Built-ins for studying #1: Face framing a large arrangement

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Blog entry by Bulkhead posted 10-28-2015 10:20 PM 1015 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Built-ins for studying series Part 2: In Over My Head - (true first post in series) »

It has been a long time since my last entry and although I am embarrassed that I haven’t gotten more done, it is not for lack of effort. It is amazing to me how long it takes me to get almost any little thing done on this project and equally amazing to me how many small tasks crop up that I had not anticipated. But, alas, it keeps my spare time accounted for!

The image below is of the project room I have been working on. I am still new at posting blog entries so the first entry I made was on this topic, but not part of this series. Perhaps I’ll go back and try to add that to the series. Anyway, background on the project can be found in that post.

I’ve assembled and hung the carcasses after painting the interiors of them. Although not installed yet, all the lower carcasses are almost ready for final glue up and installation. I am planning to wait to install them after I apply the face frames to the upper cabinets.

What I need to figure out is what material will be used for the face frames. I was originally planning to use birch but am now considering if I should opt for Ultralight MDF since I am going to be painting it anyway. Not sure yet. I am also trying to figure out how to fasten the face frame to the carcasses: nails and glue vs. pocket holes vs. biscuits. I am currently planning to rough size each member of the face frame then to prep, prime and paint them before final assembly. I will trim and install each member, working from one side toward the other. Also, the plan is to install the “stiles” of the frames first

Below is a rendering of the final room for reference. I’ve got a ways to go…

I welcome suggestions regarding how to approach the face framing portion of the effort, so chime in if you like!


4 comments so far

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3492 days

#1 posted 10-28-2015 11:45 PM

What application did you use to render the room?

Nice work by the way!

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


765 posts in 3879 days

#2 posted 10-29-2015 12:34 AM

Actually, I think I would go with poplar for the faceframes. It paints up great and is fairly inexpensive compared with other hardwoods.

I would stay away from using MDF for faceframes. While the cost of MDF is attractive compared to poplar (or other hardwood), it would not be my choice in your situation.

It appears that you are going to have some doors in your project, which of course means hinges. I’m not comfortable putting hinge screws into those doors. Given the short screws typically used in the doors and faceframes, I would be concerned that they would break out of MDF with the open and close motions of the doors.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Bulkhead's profile


23 posts in 2139 days

#3 posted 10-29-2015 02:51 AM

What application did you use to render the room?

Nice work by the way!

- agallant

Modeled with SketchUp Make and rendered with Twilight Hobby, both current versions.

I really appreciated trying different elements of the design in digital form. It has given me some confidence that the final product will resemble my envisioned result.

View Bulkhead's profile


23 posts in 2139 days

#4 posted 10-29-2015 02:54 AM

Thanks Dave. Poplar is a great recommendation.

So, how would you fasten to the carcasses?

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