Making face frames can be rewarding and isn’t as hard as you may believe. Here are some excellent tips on how to construct a face frame cabinet with ease. One of the most common ways to build cabinetry is to construct wooden box (aka carcasses). Then cover them with solid wood frames for the face.
Cabinets made of this type are sturdy and attractive and are relatively simple to construct. Here are a few tips that could be helpful for experienced cabinetmakers as well as those getting started with their first cabinet.
How To Create Face Frame Cabinet?
Make a Cabinet Frame
Dry-fit face frame pieces. So that the most beautiful side of the boards can be seen and avoid sharp grain color differences at joints. Label the entire frame with an eraser so that the frame is reassembled exactly the way that you set it up. The pencil marks can also help when it’s time to sand your completed frame. You’ll be able to tell the joints are flat when the pencil marks vanish.
Assemble the Face Frame
Screws for pocket holes are a quick and simple way to join an existing face frame. There is no need for lots of clamps or even wood glue. Mortise-and-tenon joinery can give you the impression of a real craftsman but only you’ll be able to tell that you put in the extra time.
Leave Off the Back
If you’re planning on finishing the project prior to installing it, keep the back in place until you’ve finished the project. It will make getting into the nooks and crannies much easier, particularly in cabinets with deeper walls. Wood glue doesn’t adhere to the finishes. And therefore, if you wish to apply glue to the back, you can use polyurethane glue. If you want to learn about hanging cabinet doors with exposed hinges then click here now and learn.
Trim Some Face Frames Flush
The face frames on furniture are best when they’re flush to the cabinet’s sides. However, it’s better to make the frame a bit bigger (about 1/16 inch.). And then cut it off using an edge trim router. Set the bit’s depth so that the cutting edges are not much higher than the frame.
Gang Up on Your Components
Even with the most expensive table saw, you’ll find it not easy to set the fence back to precisely replicate cuts made before. Therefore, make sure you plan ahead and cut all of your face frame components simultaneously. Gang-planing your rails and stiles will speed up the process and ensure that each piece is the same size and width.
You can gang-sand the edges of your boards by clamping them to each other. This not only speeds up the process of sanding but also stops the edges from being rounded over. Also, always make more than you require. It’s better to have a few pieces left rather than having to cut, plane and sand a replacement board in the event of mistakes in cutting. Additionally, having extra boards gives you the ability to select one of the top boards out of the many.
Leave the End Stile Off to Scribe
Take one stile off when installing a face frame cabinet that is smack-dab against walls on both sides. If you have a complete frame that’s not possible to pull the cabinet in place or scribe the stile so that it fits. Cut the last stile slightly larger to allow enough room to scribe and then rip the back bevel to 45 degrees to make it easier to plan the scribe line.
The bevel allows you to easily twist the stile back into position. Install the entire face frame onto your workbench using pocket screws, and then take off the final stile. This way, you’ll have an exact fit once you’ve reattached it after laying it out. You can attach it using some glue and brads.
Nail the Face Frame
One of the most simple methods is to attach frame frames onto carcasses using the use of a small amount of wood glue, and an 18-gauge nailer for brads with 2 in. brads. Use sparingly with brads as their primary function is to keep the frame in place as the glue sets. A couple per side, and anywhere there’s a space suffice. Putty makes the holes in the brads almost unnoticeable.
Build Face Frames Larger
The primary function of the face frame is to conceal the visible plywood laminates. Face frames do a better job at this if it is placed over the edges of the box. The face frame running across all the edges of the plywood allows for a bit of wiggle space and conceals any not-perfect saw marks on the wood.
Face frames on the sides of kitchen cabinets should be over 1/4 inch. on the outside edges. This allows for adjustments when putting them adjacent to one another. Create the frame of the face in a way that the lower rail (“rails” comprise horizontal boards while the “stiles” is vertical board) is 1/16 inches. above the shelf at the bottom of the cabinet.
Don’t Cut Rabbets
It is common to cut the “rabbet” (a groove to accommodate the 1/4-in. front panel) on the side of the cabinet’s carcasses to ensure that the back panel can be recessed. However, this isn’t necessary if the sides of the cabinet won’t be visible. The back edge of the panel won’t be. You can save yourself time by putting the back panel using an acetate nailer. Take into consideration the overall dimensions of your cabinets. They’ll be 1/4 inch. more deep if you choose this way.
Build a Separate Base
The majority of face frame cabinets built by factories have a recessive ” toe-kick” which is usually about 4 inches. wide and tall. You can also build an additional base that is the length of the entire cabinet assembly, and construct smaller cabinets to fill in the gap. This way you don’t need to think about making toe-kicks on your cabinets. This is also a useful option if you have a floor that is uneven since you’ll need to level out and then shim just one base instead of cabinets.
It is essential to use straight base wood so that it will be level for the installation of cabinets. After your cabinets have been installed then finish the front of the base with a strip made of 1/4-in. plywood that is the same color as the cabinets.
Cap End Cabinets
If you top the end cabinets with 1/4 in. plywood, there is no need to hide the screws that you used to construct your boxes. This means that you can use strong, large screws without having to worry about the ugly holes filled with putty. Also, you’ll need an end cap should you decide to construct an independent base.
Make use of an adhesive for construction and a couple of small brads to secure the plywood in place and ensure that you extend the face frame’s outside stile by an additional 1/4 inch. to accommodate how thick, the wood is.