Face Frame Construction
Face frame cabinetry is the traditional style of cabinet consisting of the cabinet box with a frame attached to the box. The frame can be configured in a variety of ways to achieve desired storage capacities. Almost all of the frames are made from 3⁄4” solid stock while the boxes can be of many types of board products of varying thickness from 3⁄8” to 3⁄4”. It is important to take a close look at the cabinets before you start to handle them as some of the boxes on very inexpensive cabinetry pretty much depend on the frames to help hold them together. A little rough handling and you will find yourself in the cabinet repair business as well as installation. When faced with a project where the cabinet budget has been reduced to support more expensive materials elsewhere, this is usually what you will find.
In face frame construction, doors are mounted to the frame and can fit one of three ways: flush with the frame (inset), partially inset, or completely overlaid. The following figures illustrate each.
Flush mounted Partial inset Overlay or inset
Overlays can be described as traditional or full overlay. Traditional overlays expose 3⁄4” to 1” of the frame members of the cabinet and do not require handles. Full overlays nearly cover the frame members (3⁄8” top and bottom, approximately 3/16” left and right side reveals) of the cabinet and require handles for opening and closing.
Courtesy of NARI CKBR education course