up with a 10mm top reveal if you made them individually. I thought all I would need to do would be to total the height, then subtract one of the 10mm top reveals and I would be good for all my hinge boring without having to hinge a different distance from the top of the door and the bottom of the door.

From contributor D:
The "327, a 423, a 519, a 615, a 711, and a 775mm" are presumably the same cabinet. Starting at 327, the sizes are increasing by increments of 32mm (3 x 32mm / 96mm). If you keep adding increments of 32mm, you'll get to 1223mm which is pretty darn close to 48".

For any given panel design, simply add or subtract increments of 32mm (height or depth). The same is true for all components, e.g. door/drawer faces and drawer box height/depth (32mm +/-).

From contributor R:
Basically, no. You need to add as many 32MM increments as you need to get to the size you want.