The Kitchen Project #1: The First Cabinet Door Attempt

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Blog entry by End_Grain posted 11-30-2009 12:05 AM 1336 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Kitchen Project series Part 2: Door #2 »

As you can see, my wife’s current kitchen cabinets are nothing to cluck about. They’re 35 years old, original. They were probably as ugly then as they are now. This is the final room that we haven’t remodeled yet. Everything is built into the house. The cabinets themselves are extremely stout. If I had the desire, I could do chin-ups off the shelving and they would not flex. This is my first raised panel door attempt. A lot of learning curve on the first. First time I have used a shaper and really the first time I have done any serious work with router bits.



There is a lot of learning on this door which is why I made a full sized one out of pine and not hardwood. I’ll have a lot of fine wood for making my future grand child some nice toys.

What I’ve learned:

There is a difference between a rail bit and a stile bit. The rail bit has the bearing in the center and on the stile bit, the bearing is on the top.

I can make very beautiful but incorrect rails and stiles with the incorrect bit very quickly.

The above pieces won’t fit no matter how much cursing you do.

That feeling of self discovery is quite nice when you watch the DVD again AFTER cutting the wood incorrectly.

The people at HD are starting to know me by my first name.

I really need to hook up my DC system before I start this in earnest.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

8 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4011 days

#1 posted 11-30-2009 12:11 AM

Ah.. the trail and error technique. I know it well!

I have a rather dark kitchen and I am thinking about redoing it in maple. It’s hard to find maple in this part of the country for a decent price though.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3160 days

#2 posted 11-30-2009 12:42 AM

I and my wife are sort of leaning to clear Alder if I can find it in the Dallas area. Check out this cabinets in Alder.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View MKLowman's profile


5 posts in 3152 days

#3 posted 11-30-2009 02:26 AM

Very brave fellow. Going with the arched raised panel door on your first go. Sort of like going from crawling to doing the iron man. American Woodworker had a great couple of articles on raised panel doors, including one on arches.

Good luck with the full production!

-- Mike, Northern Virginia

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3696 days

#4 posted 11-30-2009 05:29 AM

Looks nice!

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 11-30-2009 05:42 AM

Almost looks like pecan color.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3845 days

#6 posted 11-30-2009 01:27 PM

I agree with Mike. This was an ambitious project to tackle. Raised panels can be a challenge but adding a curved rail and a double panel to the door takes the project to another level. This was a nice learning experience and good idea to make the prototype from pine. It looks like you are ready to tackle the real thing.

If you haven’t seen it you might want to take a look at Marc Spagnolo’s video on making a raised panel door- Raising Arizona.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3160 days

#7 posted 11-30-2009 03:55 PM

I’m making a second door today. After measuring a bit last night I discovered that this is the only 16.5 X 27.5 door I have in the kitchen. All the rest are 14 X 27.5. I made the frame pieces on the first door 2.5 so today, I will be going with 2.25 and decrease the width of the bottom panel by about an 1.5” so it will be a visual tie in with the drawer faces. When I go to HD today, I’m going to check out their cabinets with my tape measure.

The picture does much more justice to the door than it should. There are so many fit problems.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3916 days

#8 posted 11-30-2009 04:01 PM

experience is a tough teacher… always gives the test first and lesson later

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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