Door Stops for Inset Face Frame Wall Cabinets

Here's a handful of solutions for applying door stops to inset face frame cabinet doors. February 28, 2012

I'm a general contractor but do build a fair amount of closet organizers and my niche is shelving cabinets. I have a client that wants a face frame/inset door style on a full wall of cabinets. Normally I would pass it on to my cabinet supplier but we just lost a big job so I'll take it on to keep the machine flowing. How do you create a door stop typically in this situation?

I was thinking of just lowering/raising the face frames to create a lip but then I would think with a little door bumper the faces will not be flush. Do you typically make 3/4" FF and 5/8" doors to accommodate this. I plan on keeping the 3/4" cabinet sides flush to the 1.5" FF and using euro hinges. Hope this is clear enough.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
I would leave the thickness of my door at my standard then rabbet the back to make the bumpers fit for a flush door.

From the original questioner:
I never thought of that. Where I am located it's all frameless cabinetry so I'm a little out of my league. What's the normal way to provide a door stop on FF cabinets?

From contributor A:
People used to use a block in the corner on the lowers. Good guys would edge band the bot panel of the upper which allows you to attach the face frame lower leaving about 3/8" for a nice looking stop. In modern times, we often use the piston type hardware to provide the stop as well as a bit of flash.

From contributor U:
The Fastcap Euro door stops can be used in FF applications. They're ingeniously simple and depth-adjustable once installed. Just design the box so that the deck is flush with the top of the lower rail, and screw the stops to the deck. On tall doors we usually add a second stop at the top, but we glue a small block behind the top rail as an attachment point for the stop.

From contributor P:
To contributor A: This is along the lines that I was thinking. Would a soft close Blumotion hinge eliminate the need for a rubber bumper? The piston seems like a good idea. I only saw those briefly before the snap on piston became popular. My installer used to curse drilling those piston holes.

From the original questioner:
To contributor U: I'll check those out.

From contributor X:
When I have an inset job I sand my face frames down to 13/16", or a little heavier if they clean up and leave my door 3/4". The extra thickness allows for bumpers.

From contributor K:
One thing I didn't mention in my first response. I had a customer complain to me that they didn't like being able to see through the edges of the doors, especially the glass doors with interior lighting.

Adjusting for this made the job a little more complex. I had to design into the face frames a rabbeted edge, then rabbet the door edges so all edges of every door lapped the face frame. Once done, I had to agree it looked cleaner. This did make the hinging tedious.

From contributor J:
You might want to build in a frameless style as you sound semi new to insets as I am. Applying "simulated" FF after euros is slightly more complicated on insets. Butt hinges may be the ideal you can use the ones without mortis. Soft close Blumotions have issues as stops - they need to be seated.

From the original questioner:
Contributor K - that's a very good point about the light. There will probably be one cabinet with glass doors and it might be an issue as you stated. I was going to do something different to this cabinet anyway to make it more of an eye catcher. I'll work a rabbet in to block the light.

Contributor J - not sure what you mean by the comment "soft close Blumotions have issues as stops - they need to be seated". Could you explain a little more? I've built a few furniture pieces with inset drawers/doors. It’s a different kettle of fish I know but I'm used to fiddling as a result.

From contributor J:
I've browsed WOODWEB a bit thinking about using the Blumotions as stops. There’s a lot of controversy as that’s not what their made for and some need to be compressed (by hand) a few times before it seats itself in. Then it will stop at the same point at each time.

From contributor A:
We do not use those old school Blum pistons as stops. Blum makes several models that are screwed on. No hole drilling required.

From the original questioner:
This place is obviously quite a resource. All things being considered I'm thinking the Fastcap solution probably makes the most sense. It’s pretty simple really and does not require any sort of cabinet tweaks. I can keep the FF flush with the sides, use a euro hinge, and pop a Fastcap or two opposite side.

From contributor T:

To contributor J: I am interested in the "simulated" face frame euro style cabinet. Can you describe this? I say this because I'd like lit minimize the change in building styles between euro and inset face frame.

From contributor J:
I swear I have seen euros/frameless with face frames but I never attempted. I may have this confused with overlay euro where all doors and drawers are 3/32 gaps vs. inset.

From contributor C:
We do a lot of inset face frame cabinets. We glue a little stop block inside the cabinet. You have to glue and nail before finishing or it won't stay put.

From contributor H:
Raise the bottom shelf up 3/8 into the opening. This is the cleanest look possible. If you use 3/32 gaps light shining through will be minimal.

From contributor V:
I usually put a magnetic catch behind the door. I also add a bumper to avoid the clank sound when the magnets snap together. I do that for both butt hinges and euro inset hinges with soft close. The euro setup with soft close and the magnetic catch with a bumper give the best feel to the door but the butt hinge looks far more classy.