003: under [garage] door shelving cabinet #4: cabinet doors work begins

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 06-11-2009 10:02 PM 4813 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: shelves Part 4 of 003: under [garage] door shelving cabinet series Part 5: and now, some doors »

For the doors, I had a look through my stock piles, and this board, a 1/4”x8”x4’ tulip poplar plank – picked up at Home Depot months ago simply because it was so unusually pretty – really spoke to me. The picture makes things a lot more yellow than they are in real life. It’s loaded with purples (which will probably fade in time to brown), browns, greens, yellows, and lots of gradients.

pretty tulip poplar panel

From those dimensions, I built a Sketchup model of the doors over the model I’d already made (and tweaked over and over) of the cabinet carcass. I was able to figure out how wide the stiles needed to be, given the cabinet width, and the 1/4” grooves into which the panel – which was actually 7-3/8” wide – would sit. It turned out 4’ wasn’t enough for 2 doors with rails the same height as the stiles were wide, but adding in a lock rail across the middle meant I should have just enough.

Here’s a closeup of some of the cool stuff:

pretty poplar panel detail

I needed 2.5” wide lumber exactly, and I found in my storage shed the perfect thing – 2 ~8’ lengths of 1”x3” Millstead “select maple” I’d salvaged from an alley, found through craigslist months ago. They had a lot of cool things going on inside them. These were definitely perfect finds. The poplar panels, when cut into the 4 pieces I needed yielded about 3/8” of leftovers from the end, and the 1”x3” maple, first cut to the 4 30” stiles lengths, and then the 6 7-3/8” rails lengths, yielded a final cut-off scrap piece of about 1/16”, which promptly got sucked into the saw and was torn apart. NO SCRAP. How serendipitous.

stock cut to size

Here’s the general idea. I only have the top rail properly grooved and tenoned at this point.

test panel layout in cabinet door

This marks my very first attempts at a real frame and panel door. I’ve made some larger doors in similar ways with recessed panels, but never with the tongue-and-groove work, too. It was 2×4 stuff, with pocket hole screws for joinery.

The diagonal rail shooting in from frame right here is done; the rest need the other sides of their tenons rabbeted away. My apologies if I’m mangling any jargon here :)

stiles being routed to shape

Once again I find myself at that tense moment… preparing for the glue-up. I always have to talk myself into proceeding at these points. Glue-ups are tense, fast work. I’m too laid back for that :) I’m using Titebond II, which I’m preferring more and more over Titebond III.

ready for my first cabinet door glue-up

I’ll leave you for now with that as a cliffhanger. Sorry! Back soon to post how the doors came out.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

4 comments so far

View stidrvr's profile


36 posts in 3498 days

#1 posted 06-11-2009 10:27 PM

Wow, that Poplar look amazing. Its very walnut esque. This is going to be one nice shop cabinent!

View lew's profile


12101 posts in 3779 days

#2 posted 06-11-2009 11:35 PM

Looking good on the doors, Gary!

I hear ya about the tense glue up moments! No matter how much I plan- something always goes wrong, at this stage!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18285 posts in 3699 days

#3 posted 06-12-2009 04:19 AM

I hate this suspense!! :-(( Will the doors work or will they NOT??!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3405 days

#4 posted 06-13-2009 02:19 AM

Thanks, stidrvr!

Lew – in my new post, I have a time-lapse of the glue-up. Maybe I’ll get a bunch of harsh critiques about my method, and will learn something that will make me better at it, and thus less tense. Probably not :)

Topamax – the latest post in the series is up! Thanks for your interest!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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