Gilles' Outlet

May 4, 2007

Cabinetry 101: Installing Hardware on Face Frame Cabinets

Filed under: Woodworking — Gilles @ 5:51 am

Hinges and knobs are installed on raised panel doors. Doors are secured to a face frame cabinet.


Skill Level: 1 (Very Basic)

Time Taken: About 30 Minutes

This article is the las entry related to the base cabinet for BOSCH RA1181 Bench Top Router Table.

Left: raised panel doors hardware is about to be installed onto. These were designed to be 3/4” thick, full overlay doors.

Right: overlay hinges to be installed onto the doors. One door will receive two hinges. I purchased these hinges at a home center. They came complete with screws and even a little self adhesive padding.

I chose these overlay hinges because they can auto close and open up to 180 degrees.

Left: I flipped the door on its face and positioned the hinges on the door. I decided that the center of the top hinge should be aligned with the bottom or the top rail. The middle of the bottom hinges should be aligned with the top of the bottom rail.

This gives the maximum strength and in my humble opinion, the best appearance.

I used an impact driver to drive the provided screws.

Right: I installed the self adhesive padding at the top of the doors. I knew exactly where the doors would touch the frame so it was safe for me to install them before attaching the doors to the cabinet.

Usually, it is better to installed these pads after installing doors on the cabinet.

Left: I marked the center of the stile and drilled a hole. It will receive the door knob’s screw.



Right: I postionned the door knob over the hole, threaded the screw and drove it with a cordless impact driver.

I repeated the previous steps for the second door.

Left: I roughly positionned the door on the cabinet. I used a pile of scrap wood at the bottom to hold it in position as I was adjusting it.

A speed square was setup between the door and the face frame to make sure they were square. I also used a torpedo level to level the door.

I positionned to door to be exactly 1/2” between the border of the face frame and the door because that is what I designed the door for. Once I was satisfied with the position, I clamped the door onto the face frame.

Right: Using a cordless impact driver, I drove the provided screws into the face frame.

Installing the second door is a little more tricky. There needs to be a gap betweeen the edges of doors so they open / close without touching one another. In order to achieve this, I use the same technique (scrap of wood to support, level, square) but I also inserted a shim approximately 1/16” thick in between doors to ensure enough clearance. I then clamped the door in place and secured the hinges.

Tools Used:

  • Cordless Impact Driver
  • Speed Square 
  • Clamps
  • Basic Carpentry Tools

Materials Used:

  • Overlay Hinges (2 per door)
  • Door Knob (1 per door)


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