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How to align a faceframe

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Forum topic by Spitfire1 posted 06-07-2017 01:38 PM 635 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spitfire1

53 posts in 579 days


06-07-2017 01:38 PM

I’m making a stand for my miter saw and wanted to add some drawers to it. Originally I wasn’t going to put a faceframe on it but since my plywood I used on the carcass has a slight bow I think I will add a faceframe and attach the drawer slides to the faceframe. I am wanting to know what is the best way for aligning a faceframe to the carcass. I know simply measuring won’t work because the overhang gap will be smaller in the middle then at the top or bottom.


14 replies so far

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rwe2156

2719 posts in 1321 days


#1 posted 06-07-2017 02:14 PM

The back should take most of the bow out, but you can align the plywood to the face frame using clamps. Adjust with a mallet.

Since its just a stand, I would use glue & trim screws.

OR, use drawer dividers which may be all you need.

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

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Spitfire1

53 posts in 579 days


#2 posted 06-07-2017 02:22 PM

How can I place the clamps to have the faceframe take the bow or?

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TungOil

748 posts in 335 days


#3 posted 06-07-2017 02:53 PM

“best way” is very subjective of course, and there are many ways to assemble face frames to carcass sides.

One way is to put a rabbet along the front edge of the carcass sides that mates with a groove in the stiles on the face frame. This guarantees that the sides of the case will be pulled straight when you assemble the FF to the carcass. I use a rabbet on the case side (rather than just making a wider groove in the back of the FF) since I feel it adds a little strength to the FF to help prevent splitting.

I’m sure you will get lots of other suggestions as well, and it partly depends on what tools you have available. I do all my rabbets and grooves with a dado stack in the TS.

-- 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"

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JBrow

1276 posts in 760 days


#4 posted 06-07-2017 03:08 PM

Spitfire1,

Like TungOil, I prefer to cut 3/8” wide x 3/8” deep grooves in an assembled face frame that align with rabbets milled on the ¾” thick plywood edges. The mating of the face frame grooves to the carcase rabbets during assembly brings the sides, top and bottom into alignment. But if your carcase is assembled and cannot be taken apart, this method would be difficult to execute.

If the carcase cannot be disassembled, a pair of straightening sticks (scrap boards cut to length and clamped inside the carcase) placed near the front of the carcase running from bottom to top to bring the top and bottom plywood panels straight under clamping pressure might work. If no top, then a piece of scrap could be temporarily screwed in place at the top of the carcase to act as a top. The same can be done for the sides running from side to side. The length of the straightening sticks in each direction can be found by accurately measuring the inside dimensions at the corners at the back near the bottom, where the plywood edges should be straight.

If the plywood is bowed outward, away from the center of the carcase then some long reach cambered cauls may be needed to clamp across the faces of the plywood. Otherwise long reach straight cauls could be used along with some wedges to driven between the caul and the plywood to draw the plywood tight against the ends of the straightening sticks.

If the plywood is bowed inward, toward the inside of the carcase, the straightening sticks would probably be held in place by the plywood, eliminating the need for clamps.

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Spitfire1

53 posts in 579 days


#5 posted 06-07-2017 03:40 PM

Interesting ideas. Unfortunately the cabinet is glued up so too late to rabbet it on a table saw. I will try the causal though since the plywood is bowed outward ( away from the centre of the cabinet. Interestingly only one side of the cabinet seems to be of issue.

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TungOil

748 posts in 335 days


#6 posted 06-07-2017 03:51 PM

Since the case is already glued up, another option is to use biscuits to align the FF to the carcass.

-- 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"

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pintodeluxe

5468 posts in 2653 days


#7 posted 06-07-2017 04:01 PM

I use biscuits to attach face frames to plywood cabinets. The face frames themselves are made with pocket screw joinery, but biscuits and glue hold the frame to the cabinet.

At first I thought biscuits might be a pain, but after trying it once I have used biscuits ever since.
If you don’t have a biscuit joiner, you can use brad nails and glue.

Another option…
and this is only because I am building a frameless shop cabinet right now. You could just install plywood dividers between the drawers, set flush with the cabinet front. Then everything could be edgebanded, and the cabinet would still be frameless. The dividers would solve your bowed plywood problem, and you might save some hardwood by not having a face frame.

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

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AlaskaGuy

3662 posts in 2149 days


#8 posted 06-07-2017 04:33 PM

You can do this after the box is put together.
http://elder.ninja/blog/p/1599

Take a router with a 5/32 biscuit cutting bit (see picture) and run a grove around the face of the box staying back a couple of inches from the corners. Register the from the out side of the box. Run a grove then flip the box run the grove until you’ve done all 4 sides.

Take your straight face frame pieces and put a few slots in the back of the face frame the appropriate distance from the edge to get the overhand or however you want to place.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

3662 posts in 2149 days


#9 posted 06-07-2017 04:39 PM

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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rwe2156

2719 posts in 1321 days


#10 posted 06-07-2017 05:56 PM


How can I place the clamps to have the faceframe take the bow or?

- Spitfire1

Clamp the face frame to the carcase, with moderate clamping pressure you will be able to move the plywood into alignment. The glue will help it slip. When you get it where you want it, tighten up the clamps, then screw it. Done. It the ply is so warped you can’t do that, then start over.

Its shop furniture. What AK guy is saying is best, but not necessary.

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

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Spitfire1

53 posts in 579 days


#11 posted 06-07-2017 06:17 PM

I have never used biscuits but I do have a pack in my garage. I seem to collect things like this hat I’ll someday use so I’m going to try AlaskaGuy method tomorrow

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Rick_M

10646 posts in 2220 days


#12 posted 06-08-2017 02:45 AM

I would use biscuits, they are ideal for this. Rabbets are great too. You could cut a shallow rabbet on the faceframe so it insets into the cabinet then a clamp will put everything tight and square. My description probably isn’t very good but it sounds like you’ve landed on biscuits so I won’t drag it out.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Spitfire1

53 posts in 579 days


#13 posted 06-08-2017 02:55 AM

I am interested in trying the rabbett idea but since I’ve already glued up the cabinet so I think it would be difficult to do and may have to wait for another project.

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Rick_M

10646 posts in 2220 days


#14 posted 06-08-2017 03:11 AM

I suspect you confusing my idea with someone else’s. It doesn’t matter that the cabinet is already glued up. Glue up the face frame and cut a shallow rabbet around the perimeter of the side that goes against the cabinet. This will leave a lip that insets into the cabinet. I would still use biscuits because I have a biscuit joiner, but the rabbet would make indexing the joiner a snap. I could draw a picture to make it more clear but it’s late and I’m tired. Sorry.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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