Batten Cabinet Door Design

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Forum topic by Russell Eck posted 01-20-2016 09:36 PM 1312 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Russell Eck

158 posts in 1423 days

01-20-2016 09:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: solid wood cabinet slab door design

I’m doing modern/contemporary slab style solid wood cabinet doors. I already understand all the wood movement/warping issues and that you can use plywood, MDF, and veneer as an easier substrate for the doors.
(Just trying to avoid 20 responses of other methods)

That being said I’m still going to do solid wood doors.

I am gluing together 8 strips of maple wood per door alternating the end grain orientation to minimize cupping in one direction. Is there anyone out there that has done battens on the inside of the cabinet doors. It is really hard to find information on how they are actually designed and attached to the door.

From what I have gathered I am going to use 3/4 thick stock that is about 2-3 inches wide and long enough to go about 2 inches in on each side of the door and 2 battens per door. I know you aren’t supposed to glue and that you use screws. What I can’t find info on is do you screw only once on each end of the batten or do you put screws every “x” amount of inches in the batten. I have also heard vague mentions of slotting the screw holes but never by how much.

3 replies so far

View Sundowner's profile


40 posts in 1933 days

#1 posted 01-20-2016 10:17 PM

I do this for solid chest tops. I prefer to recess the battens about 1/4” across the back face of the solid wood doors/top and prepare the joint as a sliding dovetail with a router, then slide the battens in place. leave the battens and the recess short of the non-hinge edge and allow the leading edge of the batten to sit over top of the recess so that the gap remains hidden in warm/humid weather. screw-off at both ends, but slot the screw hole at the non-hinge end. I like to line-up the horizontal battens with full mortise hinges. looks cleaner when you open the door/top. DO NOT GLUE the batten in place

be mindful of hardwoods, they move quite a bit and you’ll need to leave a good gap between the doors and probably back bevel the edges, as well. Pine is actually pretty stable for what you want to do. old heart pine is the best, if you can get it.

View Texcaster's profile


1281 posts in 1672 days

#2 posted 01-20-2016 11:13 PM

Batten and braced doors are best suited for T&G doors or something you’re not too fussed about.

My tool cupboard and my veranda boot cupboard. No glue on either, one screw per board ( it should be one screw per VJ ) on the T&G tool Cab.

And the Nakashima 4 piece panel door. The door is M&T all 4 corners and the expansion is as normal for a panel door. This style allows for continuous grain on top and bottom rails and if your panel wide enough matching grain with the stile.

I just looked at your projects, you could do this easily and be glad you did.

Some expansion details, sorry about the color, low light and I really had to goose it.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Russell Eck's profile

Russell Eck

158 posts in 1423 days

#3 posted 01-21-2016 08:42 PM

Thanks for the tips guys. Good to know that I only need to slot one screw hole of the 2. Is batten size and thickness more of a personal choice?

Also I oriented my door panel glue ups in a horizontal fashion rather than vertical. This means they will expand up and down which will keep my doors from constantly having to be readjusted (no door gaps or rubbing!)

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