LumberJocks

Stacking 1/4" MD5 Panels for Cabinet Doors

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by Beems posted 09-08-2015 03:05 AM 727 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Beems's profile

Beems

3 posts in 453 days


09-08-2015 03:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip md5

I’m looking for an inexpensive method to make low-profile doors for shop cabinets. I was going to use 1/2” MDF and just cut the panels to size, but I think they might stick out farther than I’d like. My other option is to use two 1/4” MDF Panels, one overlapping the opening while the attached smaller one fits inside the opening. I think a single 1/4” panel is too flimsy, but I’m “guessing” that two 1/4” panels will be sturdier. Here’s an illustration I did to make it clearer:

1) Is the illustration shown really going to make the door less flimsy
2) How do I even attach the two panels together? Is glue strong enough?
3) Is this even the appropriate forum section?

Thanks in advance,
Beems


12 replies so far

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 979 days


#1 posted 09-08-2015 05:44 AM

How about using 1/2” mdf and cutting a rabbet around the perimeter. This would give you the same effect without the need to glue up all of the panels.

View Beems's profile

Beems

3 posts in 453 days


#2 posted 09-10-2015 02:41 AM

Sorry, I intended to state that I don’t own a router so that method, while ideal, isn’t possible without that investment. If all else fails, I guess I’ll go splurge on a router.

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 979 days


#3 posted 09-10-2015 03:11 AM

In that case you can glue them up to get the desired effect. You will need mark where the smaller panel will be on the larger one because the mdf will tend to slide around in the glue when the clamping force is applied. You will also need to use cauls to apply pressure as evenly as possible over the entire surface. That can be tricky with larger panels. The panels will need to be glued flat, if they are unflat when glued they will stay that way after the glue cures.

Do you own or have access to a table saw? If so you could make the rabbets by running them over the saw, adjusting the fence and repeat until the desired rabbet width is achieved.

If your budget will support the purchase and you have more projects planned down the road then a router can be very handy. If this is a one time build I would save the money and glue them.

The use of a single 1/4 sheet will not work. The screws holding the hinge will not have enough material to hold. Mdf is not known for it’s ability to hold fasteners.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

805 posts in 2310 days


#4 posted 09-10-2015 07:26 AM


The use of a single 1/4 sheet will not work. The screws holding the hinge will not have enough material to hold. Mdf is not known for it s ability to hold fasteners.

- joey502

+1, MDF won’t hold screws especially in a hinge situation at 1/4” thickness, Plywood would be better, but you’ll see warping over time without a frame to contain the panel

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1830 days


#5 posted 09-10-2015 12:40 PM

If you can swing it, splurge and get the router. You don’t need to break the bank. I have Bosch routers, but those Dewalt mid-size (not trim, not full size) would be my choice if I needed a new one (they weren’t available at the time I purchased). Routers are amazingly versatile, and you’ll probably find a use for them on future projects (molding details, mortise/tenon, rabbets, dados, etc). Plus, it’ll save you the effort of getting your 1/4” panels perfectly lined up and glued.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1738 posts in 599 days


#6 posted 09-10-2015 01:11 PM

What kind of hinges are you going to use? As others pointed out, you are going to run into trouble if you screw the hinges into only 1/4” of MDF.

Face gluing MDF works just fine. I’ve done it for several table tops and fences. Just be sure to use cauls to distribute the pressure like joey said.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

805 posts in 2310 days


#7 posted 09-10-2015 03:51 PM

+1 to Ed – most any router you can swing that will fit a 1/2” shank won’t be wasted money, if you get hooked on the hobby you’ll find that the router is one of those tools that it’s nice to have a couple, I’ve got 3, and am looking for a D handle

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1211 posts in 1571 days


#8 posted 09-10-2015 03:54 PM

Table saws can rabbet, too…

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1141 days


#9 posted 09-10-2015 04:05 PM

The most difficult part I see to what you are describing is going to be aligning the two panels while the glue dries. My experience with glueing two flat surfaces to each other is that they are really difficult to get aligned just right and usually you just oversize them and cut them to final dimension after the glue dries. You are going to need to align the smaller panel near perfect or it won’t fit in the frame right.

It’s not the fastest way to do this but I can’t think of any reason it wouldn’t work assuming you can figure out how to align the panels. You might need a alignment frame during glue up to get the panels lined up than nail them together until the glue dries.

View Beems's profile

Beems

3 posts in 453 days


#10 posted 09-15-2015 02:57 AM

Thanks for all the advice. After reading all the comments here, I think I’ll just buy a router. I found a Hitachi with a 5-year warranty for $175 (I have a bunch of other Hitachi tools and they’ve been great, and I can’t pass up a 5-year warranty). If I only ever end up using it on these cabinet doors, it was an expensive tool. However, now that I’ll own one I’m sure I’ll be able to find other projects to use it on.

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 979 days


#11 posted 09-15-2015 01:58 PM



Thanks for all the advice. After reading all the comments here, I think I ll just buy a router. I found a Hitachi with a 5-year warranty for $175 (I have a bunch of other Hitachi tools and they ve been great, and I can t pass up a 5-year warranty). If I only ever end up using it on these cabinet doors, it was an expensive tool. However, now that I ll own one I m sure I ll be able to find other projects to use it on.

- Beems

I think you are making a good choice.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

805 posts in 2310 days


#12 posted 09-15-2015 08:43 PM

Agreed, my 1st router came after my screw gun and my circular saw, there are loads of tasks you can do with it that will draw you further into wood working.

You don’t list your location, nor the model of the router, I’m hoping you got the 2 base kit for for $175, that would be a decent deal! Next step would be to start looking at some router table types, the table based router really expands the capabilities, oh and check MLCS some of the basic kits are good to get to get you started, I think they have a 10 pc set that was a good deal and you wouldn’t get stuck buying bits you wouldn’t use.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com