Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Face Frames

A lot has changed in the house during the past month or so. Andy and Mindy decided to move to Arizona, and the boys' old room has been re-purposed into a shop. As a shop, it isn't ideal, but it is better than working outside or in the dining room with all the dust.

This is the south wall of the boys' old room. The SW corner has been insulated and finished, and the wood that is stacked here is being dried for use as ceilings and trim work in a few places. This room was the first to have a new ceiling installed. Roger and Robb came over to help cut and screw the ceiling in place, and we had a good work day. The view changes slightly with the new surface, and for the better. Instead of having the light from the window and fixtures caught between the floor joists, the light now reflects off the ceiling and lights the room better. The two light fixtures and the smoke detector are flush mounted.
This is the original ceiling. Apparently I didn't take an after picture, but you can see the new ceiling in one of the photos below. We originally thought of painting the ceiling white, but sealing the natural wood like we have upstairs is also an option.
The new ceiling is visible here, along with a whole new mess. Trim will be installed where the ceiling meets the wall, and that 1/2" gap will disappear. The table saw, jointer, and Dad's planer are here now, along with a workbench and various other tools. Mom and Dad came out to the house for the weekend to help get started on the cherry for the kitchen. They make a good team, and though they look pretty serious in this shot, they had a good time helping plane and joint the boards for the face frames, doors, and drawers for the kitchen.
This is the joint of choice for the face frames. Pocket screws are awesome, and they have become a favorite solution of mine for joining boards around the house. The trick is to start with square stock, of course. If you do, the end result is a square, solid joint that is invisible once installed.
Add up a few more joints, and you have a face frame. While Karen and Mom sanded and poly'd the carcasses upstairs and Dad jointed rough cherry, Chris measured and cut the stock for the face frames. He spent a lot of time running up and down the stairs looking for his tape measure.
More face frames... the single frame on the dining floor was too large and awkward to take up the stairs, so it was assembled in the dining room. The pocket holes were drilled downstairs, and since there is no dust or mess made during the assembly portion, it worked out fine.
Dave came over to help a few times, too. He helped install the cabinets above the fridge, the solid sheet of ply on the east side of the fridge, and he drilled the pocket holes in all of the face frame stiles. The section below will have two large drawers on the left, and four graduated drawers on the right. We will build a rolling cart with a butcher block top for the middle section.
We did a lot of this - holding the face frames in place to see how they look. It reminded me of working on models as a kid, because the first thing I did was pull out the body and hold it above the wheels to see how it would look when I was done. The piece below wasn't quite done - it needs two rails installed where there are shelf divisions. The cherry ply on the end of the island has received one coat of oil/urethane mix. In the background of this picture you can see under the stairs - we put a ceiling here to finish off the area. Well, almost finish. It needs some quarter round to be really complete. The quarter round is downstairs, and we'll get to it later.
This was a very awkward piece to face. Nothing is quite as square as we'd like, so that makes everything that much harder to true up and finish properly. I guess that's the end result when you try to build a furniture-grade product with a circular saw and in semi-darkness. Lesson learned, and next time we'll do better.
Installing this face frame was a two-person job, at least until the first few pocket screws were in place. We screwed the face frames on from the inside of the cabinet, so there are no mounting points visible from the faces.
The installed face frame. The insides of the cabinets have two coats of polyurethane, and cleaned up nicely. We will continue to install the face frames until they are all up, and then comes the work of assembling the cabinet doors and drawers. The drawer slides and the door hinges will be next after that. Lots of fun work coming up!

4 comments:

Hannah said...

Wow! You have been getting so much work done!!! the kitchen is going to be gorgeous!

Jennifer said...

I am so happy that now I know what those darn thing-a-ma-jigs on cabinets are called...."face frames".....and they are beautiful :)
The Baird's promise to come and help open and close cabinets when it is time :)

The Wests. said...

Thank you, Hannah!

Yep, face frames. We would love your help to open and close all the doors. Maybe you can even slide a drawer or two if the mood strikes!

Chris

OUR CLAN said...

It's good to see you posting again. Even if Mindy and Andy are not there anymore, I still love to see what you guys are up to for one thing it is fascinating to watch a house being built. Good job!!