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Dado Back of Faceframe & Pocket Screws

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Forum topic by Scott posted 02-24-2017 12:23 PM 845 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott

101 posts in 1189 days


02-24-2017 12:23 PM

I’m starting to plan out my kitchen cabinet build that will happen in the next few years. My question today is about attaching the faceframe to the carcass. The method for attaching the faceframe will be pocket screws. But does anyone also dado the back for the faceframe to get a more seamless look? I’ve seen this done on a few high end cabinets. And yes, whenever I go to someone’s house, I peak at how their cabinets were constructed lol


21 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2709 posts in 1314 days


#1 posted 02-24-2017 01:17 PM

I only build frameless cabs but my initial reaction is “why?”

My real question is why the heck are you looking inside peoples cabinets for something not even noticeable?

There may be larger issues here LOL.

Oh, jeez, did I just take some bait?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View RockyTopScott's profile

RockyTopScott

1186 posts in 3311 days


#2 posted 02-24-2017 02:40 PM

I have done both Scott. The dado became overkill for me. Now I glue the FF and pocket screw from top stretcher and bottom shelf. May a few pins to keep it aligned while I put in the screws. don’t overthink faceframes, they don’t have to be indestructable.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

2949 posts in 545 days


#3 posted 02-24-2017 03:13 PM

IMHO ….the only cabinet to build is Frameless …. good luck to you sir :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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Scott

101 posts in 1189 days


#4 posted 02-24-2017 03:27 PM

rwe2156, haha I don’t look in people’s cabinets to see if they have a dado. I just look at them (from a distance) for general construction. I usually do this with any furniture I see. I’m just curious how it went together and try to get ideas for projects for the future.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

740 posts in 328 days


#5 posted 02-24-2017 03:42 PM

I do both. the dado helps assure the sides of the cabinet are straight and true and gives me a bit more glue surface. I run some pocket screws in from the outside face to pull everything together. Since I use pre-finished birch for all of my carcasses now this gets me to “done” much faster. For cabinet sides that show I cover up the end with either matching PSA veneer (cheap/easy) or a raised panel screwed in from the inside.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5455 posts in 2646 days


#6 posted 02-24-2017 04:01 PM

I assemble the face frame itself with pocket screws, but attach the face frame to the carcass with biscuits and glue.

It works great.

Just glue and clamps works fine too.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

9602 posts in 3481 days


#7 posted 02-24-2017 05:17 PM

with 3/4” thick cabinet sides I think it’s fine
to eliminate dados.

Some of these t&g type construction techniques
are better suited to light weight cabinets with
1/2” sides, imo. They used to be made that
way to save costs and weight for installation
in high-rise buildings but these days the 3/4”
side is king.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1621 posts in 2642 days


#8 posted 02-24-2017 10:42 PM

Dado ? How would that possibly help ? and where would you dado a face frame ?

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

740 posts in 328 days


#9 posted 02-24-2017 11:23 PM

the dado runs vertically up the back of the face frame where the side meets the back of the frame. It helps in two ways- first it forces the cabinet sides to be straight even if your ply has a slight bow and second it adds about 3x the glue area compared to a simple butt joint.

I build mine with a 3/8” x 3/8” dado in the face frame that mates to a corresponding rabbet in the carcass side.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View pontic's profile

pontic

500 posts in 442 days


#10 posted 02-24-2017 11:46 PM

I use case built frames mostly. and no face frames. Dado the shelves upper and lower on the upper cabinets. Lower cabinets I run a dado on the floor just above the toe kick and frame above to support the top. Back is rabbeted 1/4” ply. All drawers on the bottom. Older clients like them better.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View mat60's profile

mat60

34 posts in 289 days


#11 posted 02-27-2017 01:11 AM

Im with TungOil.

View Scott's profile

Scott

101 posts in 1189 days


#12 posted 02-27-2017 01:48 AM

For those of you that douse dado, how do you cut them? Do you use a router jig?

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

740 posts in 328 days


#13 posted 02-27-2017 01:56 AM

I cut my dados with a dado stack on the TS. It’s the easiest for me (and doesn’t fill the shop with dust and chips). I cut the dado for the face frame, flip the panel and cut another for the back to slip into. quick and easy, all done with one setup.

A router would work too, but would make a bigger mess.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1269 posts in 753 days


#14 posted 02-27-2017 04:26 AM

Scott,

I am following TungOil’s prescription; dados in the face frame at the table saw that slip over rabbeted tongues in the plywood sides, and bottom (and top if an upper cabinet). I try to cut the rabbeted plywood tongues a little too large to fit the dado and then fine tune the rabbeted plywood tongue with a shoulder plane for a snug fit. I also use the dado/rabbeted tongue joint to connect the sides, back and bottom (and top if an upper) of the cabinet.

It helps a lot in producing a square cabinet when it is time to glue things together. It takes some time but then I am building cabinets for our own kitchen and thus I am liberated from the constraints of a production shop where time is money.

View Scott's profile

Scott

101 posts in 1189 days


#15 posted 02-27-2017 12:29 PM

TungOil, wouldn’t you see the dado on the bottom of the stiles? I”m thinking of upper cabinets. Yes you’d have to be looking for them in order to see them. That’s why I was thinking people do it on a router.

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