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How to Make Custom Cabinets, Part 2 Face Frames

Christian Tierno

This video was made in partnership with Titebond

Making quality face frames starts with quality millwork. Christian of Tierno Woodworking takes us through the process of milling but you could opt to use S4S lumber, or lumber that has been surfaced on all 4 sides, if you don’t have all the machinery necessary for milling.

Industry standard widths for face frames is 1.5” and if you need help figuring out the sizing you would need for face frames, Christian shows us one of his CAD drawings and explains how to size your face frames based on the size of your cabinet.  Be sure to keep reading to see what you’ll learn in the video and feel free to check out the links below if you need guidance on some of the tools or products you see in the video.

Once your face frame parts are cut to width and length, it’s time for assembly.  Christian touches on the importance of using the appropriate type of thread when fastening hardwood face frames.  Did you know you can use wax to help coax fine-threaded screws into hardwoods?  Check out this one if you want to try utilizing this method in your shop.  Another key ingredient to a successful face frame assembly is wood glue.  Titebond III has a longer open time, allowing you to have a little more “wiggle room” if your assembly might take more than 5 minutes.  This link is an excellent resource for comparing Titebond Original, Titebond II, and Titebond III if you’re curious to know which adhesive would be the best fit for your project.  

Consider enrolling in TMCU for full access to all of the educational content and follow along with Tierno Woodworking for more tips and tricks on how to:

  • Mill your lumber for precise, square parts

  • Get the most from your drill so as to not over-torque down on fasteners

  • Utilize a positioning square on your workbench to make face frame assembly easier

  • Get accurate stile spacing with the use of a story stick

Keep an eye out for the last installment of this 3-part series coming up next: making doors! In the meantime, leave us a comment below if you want to add any thoughts to this particular video or suggest another series for us to provide.

Other products shown in this video:

Positioning Square:


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