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Alec Hemer

Flush-Framed Construction

Traditional American cabinets mask the raw front edges of each box with a 1-by-2 "faceframe." Doors and drawers then fit in one of three ways: flush; partially offset, with a lip; or completely overlaying the frame.

The outer edges of the faceframe can be planed and shaped (called "scribing") according to individual requirements. Since the faceframe covers up the basic box, thinner or lower-quality wood can be used in its sides -- somewhat decreasing the cost. But the frame takes up space and reduces the size of the openings, so drawers or slide-out accessories must be significantly smaller than the full width of the cabinet -- somewhat decreasing storage capacity.

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