Kitchen Doors & Drawers Questions

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 06-02-2011 04:43 PM 1355 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3139 days

06-02-2011 04:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: kitchen cabinets doors drawer shaker mlcs poplar blum drawer slides european hinges box joints maple question

In the next few weeks I will be refacing our kitchen with new doors and drawers. I plan on doing the doors shaker style using MLCS Katana rail and stile router bits. The drawer fronts will be solid wood, maybe with a bevel on the edges, and box jointed prefinished maple ply for the drawers themselves. All installed with Blum soft close European hinges and drawer slides.

Now, there’s going to a lot of “firsts” for me in this project, especially the part about making cabinet doors, so I have a few questions.

- Everything is going to be painted, so I get to do it on the cheap and use poplar. However, I’m unsure whether I should use 1/4” MDF or plywood for the center panel on the doors. No raised panel, just a flat panel. Since its being painted, which material would be a better choice?

- The current plan is to build, prime, and paint the doors and drawer fronts. Is there any need to first apply a sanding sealer or anything like that?

- The current cabinets have a face frame, so I’ll have to use the European hinges that attach to the frame. I’ve installed ones that mount to the inside face of the cabinet, is there anything I need to be aware when using the face frame models?

- Any tips for installing the drawer slides with a face frame cabinet?

- Any other tips, tricks, or advice from you experts?

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to get some feedback before I dove head first into this. Any comments will be appreciated. Thanks!

-- David

3 replies so far

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3141 days

#1 posted 06-02-2011 04:56 PM

FaTToaD, do you mind if I call you Bufo? Anyway, I’m not an expert, so everything is simply my opinion. At least this post will bring your question up to everyone elses attention again. So…..

1. I would use ply for the doors, stronger and less fear of water
2. The primer should act as your sealer
3. No hints on this from me
4. Once again, not much help
5. Hints and tips….. use search function for Patron’s blog about door builing, straight forward, easy to follow, plenty of pics
6. Good Luck!

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 06-02-2011 05:41 PM

- MDF will fit a 1/4” panel groove better. Ply is thinner. I would
use the MDF for paint grade doors. The correct way to do shaker
doors, even if painting them, is to use 3/8” panel stock and raise
it 1/8” on the back. You can fake this by gluing 1/8” ply or
hardboard to 1/4” ply or MDF. I’d just use 3/8” MDF and raise the
panel from it.

- Buy the best drawer slides you can afford for the kitchen – the
satisfaction you get from using them is so worth it. Concealed
undermount are the best, fake the shaker style best, work the
best, and are easiest to install in inset applications.

- Study the hinge catalogs carefully so you understand the products
before you order. You can also go in to a cabinet supply shop
and staff there will help you figure it out.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2848 days

#3 posted 06-02-2011 08:09 PM

I’ll speak to the hinges—you’re getting good counsel on the panels.

Make sure you are using clip style hinges with three-way adjustability, which you probably know about.

I do my hinge boring layout from the center of the door. Mount the hinges.

Then I layout where the bottom mounting plate goes, and cut a block that sits on the bottom rail of the faceframe, put the plate on that, and screw it to the stile.

Then I clip the top plate on the top hinge, clip the bottom hinge to the already-installed plate, and then screw in the top plate. It is much easier than mounting both plates loosey-goosey and trying to get the door installed and adjusted from that.

On you go!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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