LumberJocks

Anyone using dados to attach face frames to cabinets?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by scott_v posted 1626 days ago 5258 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View scott_v's profile

scott_v

13 posts in 1639 days


1626 days ago

I’m looking for input from folks that use dados to attach face frames to cabinets. What technique do you use? Basically, I’m looking for construction details on how you do it. I’m new to cabinet making and like the idea of using dado’s to guarantee alignment.

Thanks


14 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

9829 posts in 2255 days


#1 posted 1626 days ago

Last one I built, I tried biscuts and glue. Worked OK.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2322 days


#2 posted 1626 days ago

Scott, I use biscuits and glue like Lew for my cabinets and bookcases. Biscuits do not add a lot of strength to the assembly but their main purpose is to ensure alignment.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View UnionLabel's profile

UnionLabel

660 posts in 1700 days


#3 posted 1626 days ago

Biscuits and Glue. I use the continuos groove around the box edge, then it makes no difference on biscuit alignment. They always line up.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109270 posts in 2077 days


#4 posted 1626 days ago

Hey Scott
Norms uses a techniques were he puts grooves down the front edge of the cabinets and biscuits in the face frames looks like it might work well. sorry looks like I missed Unionlabels post that says the same thing.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View scott_v's profile

scott_v

13 posts in 1639 days


#5 posted 1626 days ago

I’m looking for best practices on dadoing face frames to cabinets and so far I’ve only gotten inputs on biscuit joinery. Is anyone out there using the dado method?

View doyoulikegumwood's profile

doyoulikegumwood

384 posts in 2492 days


#6 posted 1626 days ago

hey scott i think the main reason no one has givin you any input on it is cuz no one uses dado’s to connect face frames but if i were to try doing this i would have to do my home work to make sure the dado’s were centered and then on any areas where my top and bottom rails met the sides of my carcasses i would imagine the easiest way to do that would be with a good sharp chisel. hope this helps

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

283 posts in 2488 days


#7 posted 1626 days ago

I use the Sommerfeld Offset Tongue & Groove System. The bit set had a few problems with dimensions when he first introduced it, but I believe it’s been corrected in his China-made house-branded stuff. Woodline USA has a set on Amazon for about $40 + free shipping .. .. that’s about a third of Sommerfeld’s price, and they tend to have pretty good stuff.

The thing I do like about this system is that there is almost NO setup time. Drop in the tongue cutter .. adjust for the amount of offset you desire for this session .. rout away. The two bits are ground in such a way that you simply remove one cutter & drop in the other without any adjustment .. .. which is nice because you’ll be swapping them back & forth quite a bit.

All in all, it’s a VERY convenient & efficient method .. AND it is about foolproof.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View ChunkyC's profile

ChunkyC

856 posts in 1754 days


#8 posted 1626 days ago

I must be confused, again, or I’m having another dyslexic moment (a yes I am dyslexic). Are you asking about adding dados to the cabinet or to the face frame? I would think that you would want the face frame flush with the edge of the cabinet a dado certainly wouldn’t do that. A dado would leave a bit of stock sticking out around the edge of the face frame.

(?)

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures: http://spadfest.rcspads.com/thumbnails.php?album=135

View jerryz's profile

jerryz

164 posts in 1779 days


#9 posted 1626 days ago

Actually dadoes can be used when making kitchen cabinets to join the face frame to the carcass.
I rebuilt my kitchen and used this method mainly because the face frames I had that where Oak where joined to the carcass that way and I was able to reuse several face frames.
I rebuilt all the carcasses using 1/2” Plywood the face frame has a dado about 1/8” in from the exterior side, the bottom side has a rabbet instead. You use glue and some brads to join the 2 components.
I also used some short wood pieces ( a 1/2” piece cut on the diagonal making a triangle piece) to reinforce the joints.

The reason you leave a gap between cabinets is that if there are any imperfections on the wall and you need to adjust the cabinet to make sure it is square with the others you will have some play by having the side wall of each cabinet 1/8” inside the face frames. You join the cabinets with screws by their frames and then fix them to the wall by using shims and screws

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1659 days


#10 posted 1626 days ago

Contractor grade cabinets are typically a hardwood face frame grooved to fit laminated particle board sides. The grooves are typically in the stiles only, 1/4” offset from the edge of the face frame (face frame is 1/2” larger than box width). Top and bottom of the box butt into the rails, affixed by glue and brads/staples. So, the sides of the box project out to slot into the grooves. The groove is wide enough to accommodate the entire width of the side boards, usually 1/2” in such a cabinet.

Groove construction is hardly necessary when you have others ways of connecting the face frame, but it works well with particle board whereas bisquits and brads aren’t practical.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View cbMerlin's profile

cbMerlin

98 posts in 1921 days


#11 posted 1625 days ago

I used dadoes on my recent kitchen cabinet rebuild for exactly the reason you stated. As Jay stated, only on the stiles. I set up my router table to cut the dadoes with an under-sized 1/2” bit to accomodate the 1/2 ply I used for the carcass. I inset the cut 1/8”, as Jerrys stated, for the same reason, I already knew my wall were not exactly square. I wanted raised panels on the end panels so I inset the dado 3/4” to account for the width of the stock I was using for the raised panels. I only cut the dado 1/4” deep, but still made two passes to get there. I wasn’t completely comfortable going the full 1/4” in one pass. Took me more time, but I sure felt safer with small cuts. I used some 90 degree jigs I built in all the corners to hold square, glued it up and used bar clamps to hold it all together while the glue dried. Worked perfect and ended up dead square. While installing the cabinets…......well that’s when I discovered how far out my floors were. Shimms to the rescue!

-- Sawdust looks better in the garage than cars, explain that to your wife!

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 1971 days


#12 posted 1625 days ago

Dado face frames sound like an excercise in unnecessary complication to me but if you are set up to manage such part tracking I guess its doable. I have heard of people building cabinets this way but their systems were managed with CNC production and elaborate parts manufacturing equipment. I suppose if you aren’t doing very many cabinets and care to spend the extra time developing the method to insure reliable fitting including any misc. parts interior of a finish box, side panels, cutting optimization of sheet goods, drawer side panels lengths, drawer yoke lenghts (if used) then…go for it. However this method wouldn’t work well for built-in style cabinet fronts where a single front is to be added to a long bank of contiguouos cabinets, which would further complicate the method.

View Jerry's profile (online now)

Jerry

1950 posts in 2047 days


#13 posted 1625 days ago

I have done this when refacing existing cabinets. Stock cabinets from China or other countries I have found use this type of joinery for face frames. To stay within existing parameters I just replace face frames using the dado method. I don’t like doing it but I do think it is stronger. I just suggest measuring extremely accurately and carefully planning out your project. You should have no problem. When we build cabinets from ground up, we use a hybrid frameless/face frame technique I have tweated here and there. Just my 2 cents.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1659 days


#14 posted 1625 days ago

For a standard cabinet with face frame, it’s actually not hard to rip a couple of grooves in the stiles to accomodate the cabinet sides. A good table saw makes easy work of that, and it seems faster to me than bisquits. I also think it would be much more stable. Likewise, if stock for the box is 1/2”, bisquits aren’t really practical.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase