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Rail & Stile router bit set for kitchen cabinet doors

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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 04-02-2016 04:25 PM 838 views 2 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


04-02-2016 04:25 PM

Our 30 year old crap doors are falling apart so looking to make some new ones.
Can’t afford new cabinets / remodel.
Looking for rail and stile router bits. Ones I know of are MCLS and Infinity.
I saw one from Freud that has a lot of adjustments.
I am wondering if I can find plywood that will fit the fixed 1/4 slot that most of them have.
Will probably be using soft maple and painting it. I can buy finished doors online for about $25 per sq ft so not sure if I can make them cheaper than that, as I have not priced out the wood yet.
If I am using soft maple should I use maple plywood for the panels?
Thanks for any advise.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


18 replies so far

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

825 posts in 530 days


#1 posted 04-02-2016 05:06 PM

You can make them cheaper. Plywood won’t net at 1/4” , you could use 1/4” MDF as you will be painting. I am in the process now and used the tablesaw for the groove but im doing mitre corners and biscuits. Im in this for about $300 using select pine and mdf from HD.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

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Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#2 posted 04-02-2016 05:10 PM

I really hate MDF and being in a kitchen if it gets wet it will disintegrate.
I wonder if the 1/4 slots are meant for solid wood panels and not plywood.
I also see 5.2mm mentioned as a slot size.
Good luck with your project.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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jerryminer

528 posts in 905 days


#3 posted 04-02-2016 05:38 PM

I buy my plywood from a hardwood dealer, and 1/4” hardwood plywood (in an A1 grade) is 1/4” thick.

1/4” ply from a big-box store is likely undersized.

1/4” mdf is 1/4”

If you’re painting, though, you can shim a little to push the panel to the front, then caulk the gap in the back.

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

825 posts in 530 days


#4 posted 04-02-2016 05:54 PM

If you took raw mdf and put it in a tub of water and left it it might disintegrate. If you seal and finish the doors with paint I dont see a problem. I also take the time to seal the panel with a couple coats of shellac before assembly which helps with any moisture problems. I owned a cabinet shop for years and outsourced all my doors. Occasionally i would sell doors with mdf as a pricepoint but i never had any callbacks or complaints. Put a solid wood door over a cooktop without an exaust fan and the steam will ruin it. A dribble of water from the sink area on a door or a good scrubbing occasionally wont hurt a painted door, MDF or being solid wood.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

818 posts in 384 days


#5 posted 04-02-2016 06:24 PM

Joel_B,

I have used the MLCS raised panel set and have no complaints. I have the Infinity raised panel door set for the shaper and they work great. If the Infinity router bit sets match the performance of the shaper cutters, those will work well also.

Until jerryminer’s comment, I was not aware of plywood that comes in at ¼” thick exact. While less expensive plywood I have bought at the home center seems to vary slightly, all ¼” plywood I have bought are less than ¼”. Buying a Plywood Panel Conversion Cutter (MLCS) could give you the exact plywood fit you seek. Alternatively, since you plan to paint the doors and back cutting ½” plywood would be pretty ugly on the inside of the door, using ½” MDF and back cutting it to get a ¼” rabbet could work.

Options for undersized ¼” plywood and ¼” slot cutter on the raised panel set would include inserting Spacer Balls to keep the ¼” plywood from rattling but I am not sure they would fit and a gap would be visible on the inside of the door. A shim filling the gap, eliminating the need for the Spacer Balls, is also an option. Neither of these options appeals to me, but are options nonetheless.

Since in the mid-west, $5/bf is the general price (give or take depending on the wood) for domestic hardwoods, a 2’ x 3’ solid wood door would cost about $30. A plywood or MDF panel could reduce the cost per door significantly.

I suspect the painted doors would have a more consistent look if the plywood matches the wood used in the frame.

