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Other Panel Designs

Other Panel DesignsA thread on the Woodweb forum (now an article in the Knowledge Base) propted me compare some of the 32mm full-overlay panel designs. Kiss II, Danny Proulx, Process 32 and True 32 are panel designs that use the 32mm system (CabParts, The Pearls, Kurka and the "A Curriculum for Teaching 32mm Cabinet Construction" panels are not 32mm system panels). The primary difference between these and the Stackable Box designs is that they all have an increased reveal at the top of the panel (and aren't stackable).

For some folks its easier to bore balanced panels. The drawback of a balanced panel is that top and bottom face-to-panel reveals need to be the same. The top 1.5mm reveal of the balanced stackable-box design isn't enough when drawers and a counter are involved. It also looks best when all gaps are the same, e.g. between doors and crown molding/trim.

The Kiss II design is a balanced panel with 4.5mm top and bottom box-to-face reveals, i.e. 6mm taller than stackable box panels. I'm not sure how Joel decided on 4.5mm reveals, but that extra bottom reveal can allow for a better drawer layout - in a couple of select cases - and it does result in 30-1/2" tall panels for kitchens (VS 30-1/4" stackable panels, a pointless advantage IMO). The extra top reveal could allow for better top drawer counter clearance when bottom mount slides are used, but a 3mm reveal is typically fine (e.g. counter overhang can be up to 48mm/1-7/8" with Blum bottom-mount slides and a 3mm reveal). There's no way to justify the 4.5mm reveal aesthetically, its inconsistent and looks bad. Applied end panels and trim with a 1.5mm locating/mounting rabbet (light rail, crown, etc.) would be needed to hide the box (material/color match no longer critical) and provide a consistent 3mm gap between faces and trim (same as face to face gap). For same material boxes and faces, half-overlay is more consistent.

The Proulx design adds a whopping 32mm to the top of the balanced stackable box panel. The panel was designed specifically for 3/4" countertops with a built-down edge. A 19mm (3/4") built-down edge reduces the huge 33.5mm reveal to a large 14.5mm one. Its an interesting, though convoluted and aesthetically expensive, way (the only way) to have a balanced panel and unbalanced reveals... There is no rule/reason/advantage to n x 32mm box sides here. A 30.5/30.5 balanced panel (3mm shorter) would be better (0 VS 1.5 bottom reveal and 13 VS 14.5 top reveal). Using an unbalanced panel provides more options, e.g. add 20mm to the top of a 32.5/30.5 modular panel (52.5/30.5) to provide for a 19mm (3/4") counter build down and an extra millimeter of gap/reveal (4 instead of 3).

Unbalanced panels aren't a problem when one can bore at least a full system row with a single plunge/setting. The big advantage of unbalanced panels is that the faces can be flush with the box bottom (0mm bottom reveal). With a 0mm bottom reveal, the box edges are hidden and don't need to have the same wood/color/finish as the faces. When there is a big color difference between the boxes and faces (e.g white boxes and dark stained faces), the boxes can be edgebanded with a PVC that is similar in color to the faces.

Blum's Process 32 panels (unbalanced) are 7mm taller than the unbalanced stackable box panels. The reason for the extra reveal is that Blum is catering to folks who feel they must have American standards, e.g. 30-1/2" tall boxes and 4" toe-kicks instead of modular 30-1/4" boxes and 4-1/4" kicks. Only their bottom mount drawer layouts require the extra reveal and that is because their wood boxes are in 2" increments (most of their drawer layouts don't use the 32mm system).

While True 32 allows all stackable box panels, I included their Zargon panel here because the only difference between it and the Blum (not stackable) panel is the 10 VS 3mm top reveal.

Comments [ new ]

Re: Other Panel Designs
Posted by Dave on Sunday, 30-Sep-2012

"Regarding the KISS system, would it be possible to lessen the 4.5 mm to make a new version. as you mentioned in your website the reveal especially for upper does not look good and stack ability is a problem too."

The KISS system uses balanced panels which means balanced reveals. The only way to make stackable boxes is to make the side panels n x 32mm tall. With balanced panels, the top and bottom box to face reveals will be half the face to face reveal. With 3mm reveals between door and drawer faces, the box top and bottom reveals would be 1.5mm.

The only way to have balanced panels, with all faces flush to the bottom of the box (not stackable), is to make the side panels n x 32mm - reveal tall. Because they're balanced, faces will also be flush to the top of the box. A modified Proulx design (above), is the only possible exception.

The only way to make stackable boxes, with all faces flush to the bottom of the box, is to use unbalanced n x 32mm tall panels. Since KISS uses system registration, top start holes would be 32mm + reveal and bottom start holes 32mm - reveal, e.g. 33.5/30.5 for 3mm reveals (49.5/46.5 for shifted registration). The only things affected by this VS the KISS panel are Grass Zargon and bottom-mount slide layouts. Everything else; all other slide layouts (including most other bottom mount brands, undermounts, etc.), hinge cup boring, etc. are unaffected... Well, almost everything else, stackable boxes are 6mm shorter.

...Another option is to hack the 1.5/1.5 reveal balanced panel. Drawer layout registration could be adjusted by 1.5mm to provide 3/0 reveals on 1.5/1.5 panels and the hinge plate adjusters could be used to give the doors 3/0 reveals. This may require more accurate manufacturing (because downward adjustability of the doors is reduced by 1.5mm) and a bit more work (e.g. presetting the plates with a 1.5mm offset). The only gain is that you can make/use balanced panels. Not recommended, but an interesting possibility.

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