test runs #1: Cabinet door

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Blog entry by rweitz posted 12-29-2009 05:30 PM 1160 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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OK so I start a lot of projects but never finish! It just seems to me it takes a lot of thinking and pondering before I come up with what I want to do so I try stuff out micro scale before I take on the whole she-bang.

This is my first stile and frame door. I did it on the table saw, but that was before I finished the tuneup so I’m still working on runout and square etc, but I did get a Freud blade 50 tooth general purpose and cleaned off most of the rust.

I’m looking to reface or replace our kitchen and laundry room cabinets. The total replacement is costly, the refacing don’t look as good as the professional doors. My wife’s not sold on the Mission style doors either. I used a MDF for the center panel but the painting raised some fibers and left a rough finish. Also the wife thinks the panel is too thin feeling. No heft to the door compared to the solid wood panels in the existing doors. so back to the drawing board…
Frame and panel door

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

4 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3337 days

#1 posted 12-29-2009 05:53 PM

The easiest way to build raised panel rail & Stile doors is with a router table. I have built a couple of doors many years ago with just a table saw and it id not easy. I have 2 router tables now and have built quite a few raised panel doors ans wainscot panels using the tables. Much easier, faster and safer…
If you plan to build and replace all your cabinet doors a router table would be a great investment, and besides, you can have a lot of fun building so many other projects with a good router table.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3261 days

#2 posted 12-29-2009 10:54 PM

If you want painted cabinet doors. Why not paint the raised panel stuff you have already? I have the flat panel stuff and to be blunt, hate it, and am doing the raised panel route to get the doors I want…

MLCS has some good videos on how to make both mitered, and Rail & Stile doors on their web site… You might want to check it out…

Also, if you didn’t raise the grain and sand before painting, the moisture in the paint will raise grain on you… Which is what it sounds like happened here… Once your door is glued up and dried, go over it with a damp cloth, that moisture will raise the grain, then sand that smooth, you will have a MUCH smoother finish that way.

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View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3264 days

#3 posted 12-30-2009 08:14 AM

I have to disagree with Greg, the easiest way is this way:

That’s how I made mine :) I used 1/2” MDF for the center panel, with maple for the rails/stiles, and it has plenty of heft. The 1/2” MDF is a pretty good thickness for the raised panel too. You could use 3/4” if you wanted though, and just take material off both the front and back if you didn’t want the panel to be proud of the surface.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View rweitz's profile


116 posts in 3107 days

#4 posted 12-30-2009 09:51 AM

dbhost – thanks for the tip on raising the grain and sanding – very likley that would solve the problem. Also just painting the doors is still on the short list of solutions. I just did one door to see what I might be getting myself into since all the nooks and crannies of the current doors are a pain to paint. plus it was fun…

jimi_c – excellent take on making the raised panels, I’d never thought about that though I had seen some articles on making cove moulding with a TS.

and I have been looking at router tables and bits and routers since that trial run Greg, but $$, still I like the bit sets I’ve seen.

thx all!

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

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