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Old 02-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #1
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Question Re; Trimming kitchen cabinet face frames


I'm in the middle of remodeling the entire kitchen. The existing cabinets are in good shape, made with 3/4 plywood boxes, and I am on a tight budget so I am going to refinish and reuse them.

The kitchen was a very tight claustrophobic U-shaped room and I've taken down all the interior non-load bearing walls to make it an open concept floorplan that flows into the dining room. So I am moving all of the cabinets except the sink base to completely new locations in the room.

What I am trying to do is get everything to fit nice and neat without having to use a lot of filler strips. I want the upper and lower cabinet doors/drawers to line up vertically, and to have the end of the uppers be equidistant from the window over the sink near (but not exactly in) the middle of the room. (There is a bank of uppers to the left and right of the sink, but they are different sizes.)

Some but not all of the upper and lower cabinet face frames overhang the left and/or right sides of the cabinet carcasses by anywhere from 1/4" to 1 1/4". A couple of the face frames fit exactly flush to the edge of the carcass. I have no idea why they are different. I didn't pay that close attention when I took down the cabinets.

I have been playing around with different layouts for the cabinets and appliances and I have one that is almost perfect, but what I would need to do is trim off some of the excess overhangs on the left or right of many of the face frames and make them flush to the carcasses.

Is that going to create problems when attaching the face frames and/or installing the cabinets?

Or, am I obsessing and if the uppers and lowers being off vertically by a couple of inches, is that not a big a deal?

Any tips/tricks/guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Last edited by ZZZZZ; 02-23-2015 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 03-05-2015, 01:47 PM   #2
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Precision trimming face frames is not difficult to do if you have a decent router. Buy a flush cutting router bit (The link is just a quickie I found; there are hundreds of choices). If the face frame needs to be flush, simply run it as is. If it needs to be, say, an eighth inch overhang, put a a 1/8" strip under the bearing. I prefer around an 1/8" overhang minimum. It insures the cabinets pull tight together with no gaps.

http://www.amazon.com/Freud-42-114-B.../dp/B0000225YC
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:00 PM   #3
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I don't see it as problem as long as you don't mind all of the face frames not being symmetrical.Trim them with a router and countersink the screws in to the face frames .
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:53 PM   #4
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I'm wondering why there is as much as 1 1/4" overhang on some of the face frames. Were these custom made on site?
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:20 PM   #5
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I'm wondering why there is as much as 1 1/4" overhang on some of the face frames. Were these custom made on site?
These cabinets were made and installed 25+ years ago (I bought the house 2 years ago) and it does appear they were custom built. 3/4 plywood boxes and nice straight-grain oak door and drawer panels.

The upper cabinets were in a U-shape along 3 walls. Each face frame spanned multiple boxes. The wider face frame sections were part of the two 90 degree corner assemblies.

I am modifying them all to fit in a new configuration which is all along one wall, an open, galley-type kitchen. A couple of the old cabinet uppers will be part of a new small island base.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_smelter View Post
Precision trimming face frames is not difficult to do if you have a decent router. Buy a flush cutting router bit (The link is just a quickie I found; there are hundreds of choices). If the face frame needs to be flush, simply run it as is. If it needs to be, say, an eighth inch overhang, put a a 1/8" strip under the bearing. I prefer around an 1/8" overhang minimum. It insures the cabinets pull tight together with no gaps.

http://www.amazon.com/Freud-42-114-B.../dp/B0000225YC
I have done something similar may times----I use a bottom bearing bit and attach a guide strip below the face frame--double faced tape---the router can only remove about 1/8" per pass--so plan on changing the guide for each pass--
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:17 PM   #7
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You could cut most of the excess wood away using a jig or circular saw leaving an 1/8 or 1/4 inch to finish off with the router, save a little time and effort that way.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses everybody.

I detached the face frames from the boxes when I took the cabinets down. The face frames were only held in place with a few short finish nails, 4 or 5 nails per frame. The nail holes were plugged with wood putty.

So I was thinking I would just rip the frames down to size (carefully) with my table saw. Bad idea?

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Old 03-06-2015, 06:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for the responses everybody.

I detached the face frames from the boxes when I took the cabinets down. The face frames were only held in place with a few short finish nails, 4 or 5 nails per frame. The nail holes were plugged with wood putty.

So I was thinking I would just rip the frames down to size (carefully) with my table saw. Bad idea?
Sounds like a plan to me.
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