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Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#6 posted 04-02-2016 08:05 PM

I agree MDF can work, just prefer not to use it.
I will check with my local lumber yard what thickness plywood they have.
I figured one door would use about one bd/ft of hardwood and about 2 sq ft of plywood and would cost maybe around $10.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View Nostradamit's profile

Nostradamit

32 posts in 301 days


#7 posted 04-02-2016 08:47 PM

I’ve used 1/4” in mdf for panel with no problem, As the teheturtlecapenter said if you seal and paint it correctly you should have no problems. Another thing is 1/4” mdf measures a 1/4”.

View jbay's profile

jbay

814 posts in 363 days


#8 posted 04-02-2016 08:59 PM

I would just buy them. Your going to get guaranteed doors, quality built with quality materials and if any are the wrong size you don’t eat it they replace it. When you figure in costs remember, you don’t have to spend time picking out material, you don’t have to buy extra material, and the time you would spend making them can be used for better things. Personally I make more money building cabinetry then making doors. I can’t make them for what I can buy them. But as most say, that doesn’t matter, I just enjoy the process and that’s good too.

Here is a shaker style door, 18×30 paintgrade maple 1/2” panel, paintgrade maple frame for 12.11 sq ft.
That’s all solid maple!

Even cheaper if you went with a 1/2” mdf panel. (10.32 sq ft)

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile

TheTurtleCarpenter

825 posts in 530 days


#9 posted 04-02-2016 09:24 PM

The shakers were frugal and they made there doors with 1/2” material and put the raised side to the back. I agree with JBrow on buying versus building your own and the door he shows equals out to 3 3/4 sq ft @ about $12.25 per.

I mentioned to my wife this week that as boring as it was to milli these 29 doors , which relates to 145 pcs, that I felt lucky to have not cut a finger off. Fooling with all those peices you get a little lost in thought.!

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle",,,,,member MWTCA area K. Kentucky

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#10 posted 04-03-2016 12:18 AM

Yeah, I have been considering buying vs building.
What web site is that maple door from?
I wouldn’t mind building them just for fun and experience and I already have all the tools except the router bits.
But I do have other projects I need to work on.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

13480 posts in 1320 days


#11 posted 04-03-2016 12:33 AM

If you’re ever going to make doors again, I recommend the Freud adjustable set. I love it. Makes great doors and I can adjust to just about any size plywood or whatever panel I may make. If you’re painting you can use whatever paint grade plywood you can find. The best thing might be MDO plywood if you can get it.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 917 days


#12 posted 04-03-2016 12:38 AM

The 18” x 22” jatoba solid hardwood raised panel doors I’m doing are only costing $35 each.

Freud, MLC, CMT, rockler, Grizzly etc make good rail & stile sets in a variety of styles. You can’t go wrong with any brand name supplier.

Depth setting & matching are critical and a digital height gauge is a real help.

Sets come in three types, separate, reversable, & dual (fixed cutters).

Any type will work depending on your preference.

One help in setting is that the back cutter down sets at 1/8” and the back cutter up is 5/8” for 3/4” stock. Stock thickness is critical and needs to be 0.750” as tight as you can get it. Any deviation will double at assembly time.

Use backer boards on your rail cuts. Run the stiles at a little over full length and just cut off any end snipe.

Read the sheet goods specs closely, they will tell you if it is the exact dimension or undersized.

Use space balls to prevent rattles.

Finish the edges of the center panel first. This will prevent a ‘dry line’ from showing as the panel moves.

Water the glue a little and use a brush to get to the bottom of the copes.

Cut the rails & stiles a hair wide & long. After glue up take a final trim instead of going crazy getting the rail ends flush before the glue sets.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View jbay's profile

jbay

814 posts in 363 days


#13 posted 04-03-2016 12:55 AM



The 18” x 22” jatoba solid hardwood raised panel doors I m doing are only costing $35 each.

- MadMark

How did you come to that conclusion?

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#14 posted 04-03-2016 02:15 AM

I have been looking more at the Freud adjustable bits. There are some complaints that the slot width only goes down to 5.5mm which be too big for 5.2mm plywood. If I can actually 5.2mm plywood I might be better off with a fixed width router bit

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

13480 posts in 1320 days


#15 posted 04-03-2016 02:29 AM

I don’t know about the 5.2mm. Ive never had a problem making the slot small enough.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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