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Hello, I need some guidance. I was thinking about making some kitchen cabinets with  1 1/2 inch painted face frames flush with the inside of the cabinet box. I would like to use European hinges and under mount drawer slides. The partition and ends would be doubled, i realize that this would be a waste of wood, space and quite close to frameless cabinets. I have heard some calling this a hybrid kitchen cabinet. Any thoughts?

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I believe what you are referring to is the cabinet that is known as an inset door and drawer system and it known as the hallmark of cabinet making.  The reason being is that they are the hardest to build as the measurement and fitting must be done in a close tolerance fashion.  The doors and the drawer fronts are fitted to render a even fit of around 1/16th of an inch or closer.  In this type of system the face frame is built a top fit on top of the cabinet box however the widths are large that the frameless or European style.  The doors and the drawer fronts fit inside of the face frame and not the face frame sitting on the inside of the cabinet boxes.

They can be build using either the traditional hinge and or with the European hinge that is commonly know as the invisible hinge.  

You do not loose any more space than with the overlay system as the box is built at the standard depth of 24 inches where as the standard cabinet box of today are build at 23 1/4 inches.   The inset door drawer system can be built using the beaded face frame if a person wishes to enhance the style,  They can be built with different styled doors including the raised panels however they are usually build using the flat panel such as the Shaker style.    

Jay,

Thank you for your comments. As usual I pick the most difficult way of making something. I was planning on 24 inch lower cabinets, 12 inch upper cabinets. The Shaker style doors and drawers would be inset. I thought the European hinges would make it easier for fitting.  Also, the 4 inch base would be separate. Is it better to paint the frames before attaching them? I plan on spraying them.

It would depend on how you want to finish the cabinet boxes,  I normally spray all of my cabinets as well.   If you are going to have the entire cabinet the same color I would spray the total assembled cabinet.  That way it seals all the wood and makes for a very nice looking cabinet.  you will find that you get less paint or finish damage that way.  I spray the doors and drawer fronts separate and don't add the hardware, like slides and hinges,   until the cabinet is totally finished and installed.
 
Michael Matteson said:

Jay,

Thank you for your comments. As usual I pick the most difficult way of making something. I was planning on 24 inch lower cabinets, 12 inch upper cabinets. The Shaker style doors and drawers would be inset. I thought the European hinges would make it easier for fitting.  Also, the 4 inch base would be separate. Is it better to paint the frames before attaching them? I plan on spraying them.

Thank you Jay but I should have been more specific, the inside of the cabinet will be finished maple and not painted. I thought about applying the face frame and just taping and covering what I do not want painted, but then it would probably be easier to spray them before applying them to the carcase. 

Michael,  The less painting that you can do before you start any assembly would give you a cleaner and nicer finish.  Just too many chances of dinging the finish.  In your project if the other cabinet parts are already finished to the color you wish, then painting the face frame before installing it would be the route to go.  A person would just have to be careful when installing the face frame

Thank you so much for your expertise.

Jay Boutwell said:

Michael,  The less painting that you can do before you start any assembly would give you a cleaner and nicer finish.  Just too many chances of dinging the finish.  In your project if the other cabinet parts are already finished to the color you wish, then painting the face frame before installing it would be the route to go.  A person would just have to be careful when installing the face frame

Jay, I ran onto a small problem I cannot seem to solve. I am using finished maple plywood for my kitchen cabinets. What type of glue do you use for the butt joints ? 

Michael Matteson said:

Thank you so much for your expertise.

Jay Boutwell said:

Michael,  The less painting that you can do before you start any assembly would give you a cleaner and nicer finish.  Just too many chances of dinging the finish.  In your project if the other cabinet parts are already finished to the color you wish, then painting the face frame before installing it would be the route to go.  A person would just have to be careful when installing the face frame

Michael. I use titebond original exclusively through out the construction.  It is a good glue that will set with a good bond and has a reasonable open time.   When doing butt joints I suggest putting a good heavy coat on the open grain end grains and let it set for a few minutes and then just before assembly apply another coat.   That allows the glue to soak into the end grain and gives you a much better bond with the long grains.  Be sure to post some photos of your project and it is good to photo it during construction as it gives you a nice record of the build.  I know I would like to see some when you can post some.

Thank you . I was worried about the glue not adhering the cut endgrain with the prefinished maple plywood on the butt joint. The kreg pocket screws appear to be pretty strong, I will definitely take photos and post them. I have to with all of your help!



Jay Boutwell said:

Michael. I use titebond original exclusively through out the construction.  It is a good glue that will set with a good bond and has a reasonable open time.   When doing butt joints I suggest putting a good heavy coat on the open grain end grains and let it set for a few minutes and then just before assembly apply another coat.   That allows the glue to soak into the end grain and gives you a much better bond with the long grains.  Be sure to post some photos of your project and it is good to photo it during construction as it gives you a nice record of the build.  I know I would like to see some when you can post some.

I have built 100's of cabinets, from small uppers to 4' x 7' pantries, without glue.

The one place that I do glue is building drawer boxes.

For the European hidden door hinges, be sure to invest the <$30 in the new Kreg jig!!

It is a game-changer, must-have for boring those huge holes in a door that took hours to build :)

Its on order, Thank you for the advice>

Scott said:

I have built 100's of cabinets, from small uppers to 4' x 7' pantries, without glue.

The one place that I do glue is building drawer boxes.

For the European hidden door hinges, be sure to invest the <$30 in the new Kreg jig!!

It is a game-changer, must-have for boring those huge holes in a door that took hours to build :)

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