Gluing a face frame on a cabinet can offer some unique challenges. Master woodworker George Vondriska offers this quick and simple way to ensure the face frame ends up where it’s supposed to. Watch as George demonstrates this easy-to-do maneuver.


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Tags: cabinet face frame and gluing a face frame to a cabinet.

  • Bruce Clark

    I’m shocked that a master woodworker would not use a joint of any sort to attach a face frame. Biscuit joint? Half dado? Dowels? Any of those would not only attach the face frame with more strength, but would also help to align the frame to the case. A butt joint? Especially on plywood edges would be especially weak.

    • jaybiz

      Why not use a pin nailer to hold in place, much more accurate with no slippage

      • George Vondriska

        You’re right, a pin nailer would overcome the need to use the brads/spurs in the case. However I prefer to not have puttied nail heads showing the face frame.

    • George Vondriska

      There’s no need for extra reinforcement between the face frame and carcase, provided you did a good job cutting the case pieces and milling the face frame. When the parts are smooth, creating a sound joint, the bond between the two is plenty strong. Check out this video It shows that, provided there’s a good joint, the surrounding wood fails before the glue joint does. Nothing wrong with adding a biscuit, dowel, or other reinforcement, but in my experience it’s overkill, and not required. I’ve never seen a failure, and have built loads of cabinets using the approach shown in this video.

    • Sternberg

      It is not a butt joint. I am like you, and would use biscuits. He has all the strength he needs, but biscuits help with alginment and are not near as fussy as dowels are.

      • George Vondriska

        I’m not against adding biscuits to this joint but, with my face frame/case technique it doesn’t work. I make my face frames about 1/16″ larger than the case they’re going on. After the glue is dry I flush trim them to the case. Because of the dimensional difference you can’t simply reference the fence of a biscuit joiner on the case and on the frame. So yes, biscuits would help with alignment and you wouldn’t need the spurs. It’s just an approach that doesn’t jive with my face frame to case technique.

        • Sternberg

          You can easily shim when cutting biscuit slots for the difference. Biscuits are forgiving enough that you can still use them with your method. A few biscuits save a lot of clamps.

        • Sternberg

          I do that all the time with a shim to make up the difference. It would work just fine with your technique.

  • Alan Beck

    What is a brad nail? Little goofs like this really make me question that if the presenter is really a master.

    • George Vondriska

      At about :38 it’s called out as a 4D brad.

  • Brad

    Thanks George. I hope the comments and questions you get are posted respectfully. I for one appreciate your tips and information. We all know there are many ways to do almost everything in woodworking so we shouldn’t criticize when someone shows us their tried and true methods…even if we have questions or concerns. Keep up the good work, I think this is a great tip!

    • George Vondriska

      Thanks Brad. For the most part, interaction on the web is pretty good and respectful. I appreciate you asking about it. You’re right, there are lots of ways to do this stuff. I’m the first to say my ways aren’t necessarily the best ways, but they work for me. I wouldn’t pass anything along on this platform that hadn’t stood up to the test of time.


      • Bob

        I agree with Brad that there many ways and I liked this way. I have used biscuits and they work fine but this looks faster and if you don’t have a biscuit joiner it is a way to overcome the sliding and not have to putty the brad holes.

  • Christopher Harrison

    Excellent tip, or actually series of tips, all the way down to scraping the glue drops with a chisel. Thank you!