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Building in-frame kitchen units, any BTDT's or tips please?

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Anonymous

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I have got rather disappointed wandering round kitchen places looking at overpriced poorly made units. I have decided to make my own. I did hope to find a supplier at a reasonable price.

I have looked at Aragorns kitchen which is credit to him. https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/view ... 8151669cfa

I only have a small kitchen to fill an 'L' shape 2 metres long on each side. The design is very simple and will consist of square edged Shaker style doors which will be painted. The carcass will be made from oak veneered plywood ( or MDF?) and a solid oak worktop ( which I won't be making!).

The difficulties start as I will be making it in-frame ( flush doors) and want 32mm thick doors. I will be using traditional hinges and not the european style hinges.

Has anyone got any hints and tips please?

I have a sutton table saw, a good powerful router rail and stile router bits, mitre saw and I can borrow a dovetail jig from a friend who is a keen wood worker.

Thanks in anticipation.

David
 

Chris Knight

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David,
I am sure the regular kitchen builders will be along with their advice but a couple of observations anyway:-

Oak veneered MDF is available in a wider range of thicknesses and cuts (eg crown, QS etc) than veneered plywood although you can get plywood veneered with your choice of veneer at a premium. Veneered plywood is getting harder to find as time goes by.

Screwing regular butt hinges to MDF is not something I would do. If I used MDF for construction, I would certainly edge it with wood for the hinge attachments and overall appearance.

What is driving your door thickness - it seems very thick for an inset cupboard door?
 

Les Mahon

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David,

my immediate thoughts would be like chris that srewing standard hinges into MDF will lead to a world of hurt. My feeling if I have understood the design correctly would be to buid the carcases in veneered MDF and make a one piece face frame to cover the whole front then heing the doors on the face frame.

I might be miles off the mark (I often am first thing in the morning :roll: )

HTH
Les
 

cambournepete

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immediate thought is that the oak veneered MDF I used recently is rather too easy to dent, so needs rather careful handling. I've used it to make floor standing shelves for the kitchen and it hasn't got any worse though. I've edged it with hardwood and it looks generally OK.
 
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Anonymous

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Thank you for your replies. The frame would be beech or painted oak (or plain oak as the 'boss' changes designs quicker than I change socks). The door edges would be birch or oak. This would mean there is no screwing into MDF.

I have seen a lovely kitchen at a company called David Lisle in Macclesfield and the doors on the desired kitchen £15,000 start price :shock: are that thick and it adds a very solid feel to the whole unit. I have picture which I could attach but don't have website to link to. Can you attach images to the posts?

The rails would be 50mm tall and 32mm thick, the stiles would be 32mm square. The stiles go from top to bottom and the rails are the door width +5mm. I am unsure how to join the stiles to the rails 2x small biscuits.?, dowels? Mortice?

One of the problems is where to get suitable thickness hardwoods, birch or beech. I have a thicknesser and could reduce it. I live in Cheshire and a local supplier would be best.

David
 

Chris Knight

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David,

David Lisle seems to have a nice website - it looks as though they do good work indeed.

I can't quite visualise your door design if the rails are wider than the doors. You can post a picture to my website if you wish follw the instructions
here.

Timber suppliers may be found here and by using the search facility and links on this site
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Chris, thanks for the reply and the link. I will have to sit down and read it. I have worked in computing for 25 years now and have never made a website. I have not found a website for David lisle as yet. The rail and stile are on the frame and not the door. 70mm rail and stile for the doors. 25mm stile and 50mm rail on the frame.

David
 
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DaveL":29k81kgt said:
David,

They have a very nice site, look here.
Thanks Dave, didn't think of just trying his name :oops:

The kitchen is the third? one in the sequence with painted doors. It has a bowl of fruit in the foreground and has a larder cupboard open to the right. It is also shown behind david when he is seated at his drawing board. Very nice chap, he is restoring an old Panther motorbike.

David
 

Chris Knight

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David,

This is the picture I take it?



Joining stiles to rails for the doors you could use biscuits or M/T or cope and stick router bits or dowels. Depends what you feel comfortable doing really. Dowels are the least desirable option probably.

For the face frame, you could use pocket hole jiggery or mortice and tenon. The stiles look too narrow for biscuits.
 
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Anonymous

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That's the one Chris, The rails are 32mm x 50mm and the stiles are 32mm square. The surface area would be 32mm x 50mm which is large enough for biscuits I would have thought. I would prefer to do M+T but would be happier with a jig. I don't fancy laying out for a wood rat just yet!.
Any other suggestions as to how to do M+T would be appreciated

Mortice machine? and make the tenons on the bench saw?

David
 

DaveL

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David,

You could cut the mortises using your router and a home made jig.

You need to use the search on the forum to find jig ideas, some nice ones have been posted.

(I used Google to find their web site.)
 

Chris Knight

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David,
I can see where you said earlier that the stiles run through from top to bottom but the picture shows the face frame stiles to stop at the long rail - which is normal and what I would expect for a run of cabinets made in this way.

