What Kind of Jig for Cabinet face?


Richiep
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Hey All,
I've been tasked with copying the design of some existing red oak kitchen cabinets.  I've done a fair bit of woodworking over the years but this will be a new endeavor.  

You've probably seen the design I'm trying to replicate a million times.

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I have a shaper and possibly even the bits to make the joinery, I'll have to dig.  

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But my question is what kind of jig do I need to make to replicate the arc at the top.  Tools I could use would be; bandsaw, router, jigsaw, other...  whatever I do I need a consistent, clean fit between the panel and the top rail.

How can I make this happen?

Thanks
Rich

 

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My arch pattern is sanded to the line once its cut out. Then i take the pattern to the workpiece, lay it down and trace, then I flip it over and trace the other way. This is how you get the most from your pattern. A spindle sander is the best way to achieve your shape. Also take the opposing arch off fall and apply psa sandpaper to the edge to help sand the arch dead square and get all the little humps and bumps out. This is an important step, you need smooth even surface to route. The shape of the arch just has to look good and not be 100% perfect.  

Make your work piece a little longer so if you have an oops while engaging the router bit you can trim off. When your done routing the top rail, trim to final width. 

 

To route the top rail.....this is what I do and may not be the safest way.....  While using a router table, I will apply double sided tape on the arched rail and attach wood block(s) to give me a hand hold for engaging  the bit.  

 

-Ace-

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3 minutes ago, Richiep said:

My dad suggests that I seek out a custom cabinet maker and have them put it together.  It'll probably be a faster turn over and at a cheaper price.  I'm gonna look into this. 

What do you guys think?

Thanks

Rich

Your dad may be correct, if you have to batch out quite a few and you don't have the tooling????

 

-Ace-

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14 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

There are whole plants here in RV land that do little more than make doors like this. 

You're very close to the mill that my dealer gets the majority of his lumber from.  I've been told they sell truckloads to those RV plants every week.  It's mind-boggling to think they make that many RVs.

Have you been to Wible Hardwoods, Carus?  Northern Indiana is all I know.  Last I heard he still has a retail shop.  The owner's name is Dave.  He's a hoot.  Good guy.

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If you're doing your own cabinets at home and you look forward to the challenge, then make them yourself.  However, if you just want to get them done and move on, find one of the myriad companies that make cabinet doors and order them.  It'll be quicker and easier - and probably cheaper.

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  • 3 years later...

I saw rv land and that made me hopeful someone would have insight on what I’m talking about. I build drawers and have done so for almost 4 years. My issue is making a jig for placing my wood front to my face front(the pretty cabinet part). I build my drawers differently then most where I take my back attach my two sides then put them aside. I then take my pretty face fronts and staple my wood front of my box to it and then drill them. Then I attach my back making the drawer box come together. My problem is making a jig I can use across the whole spectrum of fronts I use. Some drawers have the the drawer box at one inch over but some aren’t as nice to me. I hope this makes sense. The guy from work who helped me make my current jig made it so when I have the ones that aren’t spaced the same, require additional spacers be added and it’s just a hassle. My idea is to have a measuring tape at the bottom that I slide my front to the right placement since I have individual measurements written down.

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4 hours ago, BillyJack said:

You have to gave a particular spacing. 

My spacer is designed that the drawers hang down 1/2 down on the face frame after the drawer hardware is on.this way I get a 1/2 top and bottom..

Unless I've misread what your looking for 

Thanks for responding! I know I want my drawer box to sit at an inch from the bottom of the drawer front. My issue is since I first staple my let’s say plywood front which later becomes the front of the box, and then drill both at the same time sometimes my face front and my complete box size don’t allow for me to you use the jig Tom made without the need of say adding literally 2 saw blades between the jig and the wood front. So then my jig needs a jig. The reason for not being able to always have the nice 1” on each side of my box and face front is I build these for sometimes tight spaces, but they want a larger front to cover the cabinets. An example is I have a front that’s width is 13 3/4 but my complete box measurement is 11 7/8 So I can’t place the front piece of my box at the normal starting point without placing something between the jig and wood. So instead of placing it over at the normal spot of 1 11/32 I need to place it at 1 9/32. And I completely know how crazy and picky I sound but as we know 1/16 of an inch might as well be a mile when trying to tie everything together and make it look nice as well. Another example of one would be a face front that is 32 1/4 and my box complete is 27 1/4 meaning I need to place that wood piece at 2 27/32 to be center. I really hope I have described this the best I can and it makes sense. Thank you again 

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On 2/2/2021 at 8:09 PM, wtnhighlander said:

@Samiam827, I may be misunderstanding your goal, but IMO the whole purpose of a jig is to create perfect repeatability, and not depend on measurements. To me, it would make more sense to create separate jigs for the different drawer sizes.

Thanks for your reply! I replied on the comment below in hopefully, albeit wordy explanation of what I’m trying to achieve. I end up with keeping track of an already very long list of jigs when doing it this way which is why I brought up having my measurements. I build these drawers for conversion vans and my engineers, as nice as they may be, do not know how to look at face front sizes we already use, and pay zero attention to box sizes. I have one that measures 18 even and then one complete needs to be 17 7/8. Why would they do that to me haha. Or that same situation but my box has to be 18 1/8 or it doesn’t fit on the cabinet guyides correct and falls off. 

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Wow! You certainly have a tricky situation, where it seems almost every job is unique. I believe I would have a long conversation with those engineers, and explain just how much money they are losing by creating designs that do not take advantage of repetitive production techniques. There has to be some way the cabinets can be designed with a few common drawer sizes, the custom fit to the space with face frame trim. The way you are doing it now must be incredibly slow.

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13 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Wow! You certainly have a tricky situation, where it seems almost every job is unique. I believe I would have a long conversation with those engineers, and explain just how much money they are losing by creating designs that do not take advantage of repetitive production techniques. There has to be some way the cabinets can be designed with a few common drawer sizes, the custom fit to the space with face frame trim. The way you are doing it now must be incredibly slow.

I would like your reply 100 times if possible. I came from a plant that had maybe 5 face front sizes and a handful of reused sizes. I worked there for 2 years and could build 120 a day by myself. Needless to say it took me a minute to accustom myself to my new plant but I did just that and made it my home. I love my job and what I’m able to accomplish. We have went from 3 units a day to 9 a day next week! That’s huge and I am so proud. But at about 6/day I had to hire a partner and it’s tricky training someone to remember “stop and get the next spacer”  but I make incredible  notes and jigs and the girls said it definitely made it easier. I’ve spent hours with the the engineers. Yes our small plant has plurals of them who sit up there coming up with new models just for us...and they know it all because their computer told them. Literally a few weeks ago a proto called for face front 8” H with a drawer box 7”H. Ummmm this won’t fit. Well his computer showed a whole 1 1/2 inches til the drawer above it. But I still had to build it to prove to him that maybe it could have worked. But you have to get through the opening first which of course it didn’t. We got the cleaned up chart for it to run tomorrow and they didn’t update it. When building new units they do not know how to look at what is on hand. Not production friendly at all. And I’ve never been the gal to feel offended by men I can tell you I get that hey that’s sexist vibe from the guys upstairs. Like how dare she question us and our brain. Well, after several years I would venture I know what I’m doing and what won’t work. Sorry for my long rant but it was nice to hear you say what I’ve seriously been saying since my first day. I wish life were perfect and I could have that pretty one inch on each side of my drawer box consistently lol. I need to come up with something universal soon because we will be going to 10 a day soon with a second line. And I want my girls to be able to build them identical to each other for down the road when I have warranty claims

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