Attaching Face Frames-What do you recommend?

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Forum topic by rance posted 09-06-2011 07:10 AM 6064 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3122 days

09-06-2011 07:10 AM

Topic tags/keywords: face frames cabinets question

I have a cabinet(baltic birch ply) that I’ll be attaching a face frame to. Plywood is 3/4” and facing is 1 1/2” x 3/4” soft pine. The corner of the cabinet:

With the face frame:

The face frame is Kreg screwed together. I thought I’d glue it to the plywood edge and then use 2” pins(Grex pinner). Alternating angled up & down of course. I could use brads but I don’t think my brad nailer takes more than about 1.5” brads.

What would you folks recommend?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

7 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6908 posts in 2560 days

#1 posted 09-06-2011 07:23 AM

Biscuits and glue is alwaus a possibility. You could use brads/pins and glue, but you will need to fill the holes.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3012 days

#2 posted 09-06-2011 07:25 AM

Do what Nahm did: Use a router with a slot cutter to cut a groove all around the edge of the cabinet, then using the same bit, route a biscuit slot here and there in the face frame so that it lines up whth the slot in the cainet, glue in appropriate size biscuits, and glue it all together. No worry about lining things up as the slot in the cabinet goes all around and the biscuits will drop right in. Use a flush trim bit to smooth things out. Nahm did his whole kitchen in 48 seconds. Simple. Really, he made it look easy, but he could make skinning a skunk look easy.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2643 days

#3 posted 09-06-2011 07:48 AM

Biscuits are a good and quick application .Also, No need to drive brads or nails through the face frame into the end grain of the ply ,as clamps will serve the same purpose as the glue drys . If you don’t want to use biscuits, you can put some chair / corner clamps ( or make some out of wood ) especially if you’re going to hang some doors (weight on the face frame ) on your cabinet. Hope this helps your ruminations . ..and the above should read ‘corner braces ’ not ‘corner clamps ’ .

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2922 days

#4 posted 09-06-2011 07:48 AM

i used to do this with biscuits, now i do it with dominos. it’s the same work, only the dominos are way more solid.

brads or nails in the “end grain” of plywood seems pretty light duty, though thats how i attached a beech faceframe to my mdf router table cabinet. it holds very well one year later, but the nails are only there to keep things together untill the glue dries. after that it’s the glue that hold things together.

View Woodbutcher3's profile


400 posts in 2848 days

#5 posted 09-06-2011 11:16 AM

Biskets or Kreg jig.

As Fussy said – Biscuits using the Nahm method

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3122 days

#6 posted 09-06-2011 05:30 PM

Moment, no doors. I should have mentioned that. Also should have mentioned(And I should know better) that these are for shop use, not kitchen.

Facing is only to cover the ugly plywood edge. Actually, they serve to hide the cleats too. Speed is the key here. I REALLY don’t want to deal with the biscuits or Kreg screws. I think I’ll try glue and pin nails on a test piece(like Greedo used), maybe brads. If that is unsat., then I’ll go with the biscuits. Thank you ALL very much for your input.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10043 posts in 4014 days

#7 posted 09-06-2011 05:48 PM


You’ll probably be OK with the Glue & Pins…

I think I would check/align the corners then pin at least 2 corners first… then hit the rest… 1.5” pins s/b just fine.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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