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Forum topic by spaine posted 10-24-2016 06:15 PM 1086 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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spaine

4 posts in 1849 days


10-24-2016 06:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining finishing

I did it again. I started a project without 100% planning it through. Basically, I went to make a built-in Entertainment Center. As shown in the attached picture. The issue I am having is, that the sides of the top portion are already attached to the walls. However, I still need to attach the face. I know that I should have attached the face using dowels or biscuits before attaching the top piece to the walls. It would also be easy enough for me to a finish nail it through the face, but I was really looking for another alternative.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


29 replies so far

View HickWillis's profile

HickWillis

114 posts in 494 days


#1 posted 10-24-2016 07:01 PM

I assume you’re going to stain the face frame the same color as the rest of the cabinet? If so, just use finish nails. The hole is so small you won’t even see it. You could also put a little bit of matching wood putty over the hole if you’re really concerned about it (or a bit of sawdust/glue then stain).

-- -Will

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4510 posts in 973 days


#2 posted 10-24-2016 08:06 PM

You could rabbet the face frame and glue it. I’d just glue it with a few finish nails to hold it in place. Actually, now that I look at it, I don’t see any way around having nails in it because there doesn’t appear to be any way to clamp the frame on for glue to set.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View verdesardog's profile

verdesardog

152 posts in 2446 days


#3 posted 10-24-2016 11:12 PM

You could use pocket screws but it might be difficult to hold the jig steady since you can’t clamp it

-- .. heyoka ..

View Chris208's profile

Chris208

239 posts in 2105 days


#4 posted 10-24-2016 11:45 PM

Can you just detach the top and do it right?

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JBrow

1273 posts in 755 days


#5 posted 10-25-2016 01:55 AM

spaine,

An alternative to finish nails through the face frame would be to build the face frame with integrated cleats. The cleats, glued to the backside of the face frame, would set on the sides, lower face of the shelf, and lower side of the top of the cabinet. Screws or brads through the cleats into the sides and top would hold the face frame in place.

I would think that cleats projecting into the cabinet by about ¾” would be sufficient to offer attaching points. If the cleats are thin, perhaps 3/8” the face frame could extend beyond the sides, shelf, and top (to the inside of the cabinet) by as little at ¾”. If the cleats are finished to match the finish inside the cabinet, they would not be very noticeable.

My approach would be to build the face frame ensuring that the stiles and rails overhand the inside of the cabinet by at least ¾”. The face frame could then be held in place and the location if the sides, top, and shelf of the built-in marked on the inside of the face frame. A 3/8” groove could be routed into the backside (inside) of the face frame, using the reference marks, to receive the cleats. The cleats could be pre-drilled for mounting screws (unless brads are used) and glued into the grooves in the face frame. A dry fit to the built in cabinet before gluing the cleats in place would ensure a perfect fit.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1821 posts in 2779 days


#6 posted 10-25-2016 03:46 AM

Like Willis said, just use finish nails. After that, buy a jar of wax close to the color of your wood and one white and one black jar. With these three, you can mix the dark with white to lighten it or black to darken it.

I’ve done this on light wood on bookshelves and, by playing with the mix as I moved down [or up], even I had trouble finding the holes.

If you don’t like a mix for a hole you just filled, just take another stab at it.

When done, toss on your finish of choice.


I assume you re going to stain the face frame the same color as the rest of the cabinet? If so, just use finish nails. The hole is so small you won t even see it. You could also put a little bit of matching wood putty over the hole if you re really concerned about it (or a bit of sawdust/glue then stain).

- HickWillis


View pmayer's profile

pmayer

987 posts in 2900 days


#7 posted 10-25-2016 01:52 PM

+1 finish nails. Kelly has a good recipe for you to hide the nails. This won’t bother anyone’s serenity.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

9612 posts in 3483 days


#8 posted 10-25-2016 04:23 PM

I would nail and fill but I understand why you might
want to try something a little more elegant.

You can drill evenly spaced counterbore holes for
screws and get a tapered plug cutter to make
plugs in the same or contrasting wood. You can
use raised square plugs too for a craftsman-style
look.

Another solution, kind of a pain to do, but invisble,
is mod-eze fasteners.

You can also get metal biscuits with two mating parts
that slide together and hold it tight. There’s also
some plastic variants on this idea available.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

965 posts in 426 days


#9 posted 10-26-2016 09:35 PM

My vote for blind dowels. Doweling centers from HF for $4 will help you a lot.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5459 posts in 2648 days


#10 posted 10-26-2016 09:45 PM

If it were before the install, I would’ve used biscuits and glue to attach the face frame.

Now, I would use an 18 gauge brad nailer. Mix Color Putty to match, and fill the holes (after stain and topcoat) Then take a Q-tip and roll a little topcoat over the putty spot. Use the same topcoat as your project (lacquer, poly etc).
Top coating the putty holes keeps them from drying out and lightening in color.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

965 posts in 426 days


#11 posted 10-26-2016 11:21 PM

Cannot believe my eyes. Out of all replies, Carloz excluded, only one is not suggesting to use nails in furniture !!!!
Is this a framing forum ?

View DS's profile

DS

2821 posts in 2255 days


#12 posted 10-26-2016 11:29 PM

Two steps forward one step back – story of my life…

There is no substitute for doing it right. (Notice I didn’t say “the first time”.)

How hard could it be to unattach this from the wall, make it right and then reinstall?

Short of that, Carloz is the man with the dowels!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

41 posts in 937 days


#13 posted 10-27-2016 01:20 AM

Make your entire face frame to size. Set it in place with glue. Fasten in place using chair braces on the back (interior) side:
http://www.stanleyhardware.com/type/chair-braces-braces
Small wood blocks would also work the same way. Some or all of the chair braces can be preinstalled to either the face frame or side panels to make installation easier. I think that the addition of biscuits would help hold everything in alignment while installing the chair braces. The braces could be removed after the glue dries; or not.

Another idea:
Build your face frame and cut biscuit slots in both face frame and cabinet. Mark location of biscuit slots in cabinet. Glue biscuits into face frame only and let dry. When dry, glue and install face frame. Drive a small brad through side panel and biscuit where marked to hold the whole assembly together until glue is dry.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8292 posts in 1321 days


#14 posted 10-27-2016 01:27 AM

No offense. If I wouldn’t call it fine furniture. Glue and nail it just enough to hold it. Or just nail it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

965 posts in 426 days


#15 posted 10-27-2016 04:06 PM



No offense. If I wouldn t call it fine furniture. Glue and nail it just enough to hold it. Or just nail it.

- TheFridge


Looks more like arrogance than offence. The cabinet looks nice.

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