LumberJocks

Reinforced Cope and Stick Doors

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by MC posted 02-20-2018 02:29 PM 564 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MC's profile

MC

215 posts in 2372 days


02-20-2018 02:29 PM

I am at the stage of building the doors for my kitchen cabinets. The doors will be heavy so I feel the need to reinforce the cope and stick joint that I will be using for the raised panels which need to float. I have two options:

The first is to use the adjustable Freud bits and create an extended tenon at the end of the rail and a corresponding mortise inside the groove of the style. Pros: stronger (I think) and better alignment during assemble. Cons: a lot more work and I will need to build a mortise jig for my router or buy a mortising machine.

Second option is to reinforce with dowels. Pros: simpler construction, no jigs to build, or no tools to buy. Cons: Not as strong (I think), alignment during assembly could be more critical.

Has anybody tried either of these methods and what was your experience and or preference?


7 replies so far

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

2979 posts in 614 days


#1 posted 02-20-2018 03:22 PM


I am at the stage of building the doors for my kitchen cabinets. The doors will be heavy so I feel the need to reinforce the cope and stick joint that I will be using for the raised panels which need to float. I have two options:

The first is to use the adjustable Freud bits and create an extended tenon at the end of the rail and a corresponding mortise inside the groove of the style. Pros: stronger (I think) and better alignment during assemble. Cons: a lot more work and I will need to build a mortise jig for my router or buy a mortising machine.

Second option is to reinforce with dowels. Pros: simpler construction, no jigs to build, or no tools to buy. Cons: Not as strong (I think), alignment during assembly could be more critical.

Has anybody tried either of these methods and what was your experience and or preference?

- MC

I’ve used the Freud bits with the long tenon option. One was with their residential door bit set, where the long tenon is mandatory. The others were their regular set for up to 1-1/4” stock.

Really all you are doing with the cope setup for long tenons is flipping the board to cut each face separately. It’s a little bit more trouble to set it up, since you have to kind of sneak up on the right thickness, but once you get it, you can mill all your rails in nothing flat. The other piece of the setup is how far you cut back, which determines the length of the tenon. You can make this whatever you want, and once you find the setting you like, just add a stop block to the router table fence so that they all register off the same spot. Also, you will probably need to make that cut in at least two passes. Be sure to do the math so you cut the rail stock to the right length, and remember that it’s the length of the face of the board, minus tenons, that determine the door width.

The residential set is really easy because both sides of the rail get the profile cut, and it’s the same distance from the tip of the tenon. The cabinet door bits are a bit trickier, since the back side is a straight rabbet cut, and the front has the profile. Theoretically, the length of the tenon face on both sides should be the same, but it’s a good idea to make certain, since if they’re not, you’re going to have a gap between the face of the rail and the stile on one side or the other.

Also, the mortises are easy. I like the jig that Glen Huey uses in this video, and his technique of repeated plunges to clear out waste initially. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbvfxBkaexE

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1735 posts in 2834 days


#2 posted 02-20-2018 09:35 PM

I don’t quite understand why your cope and stick doors will need anything additional

What is gonna make your doors so heavy to have that concern ?

I would imagine that there are 5-10 million cope and stick doors being constructed today that do not require any additional over engineered stuff

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

379 posts in 2827 days


#3 posted 02-25-2018 11:16 PM

I use Dominos in the doors that require more strength. If you don’t have a Domino machine, the dowels will be the easiest and least expensive option and will have more than enough strength.

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

981 posts in 2612 days


#4 posted 02-25-2018 11:28 PM

That’s sounds like work that doesn’t need done. I built cabinets for my kitchen twenty five years ago and they went through kids setting and hanging on the doors and I only use the cope and stick router bits and good old yellow glue. I am in the process of building new and the old ones get new life in the garage shop.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

950 posts in 841 days


#5 posted 02-26-2018 12:19 AM

I will tell you the way I repaired a raised panel cabinet door that had a complete glue failure. I used a Dowelmax dowel jig to drill and install a single dowel where each joint came unglued. I glued and clamped them right where they were before and they will never come apart again. This would certainly be a strong reinforcement but I don’t know whether it would be worth it to you. You must use a Dowelmax or other precision dowel jig (not the self centering type!) to put the holes in exactly the right place.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

944 posts in 520 days


#6 posted 02-26-2018 01:30 AM

I’m with cabmaker, not sure why you would feel they need anything extra. How big are the doors? I’ve made pantry size doors with my usual 2-3/8” wide rails and stiles and not had any issues.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View MC's profile

MC

215 posts in 2372 days


#7 posted 02-28-2018 01:51 AM

Thanks all for the comments. In the end I went with Rich’s suggestion of mortice and tenon joinery. The tenons were easy with the freud adjustable bits. I even changed the tounge and grove to 5/16” as the doors are 1” thick. Instead fo building a jig for the mortices, I instead used my router table to create perfect mortices.

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