LumberJocks

making frameless cabinets

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by brian88 posted 07-28-2011 12:57 AM 7974 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View brian88's profile

brian88

108 posts in 2237 days


07-28-2011 12:57 AM

Hello, I have been cabinet maker for a while now and I have the opportunity to make some frameless full overlay european style cabinets…I am probably overanilizing the process but what would be the best way to go about it…the customer wants continuous virtical grain fir cabinets…my main question is: do I build them out of plywood which I have a supplier for? If so then how should I finish the edges? edgeband vaneer or hardwood? should the doors be plywood also??? Any help would be greatly apprcieated…thanks jocks.
Brian

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."


9 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2536 days


#1 posted 07-28-2011 01:00 AM

I did several frameless bathroom vanities with slab doors in beech plywood and used iron-on edge banding. They came out great.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View brian88's profile

brian88

108 posts in 2237 days


#2 posted 07-28-2011 01:08 AM

beautifull work…I dont know why this seams so intimidating to me…..just different from the norm I guess…this project would involve kitchen and livingroom cabinetry that would also have panels above that would match and have the grain running continuous. Any tips woudl be greatly appreciated.

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

530 posts in 2122 days


#3 posted 07-28-2011 02:48 AM

Brian,

I did a whole house of full overlay frameless VG fir cabinetry. Combine this with the VG fir on the walls and ceilings I think they had vertigo or something.

Anyway, I made the boxes from 3/4” VG fir plywood with the visible edges banded with VG fir veneer. The doors were 5-piece flat panel VG fir. Drawer faces were 3/4” VG fir plywood with edgebanding all the way around. The cabinets turned out very good. Just way to much VG fir for my tastes.

It’s not that difficult. Just make sure your boxes are PERFECTLY square because you won’t have the faceframe to help compensate in case they are a little off. Out of square will make it very difficult to get the doors to fit properly. Also make sure the doors and drawer faces are PERFECTLY square.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Loren's profile

Loren

8315 posts in 3116 days


#4 posted 07-28-2011 02:59 AM

I have some advice you should listen to well – make them with a 1” wide
by 3/4-1” thick solid wood edging. This will allow you to make the vertical
plywood sides appear really straight. Otherwise, you’ll have awkward
issues with “gap control” if you do inset doors. If doing overlay doors you
can be a lot sloppier.

Squareness is critical to inset work and SURPRISE – plywood will “potato chip”
on you much more readily than good melamine or MDF. That means that if you
make the back of the cabinets square, the fronts won’t be and vice-versa.

Given my druthers, I want the fronts square. You may want to have your
veneers laid up on MDF.

View ,'s profile

,

2387 posts in 3015 days


#5 posted 07-28-2011 03:34 AM

We do pretty much all residential. But we did a large commercial job, about 170 lf of melamine cabinet with laminate counter tops we laid up ourselves. We had fun in hindsight. It was a challenge but a success.

I may not be able to offer much adv though. We built with melamine. We laminated slab doors and drawer fronts. I cheated and outsourced edge banding. Great deal for us. Not sure we will do it again, or much. Commercial work did not pay any up front and ended up being real slow for payment.

Just follow commen sense, we used dado construction on our cabs, hut butt melamine worked just fine. I disxovered titebond does not bond to melamine surfaces so a glued butt joint is a waste of good glue.

For laying up sheets we used contact spray from a propane tank closed system. Very expensive set up. But with laminate there is no finish work and everything looks shiny and perfect, or not flawed. Anyway, deep down i am a wood fuy and prefer playing with the woods.

Probably not much help but just har to throw our 2 cents in.

-- .

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2536 days


#6 posted 07-28-2011 06:22 AM

The real trick with frameless cabs is making sure everything is SQUARE! Faceframe cabs are pretty easy to fudge, but frameless not so much.

At least you’re doing overlay doors. Frameless cabs with inset doors can be a real PITA. – lol I’ve been known to tweak the fit of inset doors before I put on the edge banding.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1159 posts in 2158 days


#7 posted 07-28-2011 05:21 PM

In this case my cases would be built using 3/4” prefinished birch plywood. 1/4” prefinished birch plywood backs cut square (perfectly) so that you can use the back to square the cabinet. 3/4” x 2 1/2” hangrail inside the cabinet. Edgeband with preglued veneer and finish edges before assembly. I would allow a 1/8” gap between full overlay doors and drawer fronts. I would also use solid wood for the doors and end panels which gives the customer the look they want.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View brian88's profile

brian88

108 posts in 2237 days


#8 posted 07-30-2011 12:30 AM

hey Thank you all for your input….I am thinking about the potato chip effect ad Was concerned about that as well. still not sure how to address that. I really respect the wisdom and camaraderie with those involved on this site…

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

View Loren's profile

Loren

8315 posts in 3116 days


#9 posted 07-30-2011 01:08 AM

If you use a solid wood edge band you can round it over a little, which
makes a shadow effect that downplays “gaposis inconsistus” between
inset doors and the frameless boxes. You can shape the doors a bit too,
to make the gap appear more even.

There’s this thing that happens with cabinet openings over about 30”
tall where the sheet stock on the sides will be warped one way or
the other at the front. You flip your tape from corner to corner and
the box should be square, but it’s bowing a little on one or more
sides. It doesn’t happen noticeably all the time, but it will happen
and if you’re doing real high-end, clean and modern work, the client
(or designer) might say something and then you’ve got some
explaining to do.

Most of the guys who do frameless only do melamine and MDF/laminate
for this among other reasons. Still, you have to store the melamine
flat and blah, blah.

The details of the business can drive you nearly crazy. Fine work is
meticulous no matter what the style.

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