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SBW#59 – Kitchen Cabinet Build Part 26 – Cabinet Door Prep

What do I mean by cabinet door prep? Well, let us look at this from a starting point of, you have made your door, glued it up and it is fresh out of the clamps. What do you need to do to it now? Slap some hinges on it and call it a day? Wrong, let’s not only put in 20% effort for the last 20% that needs to be done.

So first things first, you’ll need to scrape all the dried glue off of the joints. While it is easiest to do glue scraping when the glue is partially dried and not fully cured with doors that may not be possible given the clamps may hide a majority of the glue squeeze out. I find that using a sharp paint scraper like the Hyde 10530 paint scraper works great. This razor shape scraper cuts through glue and will even smooth out some joints as card scrapers will. Most of the squeeze-out will probably be on the downward side of the door which should be the back side.

Once you get most of the dried glue removed, keep in mind not to damage the wood, You have two choices here. First, you can rough sand with 80 grit to remove all rough areas and imperfections on the doors. Or second, you can do edge profiling.

I choose to do the 80 grit sanding first. That way I’ve got a smooth door to work with when running it on a router table or router over it. Those bumps and imperfections can cause the router to hop or hang up causing your edge profiling or any detailing you’re going to do not to look so good.

So, I sand everything down with 80 grit sandpaper on my random orbital sander. Once I have this step done I move on to using my router table to do any edge profile that I want. If I’m going to do any inset work I use my handheld router and a guide to do it now also. One thing to note if you’re sanding is you should always do your best to collect any sanding dust. I attach my sanders to my dust collection through a shop vac hose. In addition, I use an Eclipse Half Mask Respirator S/M to keep the fine dust out of my lungs. If you don’t have a respirator you can always use N95 dust masks.

Now that I have my rough sanding done I move on to my router table. Using a 45-degree chamfer bit I do all front edges of the doors. The one exception is my corner cabinet. I don’t want to the edges where the two doors meet at the hinges. I want a nice square look here.

If you decide to route the edge of your doors, you should start with either the top or bottom. This is the location where the stile will come to end grain. Do these first because if it happens to splinter out, the router bit will chase the splinter when you are routing the style itself. So, start on the door edge that is made up from your rail, then do the stile, then the other rail, and finally the remaining stile. If you do have a splinter that is unable to be routed out, try to find the splinter and reglue it. The route the repair but it’s best to go slow when you are reaching the end of the board to avoid a tear out in the first place.

Once this is done I move on to drilling the cups for the concealed hinges. I’m using Blum Compact Blumotion 38C Hinges. This has a slow close feature that keeps the door from banging closed. The particular hinge you choose will be dependent entirely on the overlay. I need 1 1/4″ overlay hinges. You’ll need 2 hinges at a minimum. One for the top and one for the bottom. However, if you have larger than the standard size I recommend using 3 hinges with that additional one in the middle. For my base cabinets, I only need 2 but for my upper 42″ doors, I need 3 hinges.

I drill the holes using a Kreg Concealed Hinge Jig. This jig is awesome and makes short work out of drilling everything. Once you set it up and dial it in, you’re good to buzz through all your doors consistently. It cuts out the two pilot holes for the screws on the door as well as the 35mm cup for the actual hinge.

To use this jig all you need to do is use some clamps. I’m using my Kreg face clamps to hold it down but you can use any clamps if you like. Drill all three holes before moving your jig. This will ensure accuracy.

Once I drill 1 hole I double-check to make sure everything is good. I not only do this on my test piece but also on my live stock piece.

After drilling all my holes I ended up with a large pile of pencil shavings – well, 35mm hole shavings.

Finally, I fill in any imperfections with wood filler and sand the door down to 120 grit. I break all edges as I did on my face frames so the paint will adhere down.

That’s pretty much it on how I make cabinet doors. You can check out the video below to watch the entire process.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


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SBW#58 – Kitchen Cabinet Build Part 25 – Attaching the Frames

I have come a long way from raw material to time to attach finished face frames to my cabinets. Hours of labor could easily be wasted if I do this wrong and damage the frames or even worse, they don’t fit the cabinet carcasses!

What could go wrong right? I’ve been down this road so many times and refined the process with tricks that make it faster and easier to do however, you never know what’s around the corner and apparently the first cabinet I did turn that corner.

Even though these frames are painted I’m going to use a small bead of Titebond III glue. Why Titebond III? It’s water-resistant and since these are most likely going to be exposed to water over the years I want that protection.

So, I start out with my first trick – hammer a small 3d nail in partway and cut off the top so that only about 1/16″ is showing. I do this for all 4 corners of the cabinet. This allows me to put a bead of glue down and set the frame down on the nails without smearing or making a mess. When I get the frame positioned how I want it, I simply press down to see the frame to the carcass. This pushes the nail into the plywood and you end up with no mess gluing.

Then I pocket screw the frame down which work well until you hit another pocket screw that was used to build the frame. This caused the screw the shear out of the frame instead of going where it needed to go. Nothing a little lipstick won’t fix right? Well, some glue and sanding and repainting at least.

However, given the fact we have glued down on the carcass, we’ll just keep on doing the rest of the screws one by one until they are done. I also use a small piece of felt where the Kreg clamp is touching the frame so the clamp will not damage the frame finish.

As a circle back to the damaged spot I decide to just use the Kreg Mini Jig to drill a new hole away from the screw in the frame and use this one instead.

Now that I have the face frame screwed down I’m going to glue the wainscoting edge on that I had previously left off. I add some glue to the side and just use my 23 gauge pin nailer to hold it in place. But of course, because this train has already derailed with the pocket screw my pin nailer shots a blank and the piece simply fall off and onto the floor.

I had a little bit of glue squeeze out that I needed to clean off from this piece. I simply use a small putty knife and a paper towel to wipe it clean.

I add a little DAP plastic wood putty to any gaps and pinholes and sand them flat and off.

I repeat the process with all the remaining cabinets until I’m done.

As always if you have any questions or comments post them below or on my YouTube video comments section and I’ll do my best to respond.

I’ve included a few Amazon Links below for the equipment and materials I used.

Equipment and Materials

I hope you find this video useful and can use some of the tips presented. Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or experiences you have had below.

Some of the links in my video description and article above are Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you would like to make a different purchase from Amazon, you can also use the storewide link.


Looking for a Gift Idea? Visit the Amazon Gift Hub
Or Check out our Deal of the Day page in the Top Right of the Menu

Looking for athletic clothing? Try Baleaf BaleafReceive 10% off when you use my coupon code: SEANMOENKHOFF