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Building doors w/ full width rails

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Forum topic by Himzzo posted 03-27-2012 06:22 PM 1210 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Himzzo

12 posts in 1711 days


03-27-2012 06:22 PM

Hey everyone,

First time poster. I follow the site but have largely been a lurker as they say.

I’m building large doors for a cabinet and have been debating solid doors with breadboard ends or panels doors.
My question is has anyone built panel doors with full width rails? The general practice we use is full length stiles and shorter stopped rails in between.

I’d like to do the opposite for aesthetic reasons. I’ve been running it through in my head and also doing some research online but can’t find any concrete information. Anyone forsee any issues with integrity?

Thanks

Himzzo


12 replies so far

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#1 posted 03-27-2012 06:28 PM

Hi Himzzo
Welcome to Ljs
The problem with having your rails going full width is strength IMO because of the downward force of gravity .have you considered two doors one above the other ?

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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DS

2151 posts in 1880 days


#2 posted 03-27-2012 06:34 PM

With a good cope and stick joint it isn’t a real problem.

If they are “real big” (not sure how big that is), consider wider rails to give more area to the joint.

You can see such a door in one of my projects. These are 3” rails in solid maple.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#3 posted 03-27-2012 06:39 PM

DS251
your photo doesn’t look like cope and stick?
If I were going to make full width rail cabinet doors I think I would use loose tenon joinery

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Himzzo

12 posts in 1711 days


#4 posted 03-27-2012 06:51 PM

Thanks for the input so far guys. The doors would each be roughly 21” w x 60” h. They would be made of 7/8” stock approximately. Obviously that could change with the final design and whether I build a panel door or solid door with some breadboard end variation.

James, the design doesn’t allow for two doors. My concern was the mortise and tenon wanting to pull apart or rack. Why would you go with loose tenon joinery over traditional mortise and tenon? I’m curious.

DS251 I like the look of your doors. Nice job! That’s what I’m going for to some degree but on a larger scale. I fear with the size of my doors a cope and stick wouldn’t provide enough strength.

The design currently calls for 3” rails and 3” stiles.

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DS

2151 posts in 1880 days


#5 posted 03-27-2012 07:11 PM

Well, I used my cope and stick stack cutters, but used a square profile for the shaker effect. It technically IS a mortise and tennon, except the mortise continues through to form the panel slot. (Cope and Stick – square profile)

The stiles are 3/4” thick while the rails are 7/8” thick. There is an 1/8” bevel on the edge of the stiles to resolve the difference.

Himzzo: Normally that tall of a door would have a mid rail to help support the weight and help resist the tendancy for a twist.

Options:

You might consider 4” or 5” rails and stiles – I’d feel more confortable with that solution w/o a mid rail.

Or, perhaps you do a hidden mid-rail behind the panel on the inside.

Or just brace the back of the door, if your design allows.

Once, I repaired some failed oversized doors (36X48 – someone else’s work), by drilling through the edge of the stile into the rail with a giant lag bolt and then plugging the hole. It was necessary to fortify the joint with some serious hardware. So far, they’ve held up.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Himzzo

12 posts in 1711 days


#6 posted 03-27-2012 07:21 PM

One mid rail is very likely going to happen. It might be a three sectioned door with two rails in the mid section of the door. How do you feel about the panel option compared to a solid door with breadboard ends and dovetailed keys? I’m really quite torn about what to do. It seems like both or options.

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#7 posted 03-27-2012 07:34 PM

What I should have said is I didn’t feel cope and stick was a strong enough joint and either traditional mortise and tenon or loose tenon joinery is more suitable . I do believe loose tenons are stronger than standard M&T because of the fact that glue is stronger than wood and a loose tenon has it’s grain running Independence of the the wood your building with. In a joint torture test(I think it was FWW) I believe loose tenons fared better than traditional M&T,but the biggest surprise was that half lap joinery and saddle joints came out number 1 & 2 as the strongest joint.
Many solid wood doors are made without bread board ends ,unless that’s the look you like. Solid wood cabinet doors are usually made of mostly strips of wood no larger the 2 wide so that minimizes cupping and twisting problems. With a door that size using M&T joinery I would peg the joints.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Himzzo

12 posts in 1711 days


#8 posted 03-27-2012 07:40 PM

James,

Yes I remember that test. I do remember also being quite surprised about the half lap joint. Yes, the loose tenon has some strength benefits that might do nicely in this application.

Do you have any thoughts on How you feel about the panel option compared to a solid door with breadboard ends and dovetailed keys for mid rails? I’m really quite torn about what to do. It seems like both or options.

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#9 posted 03-27-2012 07:48 PM

from above)Many solid wood doors are made without bread board ends ,unless that’s the look you like. Solid wood cabinet doors are usually made of mostly strips of wood no larger the 2 wide so that minimizes cupping and twisting problems. With a door that size using M&T joinery I would peg the joints. Panel doors help eliminate wood movement problems buy having the floating panel . Either type door will work. Solid wood doors take more material (unless your using solid wood panels)and weigh more.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

115201 posts in 3037 days


#10 posted 03-27-2012 08:26 PM

Food ? are they chocolate ? Lol I sure wish I could make sketch up work for me that’s great.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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DS

2151 posts in 1880 days


#11 posted 03-27-2012 08:37 PM

Seems like to me that Solid panels with breadboards ends would tend to split when the wood shrinks, unless the panel is made of loose T & G slats with only the outside slats glued to the rails.

The slab doors in my project were Veneered MDF with solid Breadboard ends. The solid rails had a tenon running the entire length that slotted into the mdf panel. This joint was glued solid as the shrinkage in this direction is negligable for both the rail and the panel.
If you were to use a ply, or mdf panel, such a door would definately be strong enough and twisting and racking would also be negated.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Himzzo

12 posts in 1711 days


#12 posted 03-27-2012 09:00 PM

Jonathan – why would the panels split? If you did them the traditional way I don’t see how that would happen. The tried and true breadboard end not a hybrid or anything. Am I missing something in your reply? I wouldn’t glue that breadboard end of the joint. It’d be pegged.

I need to make it out of solid wood. So ply and veneer are not options for this project.

Thanks for the SketchUp model. Nice addition to the thread.

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