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Shaker cabinet door gaps

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Forum topic by tkeenan posted 01-18-2020 03:11 AM 377 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tkeenan

25 posts in 1137 days


01-18-2020 03:11 AM

I’m getting ready to start building some shaker cabinets for a family member and I’m trying to figure out the best gap size to use between double doors and door tops and drawer fronts. The face frames are 1 1/2” wide and I’m planning on using 1 1/4” overlay hinges (Blum). This will give me a 1/4” reveal down both sides; and when I place 2 cabinets next to each other, I’ll end up with a 1/2” gap. Should I keep the same 1/2” gap between the doors on a double-door cabinet? Same for the gap between tops of doors and drawer fronts? To me, this makes sense so that every gap looks uniform when all the cabinets are hung. But, I’ve also seen some shaker cabinets where they’ve used 1/4” gap between double-doors and door tops and drawer fronts. Is this more a personal preference? I like the idea of a smaller gap between double-doors, but I’m not crazy about the larger gap (1/2”) that would be created when placing 2 cabinets next to each other. Thoughts?

BTW, there will be a divider stile between the double doors.


14 replies so far

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ShermanC

11 posts in 719 days


#1 posted 01-18-2020 04:41 AM

If you have a mid stile between the doors then I would make it a 3” stile and keep the gap the same throughout. The only time that would change is if there is no mid stile and you are doing a split door in which case you want that as tight as you can get it without touching. I have never seen gaps change other than that and I’ve been in the cabinet business for 16 years. Good luck on your project.

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Firewood

1097 posts in 2271 days


#2 posted 01-18-2020 12:57 PM

As ShermanC said, the gap between double door cabinets should be kept as close as possible. I found a site that will calculate all your door parts for you. You can see it here. Good luck on your project.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

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JackDuren

767 posts in 1596 days


#3 posted 01-18-2020 02:55 PM

So you trying to make them look like frame less cabinets?

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tkeenan

25 posts in 1137 days


#4 posted 01-18-2020 04:19 PM

ShermanC: Why the need for a 3” wide mid stile? I can see where the math would add up to 3” for a double door cabinet (1 1/4” overlay for each door and 1/2” gap), but since there will not be any hinges on the mid stile, couldn’t I just use 1 1/2” wide? The doors will only overlay the mid stile about 1/2”, but shouldn’t that be fine?

Firewood: That’s a great site! Thanks for the link.

JackDuren: Not necessarily, but it will kind of look that way when finished. With full overlay hinges, you can get different amounts of overlay. I chose the 1 1/4” overlay hinges to use with my 1 1/2” stiles. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of clearance on the hinge side of the door when it opens so it doesn’t rub a neighboring door.

Here’s a picture of the dilemma that I’m facing (not my picture, just something I found). You can see how there’s distinctly 3 cabinets used on the top and on the bottom. Because of the 1/4” reveal on the edges of the cabinets, when they’re put together they create a larger gap than what’s used between the double doors and drawer fronts. My guess is that when you look at a single cabinet by itself, there’s a 1/4” gap/reveal used everywhere. But when put together, they create 1/2” between the cabinets. I would think that a larger gap between double doors would make the entire set of cabinets look more seamless.

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JackDuren

767 posts in 1596 days


#5 posted 01-18-2020 04:49 PM

You realize those are frameless cabinets. I built framed and frameless cabinets for 30 years…

There probably using a 1/2 overlay and the reason you see the width inbetween the cabinet boxes. They should have use full overlay….

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JackDuren

767 posts in 1596 days


#6 posted 01-18-2020 05:05 PM

Sample….

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tkeenan

25 posts in 1137 days


#7 posted 01-18-2020 05:17 PM

I see what you’re saying. Can’t the same effect be achieved using face frame cabinets?

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Rich

5238 posts in 1226 days


#8 posted 01-18-2020 05:42 PM

Which Blum hinges are you using?

Here’s an example of an exact match for your dimensions. They are Grass hinges, but that doesn’t change anything.

The stiles are 1-1/2” wide and the overlay is 1-1/4”, so the gap is 1/2” between doors of adjacent cabinets. Also, as you said, the space between cabinet doors and drawers is personal preference.

My only question is why have a center stile for the double door units? I don’t like them because they block the opening too much.

Here are the photos for the cabinets I mentioned.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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JackDuren

767 posts in 1596 days


#9 posted 01-18-2020 05:50 PM



I see what you re saying. Can t the same effect be achieved using face frame cabinets?

- tkeenan

It can but you’ll need to look at sizes of side to side and top and bottom. You’ll have to plan the whole layout to get uniform gaps. For me it was easier to use full overlay….

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tkeenan

25 posts in 1137 days


#10 posted 01-18-2020 05:59 PM

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Rich

5238 posts in 1226 days


#11 posted 01-18-2020 06:14 PM



Rich: I plan on using these hinges

- tkeenan

I figured they were 38C or 39C. Everything you’ve discussed will work beautifully. If you do use a center stile on the double door units, I’d keep the same spacing. Again, just personal preference since you can do it any way you want, but I think it’ll look better overall.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Rich

5238 posts in 1226 days


#12 posted 01-18-2020 06:37 PM

One more quick thing. I buy all of my hardware from Woodworker Express. They have the best prices and excellent customer service. As an example, those hinges are only $1.15 each there versus $2.35 at ROK.

https://www.woodworkerexpress.com/blum-compact-38c-face-frame-hinges-overlay-1-1-4.html

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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ShermanC

11 posts in 719 days


#13 posted 01-18-2020 09:18 PM

Yes you can get away with that. The way the company I work for does it is at the wall they put a 3 inch stile to get the doors off the wall a little and also to allow for cut down if needed. Then a 1 1/2 inch on the ends. When you put another cabinet next to it, it’s stile adds up to 3 inches so I assume they use 3 inch mid stiles to keep everything uniform. Also to make your math easier when figuring out your door widths. So when I build cabinets that’s the way I do it because it’s what I know and am used to seeing. But I would still keep the gaps the same either way you go.

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Jared_S

296 posts in 596 days


#14 posted 01-19-2020 12:20 AM

If you are building your own cabinets you can build a single face frame and gang the boxes to it. You will end up with the same reveals across the assembly. I’m personally not a fan of mid stiles (divider) on double doors. It’s not needed and just gets in the way.

Single faceframe: 1.6” rails, 2.1” stiles.

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