How to Fasten facing trim to cabinets

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Forum topic by Don46 posted 10-19-2009 01:53 AM 3134 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 3804 days

10-19-2009 01:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: trim facing fastening nailing

I’ve built three tall cabinets, to be used as wine bins in a cellar, out of 3/4 inch oak ply. I have ripped 1×4 inch solid oak lumber 1 1/4 inches wide for the face trim. I’m planning to attach them now that the cabinets are bolted together and in place. Because the cabinets are not accessible from the back or sides now that they are installed, I need to attach the face trim from the front.

What is the best way to attach this? Can I use my brad nailer? Or should I use finish nails and a hammer + punch? This is not fine furniture but it looks nice and I want to make this finishing touch look right.


-- --Don, Folly Beach, SC

17 replies so far

View DaneJ's profile


56 posts in 3410 days

#1 posted 10-19-2009 03:51 AM

nails will work… you may want to use finishing nails, brads may not be long enough. Remember that brad/nail holes will have to be filled with putty… if you use finish nails and a hammer predrill holes to prevent splitting the oak face frames. Oak is notorious for splitting.

as you said, it is not fine furniture, how about a little glue and countersunk screws, then cover the screws with button plugs. use contrasting wood to make the plugs an accent…

you can also use pocket screws and glue, assuming that you can get to them from inside.

If the face frame is just show, and not needed to hang doors, you can just glue it on, use a c-clamp on the plywood then use a wedge to put some pressure on the face frame until the glue dries.

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away... Tom Waits

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3778 days

#2 posted 10-19-2009 03:58 AM

If you can get it aligned you can also use biscuits

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3672 days

#3 posted 10-19-2009 04:08 AM

18ga brads

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3687 days

#4 posted 10-19-2009 04:28 AM

since they are already attached, and if you don’t mind a few very small holes, then like mics_54 said 18 ga brads are the easiest way to go. Just dab them with stain to may the silver go away. if you plan to build more of these, or build cabinets in general, i’d recommend investing in a biscuit joiner. i was putting edge trim on plywood shelving tonight with biscuits.

One other item. I think small 1/8” or so dowels always look great and not to hard to install. I would use dowels that are darker than the wood. They have an old world charm. Like a good wine! just my $0.02 good luck

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Karson's profile


35148 posts in 4602 days

#5 posted 10-19-2009 04:31 AM

Micro pins which are 23 ga. and glue. the pins will hold it tight until the glue dries.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3672 days

#6 posted 10-19-2009 05:20 AM

How the heck would you put 1/4 trim on with a bisquet?

View Don46's profile


44 posts in 3804 days

#7 posted 10-19-2009 05:21 AM

Very helpful, thanks. The wood is pretty dark stained, so I’m not sure I could make dowels darker, and I am not sure I would want them lighter. I will run that one by my wife, who often has good instincts on what is going to look right.

I’ve got an 18 gauge nail gun and if I can hide the brads I may try that.

The wine is going to love all this.

-- --Don, Folly Beach, SC

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3672 days

#8 posted 10-19-2009 05:51 AM

How the heck would you put 1/4 trim on with a bisquet?
If you putty it use color putty after it’s finished. Mix the color putty to match.

View Ed Elizondo's profile

Ed Elizondo

81 posts in 3724 days

#9 posted 10-19-2009 06:05 AM

If have some of the sawdust from the same type of wood, you can mix it up with glue, make your own putty, and use the same technique that Bentlyj suggested. The sawdust will match your wood and should take the stain the same as the wood around it. Or you can go ahead and add the stain to your mix before you put it into the holes. I have done this and it has matched very close and hardly, if at all, noticeable. Use a 23 ga. pin nailer if you have one along with glue. If not use an 18 ga. Pin nailers cost about $60 at the Home Depot. Or you can Harbor freight and get one cheaper, but not as reliable for long term use.

-- Ed E. " Taking one board at a time "

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3687 days

#10 posted 10-19-2009 07:44 PM

mics_54, oops, read the post to fast and didn’t see the 1/4” trim. that would be one small biscuit,”0000”, haha

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

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dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4516 days

#11 posted 10-19-2009 08:11 PM


View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

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#12 posted 10-19-2009 09:20 PM

I must be missing something … where does it say ¼” trim?? He says he used 1×4 (which is ¾” thick) and ripped it to 1¼” wide, so the trim is ¾” x 1¼”.

If it’s only ¼”, then just glue it.

-- -- --

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3486 days

#13 posted 10-19-2009 10:39 PM

I didn’t find the 1/4” either. Sounds like he wants to mount 1 1/4” wide trim (he cut from a 1×4 solid oak.) That should make it 3/4” thick. I’m with the biscuits if you can align it. Glue and biscuit should be enough.

-- John @

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3672 days

#14 posted 10-20-2009 02:00 AM

OK I put my glasses on…calm down.

View Don46's profile


44 posts in 3804 days

#15 posted 10-20-2009 02:31 AM

Yes, the trim is 1 and one quarter inch wide. I went ahead and used the brads and it seems to be working fine. I’ll finishthe trimming tomorrow I hope and then all it wants is a little more stain and top coat.


-- --Don, Folly Beach, SC

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