Help With Kitchen Cabinet Door

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Forum topic by End_Grain posted 11-30-2009 12:38 AM 1143 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 2559 days

11-30-2009 12:38 AM

I need some input from those in the know about kitchen cabinet doors. Here is a pic of my first door. Please overlook the fit and finish problems. This is the first time I have used shaper or made a door. I am interested in proportions of the door. I like them but I’m not satisfied with them. I think there are proportions that will really give it a, WOW, that’s outstanding cabinetry type of punch.


The overall dimension of the door is 27.5” X 16.5”, framework is 2.5”, the lower raised panel is 7” and I forget what the top panel was but it was what was leftover. My initial thoughts are to go to 2.25” framework and 5” on the lower panel so that it would be more of a tie in with the drawers. Anyway, I know there are some people out there that can look at this and save me from making more mock-ups than necessary.

What are your suggestions?

Oh and here is a pic of the doors that will be replaced.




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

5 replies so far

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 2707 days

#1 posted 12-02-2009 04:47 AM

Frank, Sorry I didn’t see your post earlier. I beleive you’ll like the look of your door if you go to 2 1/4” stiles and rails. The balance between the bottom and top panel is about right for that style door, but that is really up to you and what looks good to you. I would be afraid if you make the bottom panel 5” tall, that will appear pretty short. (width virses height). I believe if you leave the bottom panel @ 7”, change the stiles and rails to 2 1/4”, (which will change the height of the top panel) you will have a great door.
Are all your doors the same height?.......and are you doing just the upper doors or both upper and lower? You may have to hit a happy medium if they are different heights.
Sometimes when I’m designing a custom door and can’t make up my mind on dimensions, I will draw it out to full scale on a piece of 1/4” ply to see what it will look like(that way I don’t have to make a sample door)...and 220 grit sandpaper makes a good eraser! LOL.

-- John @

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95 posts in 2559 days

#2 posted 12-02-2009 05:10 AM

John, this is what I ended up doing. I reduced the rails and stiles to 2.25”. I then set up the bottom rail and the mid rail in the frame and moved it around until it seemed right. This is what I ended up with.


as compared to the first.


All the doors are the same height (27.5) except for the ones above the frig and stove and beneath the oven. Those I figure on just doing a raised panel less the arch.

This is what I figure on for the bottom: This one isn’t 27.5 becuase I made the door fit the wood I had remaining. I think it is around 26


The bottom rail needs to be wider than the top but with the current dimensions the bottom puts the door out of balance. I figure if I reduce the width of the bottom panel by about an inch it will look good.

You’re looking at the only 3 raised panel cabinet doors I ever built so I wasn’t worried too much about making these but I’m not looking for any more practice. I’m going to create a story board of finishes for my wife to choose from for the cabinets.

Thanks for your help. I would definitely appreciate and welcome your thoughts on the second and third doors. I went to HD with my measuring tape and threw it across similar sized doors. The rails and stiles were all 2.25” wide like you suggested.

-- 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 lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2529 days

#3 posted 12-04-2009 09:32 PM

I’m brand new to woodworking, but the second try is much more pleasing to my eye. Much better balance. Good luck, Rand

View childress's profile


841 posts in 2964 days

#4 posted 12-08-2009 08:36 AM

I usually mill my stiles and rails at 2&1/4”. If it were me, I would ditch the center rail. It will make the door look taller.

-- Childress Woodworks

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 12-08-2009 11:44 AM

I’m sorry I missed this post too. I have to agree with everyone here that stiles and rails need to be 2 1/4” and I also have to agree with Childress. I would not use a center rail on that small a door. Use the center rail only on doors over 42” in height. They would look a whole lot better. And I would not use an arch on the bottom of my base doors either. Just the way I have always done mine for over 30 years.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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