Tall rail and stile doors

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Forum topic by Jackietreehorn posted 11-03-2015 12:01 AM 600 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 1356 days

11-03-2015 12:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tall door rail and stile

I’m about to start routering my rails and stiles and I got to scratching my head a bit. I have two tall pantry doors, around 60×16.

I based the height off my parents pantry which was wider. I figured if theirs didn’t have problems I should be able to (hopefully) get away with it, except whoever built theirs knows a lot more than I do.

Stiles are 2&5/16 wide 3/4 maple. The panels are 1/4 mdf maple veneer. I planned on using four hinges per door to help hold things together too. I’m really against adding a middle rail (as is wife).

In my searching I’ve stumbled across a suggestion of cutting a middle rail and planing it down to go in the backside. They also suggested doing an 1/8 dado in back of panel so the rail would stay thicker. Kind of makes sense to me.

The second thing I read was where a guy was saying to glue the hinge side stile to the panel.

And the last thing I’m considering is doing a longer tenon as I have the adjustable rail and stile bit. I’m a little leery of this as this is my first leap into rail and stile bit and afraid of miscalculation or something on my part. Is the extended tenon real helpful on a door of this size?

Just curious if anyone has a suggestion of what’s better, doesn’t seem to be a tried and true method other than splitting door in half with extra rail. Thanks!


6 replies so far

View Daruc's profile


459 posts in 550 days

#1 posted 11-03-2015 12:13 AM

I wouldn’t over think it. Just make it like any other door.
Be sure to glue the joints well and maybe add a few pins into the panel on the back.
I wouldn’t worry much about expansion with the mdf panel.
I also think 3 hinges would be enough, but do what ever makes you feel good, it won’t hurt.

-- -

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 1055 days

#2 posted 11-03-2015 12:22 AM

I agree with woodust. Don’t overthink it. But I think you should try the extended tenon just to develop that skill. I always say try to develop your skills. As far as the benefits go. It will be stronger, although it won’t matter much on an 16” wide door, but again it’s worth it just for the experience I think

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View pintodeluxe's profile


4824 posts in 2231 days

#3 posted 11-03-2015 12:26 AM

Well, the mdf veneer should be glued on all edges, not just the hinge side. I always make tenons 1” long for my solid panel cabinet doors, because the solid panel doesn’t add to the strength of the door. In your case the mdf panel will be glued in place. In that instance you can make 1/2” long or 1” long tenons, your choice.

If you have a mortiser it takes about 10 seconds to deepen the mortises, so not a big deal there. If you are mortising by hand, then I would probably skip it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Jackietreehorn's profile


148 posts in 1356 days

#4 posted 11-03-2015 01:38 AM

Well that takes a bit of worry of my plate, thanks guys.

I don’t have a mortiser, which is one of the reasons I wasn’t wanting to do the extended tenons unless it was a requirement.

But on the panel, you’re supposed to glue all the edges on the mdf panel? I was under the assumption that you wouldn’t glue any but that you also didn’t need to leave as much play as a solid wood panel. It wasn’t till I read the suggestion of gluing one edge that I started to wonder…


View Woodmaster1's profile


732 posts in 2005 days

#5 posted 11-03-2015 11:26 AM

I used a center styles and rail on my 66” doors.

View rwe2156's profile


2110 posts in 898 days

#6 posted 11-03-2015 02:24 PM

60” is a very high door and the big deal is having straight wood.
If you’re good on that, you’re lucky.

I would consider full mortise and tenon joints instead of the cope and stick.

Personal preference on the middle rail, but I would put one in.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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