WoodCentral's Book Reviews Building Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Building Frameless Kitchen Cabinets
by Danny Proulx

Rideau Cabinets: 2003
pb, 144 pp., $26.95
ISBN 0-9731869-0-9

     The European, 32mm cabinetmaking system actually dates back to the rebuilding of Germany after World War II, when a shortage of wood and a monumental rebuilding task forced cabinetmakers to become highly innovative. The system relies on a simple box without a wood face frame, and is dependent on a concealed, cylindrical, self-closing hinge that mates to a series of interior holes called system holes. Shelves are positioned in 32mm increments, and European hardware, including drawer glides and pull-outs, also mate to these system holes.
     The author decided North America was ready for an all-inclusive explanation of the European cabinetry system. His new book clarifies the mysteries of its various materials, hardware, joinery methods and construction techniques.
     One common feature of European cabinetry is its use of adjustable cabinet legs and clip-on toe kick boards. Used on base cabinets, the legs allow for easy alignment upon installation, save materials and reduce cutting time. They also permit access to route water and power lines beneath the cabinets themselves.
     Many of us think of these cabinet systems as white, melamine coated particleboard. Proulx discusses alternatives such as veneer-covered plywood and MDF with fused melamine coatings or applied surface foils. He discusses tools, blades and methods for working composite sheet materials, introduces a variety of drawer glide hardware, and explains fastening hardware.
     A chapter on cabinet doors and hinges gives many alternatives in their construction: solid panels, cope and stick raised panels, and thermofoil doors. Drawers, pull outs, flip outs and a frameless lazy susan are explained. Under cabinet lighting, stove and range hoods, refrigerator surrounds, display shelves, and islands and peninsulas are also covered. Countertops, edge bandings and solid surface materials are discussed. A final chapter on cabinet installation (and exisiting cabinet tear out) completes the book.
     If you have any interest in learning the European 32mm cabinetmaking system, Danny Proulx is the expert to turn to. This is a well done building manual.

. . . Barb Siddiqui