Door warping question

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Forum topic by Rob186 posted 01-04-2012 09:51 PM 1172 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 2299 days

01-04-2012 09:51 PM

Hi I am new woodworking and am building cabinet doors out of rustic hickory. I am finding that the door panels are warping about an 1/8 to 3/16 on my 19” doors is this something to worry about ? should I just shape into raised panels and not worry. They have been sitting in the coner of my kitchen for 2 weeks so further warping should not happen

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10260 posts in 3612 days

#1 posted 01-04-2012 10:03 PM

You should stack, sticker and weigh down door panels if
you are waiting to machine them further.

A 3/16” twist from corner to corner on a panel may or may
not be a problem. It depends on how able the frame is
to lay flat and contain the panel. If the panel wins the
fight the door frame will twist too. 3/16” is at the outside
end of acceptable twist for some mounting options. For
others it is too much… depends on your criteria as
a builder.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2890 days

#2 posted 01-04-2012 10:56 PM

Ideally, you want to start with perfectly flat material for panels, and if they warp; well, I have never had much success in bringing them back a to usable state.

You could try to stack them as mentioned to see if you can straighten them out, but you may be disappointed with the result after going to a lot more work and finding they are too twisted to use…

All the Best!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Rob186's profile


23 posts in 2299 days

#3 posted 01-04-2012 11:15 PM

I am sorry the panels are actually cuped if that makes a difference I measured them in the middle laying on a flat surface

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10260 posts in 3612 days

#4 posted 01-04-2012 11:20 PM

Controlling panel movement is one reason why we use frame and
panel construction. It keeps the panels flat. Minor cupping shouldn’t
be a problem. I’d flatten the panels before machining them into
raised panels. You can rip them in half and reglue, or plane
out the cup on both sides.

This is actually really imporrtant stuff to understand. I’d recommend
consulting a book or two on cabinet making to grasp the nuances
of this sort of troubleshooting.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2440 days

#5 posted 01-04-2012 11:41 PM

Loren, are there really any books that teach the nuances of cabinet making?
Today’s tooling and Materials?

Most of what I read says Blah blah shrinkage, just saw this link the other day on LJ, ‘The Shrinkulator’.
Was skeptical of the numbers I got from it, not that I don’t believe it.
In the past I held the opinion that if it did not look right, it was not right.
Often I did face frame cabinets, rail and stile doors, and winged the dimensions.
But hey, the euro cab has zero face frames.
I think you can see where I’m going with this.
I do not mean to hijack this discussion question, just thought the answer would be relevant here.

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10260 posts in 3612 days

#6 posted 01-04-2012 11:56 PM

Nuances of combining 32mm methods with face frame methods?
I doubt it, though attempting to take the best of both methods
and combine them has been attempted in books I’ve seen, with
mixed results. An experienced cabinet maker can mix and match
techniques without too much trouble.

I recommend Jim Tolpin’s book on traditional kitchen cabinet making
or his book “Working at Woodworking”. Neither overcomplicate
the craft nor avoid essential principles and the solving of common

Making frame and panel doors is not all there is to furniture making,
but if you are building cabinets with plywood carcases, the doors
are important to get right, no matter whether you build face
frame or frameless.

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