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True32 Ten Commandments

The True32.com system is a design specific application of the 32mm system. True32 cabinets have full overlay faces and the boxes are designed to be stackable. Because of this, their basic rules (ten commandments) are a bit more specific. Following are my comments on how those rules relate to 32mm basics.
1. Thou shall only use the metric measuring system.

The 32mm system is a metric system where everything is sized and located in 32mm increments. Using the metric system to design and build 32mm cabinets is a must. While you won't get precise US/1" equivalents, you don't have to deviate from standard US sizes by more than 16mm (5/8").

2. Thou shall use end panels that are a divisible of 32mm.

This is a True32 specific rule based on their chosen panel design (Stackable Boxes), it is not a 32mm system rule. For any given panel design, all panels sizes will be some increment of 32mm bigger or smaller than the others. It doesn't matter if its kitchen uppers or lowers, a desk or a vanity, all panels will be some multiple of 32mm plus top and bottom reveal (relative to door and drawer faces). Only with either a 1.5mm top and bottom reveal or a 3mm top reveal and 0mm bottom reveal, will your panel height will be divisible by 32mm.

3. Thou shall use door and drawer fronts that are a divisible of 32mm minus your reveal.

This is the most important and and overriding 32mm system rule. Because all faces (drawer, door, etc.) are mounted to to holes (via hardware, e.g. slides and hinges) that are 32mm apart, all faces are a multiple of 32mm tall (less reveal/clearance). All face top and bottom edges have an equal top and bottom reveal relative to system holes (not the panel). All top and bottom edges (plus reveal) align on the center of system holes, or at the midpoint between system holes, with one or the other the chosen constant.

4. Thou shall use hinge locations that are equal distance from top and bottom of the door.

With the above rule, this is a given. The only logical way to mount doors that are a multiple of 32mm (less reveal) tall and center on or between system holes is to bore the hinge cups an equal distance from each end.

5. Thou shall make all drawers with equal bottom referencing.

By following rule three, a common reference point is a given. All drawer face edges are an equal distance from a system hole and drawer adjusters, slides, etc. can all be mounted an equal distance from the top and/or bottom of the drawer box or drawer face (e.g. Indexing Wood Drawer Boxes). Your panel design and hardware will determine which provides a better reference point. The goal is to mount all hardware an equal distance from either the top and/or the bottom of the drawer box and/or face.

6. Thou shall locate the front line of holes 37mm back from front edge.

All 32mm system compatible hardware, that uses the front edge of the panel as a reference point, has its primary mounting hole in a standard location. By far the most common application is overlay faces mounted to slides and hinges that have a panel component that is mounted 37mm from the front edge of the panel. With inset faces, the distance from the front edge is 37mm plus the face thickness. So, while the front row of system holes is typically 37mm from the front edge, it's not always the case.

7. Thou shall locate the back line of holes to work with drawer guides.

While handy, having your rows the same distance from the front and back edges may be more efficient if you don't have a dual head boring machine. This rule also ignores construction hole boring considerations as the True32 assembly method involves random staples and screws. As a more general rule, all panel depths (for any given panel design) should be in 32mm increments.

8. Thou shall reference from the front and bottom of an end panel.

You'll get arguments on this one. The idea is that all inaccuracies end up where they are least visible (if you're that inaccurate, you've got bigger problems). Another, more general, rule is to use a consistent point of reference. More specifically, use the point of reference that works best with your panel design and machine setup, e.g. so that a reference edge is always against your boring stops.

9. Thou shall locate the first hole in one of four locations.

Panel design determines the first hole location. More specifically, rule three plus desired panel reveals and best reference point determines the first hole location. The True32 panel design is for full overlay cabinets with either a 1.5mm top and bottom reveal or a 3mm top reveal and a 0mm bottom reveal. For this particular design (and a bottom reference point) there are only four possible start hole locations (+/- 32mm) - 32 or 48mm for 1.5mm reveals and 30.5 or 46.5mm for 3/0mm reveals. With the 32 and 30.5mm start holes, the face edges will land on system holes. With the 48 and 46.5mm start holes, the face edges will lie centered between system holes. Your choice of drawer slides will determine which one works best.

10. Thou shall use the complete hardware solution.

Hardware choices and panel design are inseparable. Certain hardware (drawers slides in particular) will work better with some designs (e.g. less wasted space) and worse, or not at all, with other designs (e.g. box top/bottom clearances).

Comments [ new ]

Re: True32 Ten Commandments
Posted by Dany Dhondt on Sunday, 23-Feb-2014

Thanks for this brilliant overview of the 32 mm system. I'm trying to get grip of all things being explained here.
I have a very specific question: all front panels should have a reveal of 3 mm. So a door of 320 mm should be in fact 317 m right? Now, how to make the door? Make is 320 mm, then drill the hinge holes at the exact location, and then remove 1,5 mm at top and bottom? Or make it 317 from the start, but how do you find the exact location of the hinge holes? This is especially a problem in my case using the LR32 Festool system.