So, unless you are changing the design (your prerogative of course!) then there is no enough room for biscuits where stile meets rail. It is a situation that a pocket hole jig would address very well. M/T is of course possible but judging by your question you are not very experienced in them and for this job where you have several joints along the rail (here I am assuming something about your design that may be wrong) then one bad joint is going to make it all look bad. You can of course do it and if so, I would suggest you cut the mortices with a router and the tenons, as you say, on the TS. You don't need a Woodrat for this job, a hand held router and fence with a couple of bits of wood clamped to the side of the rail for stability will let you cut perfect mortices.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks Chris, I don't mind if the stiles go all the way. The picture rastering makes it look like there is a joint at the top of the cupboards. I have looked closely and the stiles actually go from top to bottom which I thought was strange. I feel a long run is simpler ( and stronger) I will look into making the relavent jigs. The pocket hole jig sounds good, I will have to do more research. I don't mind spending money on tools and jigs if it reduces human error, namely mine.

Time to head to Amazon and look for a jig book!

David
 

tim

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David

My first point would be don't necessarily be a slave to construction methods used in a design you like. Its better to understand why the design has been made that way and then decide if you need (or want) to build it that way. The frames are probably built on site rather than constructed in long, difficult to carry and install frames (which is what a continuous rail will create).

I don't know why they are using 32mm stock - seems excessive and will add considerably to your material costs. 25 mm would be more than enough.

I would also suggest that you get a couple of books on kitchen cabinet construction. A search on Amazon will deliver a whole host of choices (as will a search here). While the language and tool use may be different, it may be more suitable to buy US books since face frame construction is the norm there. There are more US books anyway on woodworking.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Tim
 

johnelliott

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My advice (and tip) would be to not do it. Not face frame and not inset doors and not butt hinges.
Working on the reasonable presumption that my advice is not going to be taken, then I would at least advise making the doors thinner and not using butt hinges. The main reason being that with painted kitchens the door gaps are vivid and you will need to be highly skilled indeed to fit the doors so that the gaps are even all round. In fact, I'd be surprised and impressed if the gaps are even on the display kitchen.
It might be possible to get the doors fitted correctly in the workshop, but by the time the cabinets have been fitted to the walls and tightened up none of the openings will be perfectly rectangular.
I strongly recommend using 3d adjustable Blum hinges. They do a version for inset doors and you can space them out from the carcase sides to match the face frame overlay

John
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks Tim, I have already looked at a couple of books from a friend of mine. They dealt with face frame construction and not in-frame construction. I feel that 25mm will be a far better bet as well as cheaper and more readily available. The design is as shown above. The joining of the internal carcass to the visible frame will best be done with the biscuit jointer I feel.

I have been wondering if I could use a half lap joint on the visible frame as all the weight of the cabinet and contents is taken on a standard style carcass.

The books were not much help I'm afraid. I will be careful to research them well first. I'm hopefully going to the Welsh wood show next week. May be something useful there.

In the mean time I need to make a cutting list and probably plenty of sketches.

David
 

Real wood

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You could use biscuits for the face frame joints. If you cut the slot so that the biscuit sticks out of the outer edge then once the glue has set you can cut off the excess. This would save you buying a kreg jig but if you dont mind buying one then this would be your easiest option. I use my kreg jig nearly every day for face frames on cabinets. Make sure you clamp the joint before putting the screws in and this will stop the two joints from moving.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks Steve, my friend roger has a pocket hole jig. My thoughts on frame design chnge all the time. I keep thinking of different construction methods. I am a metal worker at heart I am currently rebuilding a 1949 Morris Minor tourer and have had to make a lot of the panels myself. I tend to think of things in a different way and then see if that will work in wood. I will get some pine and use the old kitchen cabinets to have a play.

The Girlfrind likes a mitred joint on the shaker style doors which I think would be easier on construction but more difficult to keep square. I know to not glue the sentre panel in place and use foam to cushion it.

Time to make sawdust!

David
 

Shady

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David - listen to John Elliot!! without embarrassing him, he does this stuff a lot, and knows what he's on about.

I'm a keen amateur, and speaking from personal experience( :( ): he is spot on re butt hinges. They require significant skill and effort to mount one pair, and in fitted furniture (like kitchen cabinets) where there are a) lots of them and b) they're all ever so slightly out of true by virtue of the imperceptible but ever present out of true walls and floors, they will generate uneven gap lines along a run of doors, which your eye will spot immediately. Go for the euro hinges - they're not used by the trade without good reason....

As to books, I've got this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1561580589/qid=1117189799/202-4973733-2012653

It's aimed at the US market, but has excellent tips on simple ways to jig the building and joining of the cabinets so as to get as professional a finished product as possible - I have found it useful for all fitted furniture work.

Edit: I'd also recommend pocket hole joinery: once you acknowledge the need to clamp up mating parts before drilling with the jig, it is the most foolproof way of producing a large number carcassess.
 

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