Face-Frame Clamp for Cabinets
Bessey's cabinet clamps offer versatility that make them more efficient than traditional clamps.
Bessey cabinet clamps (BES8511) are a secret weapon for cabinet installations. These clamps offer a 4-in.-wide clamping capacity with a 1-1⁄4-in. throat depth. They come with adhesive-backed felt pads that attach to the clamping surfaces to protect cabinet finishes. They also have a handy pilot-hole jig that flips out of the way when you want to drive a screw. This arrangement allows you to drill and screw face frames together while the clamp is in place. I find that this pilot-hole feature also helps with lining up your drill bit so you don’t drill through the face of the cabinet.
The beauty of these devices is that they not only clamp the face frames together side to side, but they also align them front to back. The best way to use the clamps is in pairs, with one at the top and one at the bottom of the two cabinets you’re fastening together. To use a clamp, open it up, slide it over the face frame, and snug it up just tight enough that it holds itself in place. Then tighten the face screw to align the face-frame stiles. Once the frames are aligned, tighten the side screw the rest of the way, drill your pilot hole, and screw the face frames together. On larger cabinets, repeat the process until the frames are fully aligned. These tools really beat traditional clamps and pulling or pushing the stiles by hand. At $50 a pair, they pay for themselves on the first job and give great results.
Andrew Steele, remodeler
Photo: courtesy of Bessey
Fine Homebuilding #311