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Re: True32 Ten Commandments
Posted by Dave on Sunday, 23-Feb-2014


Yes, all (except railed inset) door and drawer faces are 32 x n - gap (space between faces, typically 3). If you are edgebanding the door, cut size is 32 x n - gap/reveal - 2x the edging thickness - i.e. doors are made net size.

The hinge cup holes are always a multiple of 32mm apart and the same distance from the top and bottom edges of the door. The exact distance depends on your gap and if you're using shifted or system registration. I've added some examples to the 32mm Increments page [link] and improved the Indexing Faces topic [link]. I'm not familiar with the Festool system, but it looks like their Edge Stop (485758) would do the trick.

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Re: True32 Ten Commandments
Posted by jack on Thursday, 29-Apr-2010

this might be too much work for me sorry

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Re: True32 Ten Commandments
Posted by Gerardo Cicenia on Saturday, 18-Jun-2011

Hi Jack
I canīt understand why you believe that this might be too much work.

The 10 commandments are the rules that the hardware manufacturers follows when they create the most common hardware used in cabinetmaking European style.

If a hardware is designed to be installed in a particular way, the easiest way to obtain excellent results is following the rules.

Here in Venezuela I have a Placacentro, a store that supply boards & hardware for furniture manufacturing, and by following the rules we have a great success with our clients, the rules are so easy to apply and necessary if you want to use correctly every hardware.

Using the rules we can fix the hardware on the components of the furniture before we assembly the cabinet, the last step is closing the cabinet, and throw the drawers inside, and they fit perfectly


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Re: True32 Ten Commandments
Posted by Dave on Friday, 02-Sep-2011

Using the 32mm system is a constraint and making it work for you can take a bit of work up front. The 32mm system rules are simpler than the True32.com 10 commandments which apply to their particular system of cabinetmaking.

System rows (or holes) are some multiple of 32mm apart
The front system row is 37mm from the front of the cabinet (37 + face thickness for inset)
All 32mm components are sized in multiples of 32mm (+/- a constant for clearance)
e.g. All faces are some multiple of 32mm - gap tall (and wide)
All 32mm components have a consistent relationship to system holes
e.g. All face top and bottom edges (+ 1/2 gap/reveal) center on or between system holes

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Re: True32 Ten Commandments, NOT REALLY
Posted by Art Schmitt on Friday, 08-Jan-2016

Most any size of typical residential or office cabinets can be built in the frame-less style using 32mm system hardware. Dimensions of parts can be specified in inches. It's not necessary for hinges to be equal distance from top and bottom of the door. If using under-mount drawer slides, one can easily move the rows of holes up or down to accommodate any reasonable drawer depth or position.   One can deviate from the 37 mm front edge to hole center to facilitate use of door and drawer bumpers or for inset doors and fronts

Using the frame-less style with 32mm hardware is easy and requires very little special equipment. Edge-banding can be accomplished with some simple hand tools.
Hinge boring is easily done with a simple home built drill press jig. Tho tedious and often inconsistent, drilling the holes for hinge mounting plates and drawer slides and for adjustable shelf pins can be done with a hand drill and one of several 32mm drilling templates. The best way I know of to do line-drilling is with the schmitt32linedrill system. See frame-less cabinets 1 and 2 videos on YouTube

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Re: True32 Ten Commandments, NOT REALLY
Posted by Dave on Friday, 08-Jan-2016

You can make any kind of cabinet (framed or frameless) you want with 32mm system hardware. Making 32mm system cabinetry is another story, With 32mm system cabinets (and hardware) everything is; consistent, modular, interchangeable, parametric, incremental, etc. You're either making 32mm system components (e.g. n x 32 - g door and drawer faces - a lot easier if you stick with metric), or you're not. That said, there are very few folks making cabinets that use 100% 32mm system components, e.g. drawer bottoms that are all n x 32 - c (constant) wide and deep.

Use the 32mm cabinetmaking system and balanced hinge cups are a given, they're easier to drill and there's no errors due to mixing up left and right hand doors. There's no "tedious and often inconsistent, drilling..." because every cabinet component is an increment of 32mm in height/width/depth (i.e. a multiple of 32mm +/- a constant, e.g. +19mm for 19mm 1/2 overlay box height/width) and all system row start holes (first hole from the top or bottom of the cabinet) are always the same distance from the top and bottom of all cabinet boxes (base, upper, full height, etc., e.g. 9.5 for 19mm 1/2 overlay). The same applies system wide; e.g. drawer box heights and start holes for dowel joints, drawer box depths and slide mounting holes, hinge cup holes, etc.

There are a lot of drill jig options out there. For a drill jig to be effective, the user needs to be able to easily and accurately set the start hole distance. The only jig I know of that may qualify (I've never used one) is the Veritas 32 jig with its adjustable gauge head... The Festool LR32 stop looks easy to set, but the users only options are 9.5, 16 and 32mm start holes.

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