We are delving into part two of your cabinetry education. We covered many of the cabinetry basics in Cabinetry 101. In Cabinetry 201 I will explore the details of cabinetry construction.
OVERLAY VS INSET DOORS ON FRAMED CABINETRY
Partial (Also called Half, Standard, or Traditional) Overlay
Partial overlay doors sit on top of the cabinet face frame, leaving a section of the frame visible. The portions of the frame that are visible are referred to as reveals. This door style exposes much more of the face frame than the alternative full overlay.
As an example, Koch cabinetry’s standard overlay is explained as follows, “Vertical reveals between doors or drawers of connecting cabinets will be 2 1/2″. Horizontal reveals between stacked drawers, between drawers and doors and between stacked doors will be 3/4″. Reveals at the top and bottom of walls, talls (pantry cabinets), bases, office, and vanities will be 1 ¼”.” Measurements represent the spacing, the reveal, between doors and drawers.
Full overlay doors, like partial overlay doors, sit on top of the cabinet face frame, leaving a section of the frame visible. However, the portion of the frame that is visible is almost imperceptible. Full overlay doors are generally described as covering the face frame in its entirety.
As an example, Koch cabinetry’s full overlay is explained follows, “Vertical reveals between doors or drawers of connecting cabinets will be 1/2″. Horizontal reveals between stacked drawers, between drawers and doors and between stacked doors will be 1/2″. Reveals at the top of walls and talls (pantry cabinets) will be 1 1/4″ and the bottom will be 1/4″. Reveals at the top and bottom of bases, office and vanities will be 1/4″.” Measurements represent the spacing, the reveal, between doors and drawers.
Doors of this style are mounted within the face frame of the cabinet box. The doors are flush with the frame and fit perfectly within the frame opening.
All Plywood Box
While it is counterintuitive to think that plywood box construction would be superior to solid wood box construction, in many ways it is. Solid wood boxes consist of large glued panels of wood. Wood is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs and releases moisture with seasonal changes. Each solid wood panel will expand and contract differently, which will produce cracks over time. Solid wood boxes are also more expensive and significantly heavier, which becomes a challenge with wall hung cabinets. Conversely, plywood is made when several layers of wood veneer, thin slices of wood, are glued together. The layers alternate wood grain direction, creating superb stability. Plywood’s superior tensile and shearing properties (resistance to pulling forces and shift from side-to-side movement), allow it to avoid the cracking problems found in solid wood box construction. The wood veneer used to make plywood makes the plywood box much more affordable and lightweight than a solid wood box.
Soft-close hinges have hydraulics built into them that ease the close of the door or drawer. Regardless of the force used to close the door or drawer, the door will close softly and silently. Additionally, most soft-closing hinges are also self-closing. Self-closing hinges have a built-in spring that, at some point, takes over and pulls the drawer or door closed on its own, with just a tap. By eliminating heavy-handed closing, both soft-close and the self-close hinges prolong the life of your cabinetry.
Dovetail Drawer Box Construction
Dovetailed joints are an indicator of quality craftsmanship. With dovetailed drawer boxes, the construction of the joint is where the advantage lies. The “locking joint” consists of wedge-shaped channels that are cut into segments of wood, which are then interlocked like puzzle pieces to form a box. The wedges provide a generous surface area on which to apply glue, increasing the bond of the already extremely strong joint. Once the box is constructed it is quite resistant to force.
Full Extension Drawers
Not all drawers open completely. With some drawer glide hardware, a portion of the drawer box can only be accessed by reaching your hand under the counter and into the cabinet. When full extension drawer glide hardware is used, drawers may be pulled out to the point where the very back of the drawer box is flush with the front of the cabinet. Full extension drawers allow for easier access and simplified drawer removal.
If you are interested in seeing examples of any of items discussed in this post, please feel free to stop by our showroom in Lorton, VA.
You are also welcomed to use our online scheduler to book either a virtual or in-home appointment with me to discuss your next remodeling project.
Kelly M. Dean – Design Consultant, Foster Remodeling Solutions