Making mission style cabinet doors - extra pieces?

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 09-24-2012 01:46 PM 2075 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1708 days

09-24-2012 01:46 PM

I’m making 18 (or 20) mission style cabinet doors for our kitchen. I’ve been out in the shop roughing down some 4/4 maple and cutting it into pieces for the door frames. I’m kinda close on materials here. Actually may need to go get some more maple, but for starters I have 10 doors the same size. Let’s call them 29×17 for simplicity’s sake. So I need 20 stiles. I cut 20 pieces and as I’m jointing them I come across some…. “hmmm… ” ... areas. Minor flaws. Nothing earth shattering, but enough to make me wonder if I shouldn’t be cutting more pieces than I need just to make sure I have enough all milled the same. I’m cutting them all just a bit oversized to make sure I have enough there to mill them down straight. But… do you make extra pieces?

My rails for these will end up being about 12 and a half inches (plus tongues). So theoretically I could just cut down any “extra” stiles and make them into rails.

I think I’m answering my own question…. hehehe… Cut extra pieces the length of a stile and if I go through the pile and don’t like something later I can cut it down to a rail.

Oh well. I hate having analysis paralysis, but I hate wasting good material just as much. :)

7 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2336 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 02:09 PM

You got it Charlie. When I mixed up the stile length with the rail length once, I did just that. I cut the “extra” stile/rail down to fit the other dimension. Worked great and helped me to control my wastage.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3166 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 02:40 PM

I always make a couple of extras, when milling something with lots of parts. Cut your longer pieces to size first, and work your way down to the shortest. That way, if you mess up a long one you can use it to make one of the shorter pieces.

View AandCstyle's profile


2540 posts in 1679 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 04:16 PM

I like to make a couple extras so I have them for setting up machines later to get a (perfect) fit when cutting the mortises and tenons or dados or whatever. I also use them for making finish samples.

-- Art

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2235 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 04:53 PM

I tend to cut 20% extra while I have the tools setup. If they go unused, I wrap them together with cling wrap and label them. You never know when you might have to replace one of those doors!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3229 posts in 1656 days

#5 posted 09-24-2012 10:45 PM

So there seems to be a consensus already about cutting extra. I am making frame and panel porch columns and there is a lot of machining, so I have cut at least one extra piece of each size to move along the machining setups.

My design sources tell me that rails and stiles are often not the same size on high end stuff, and especially on custom stuff. So going with that, you have fewer opportunities to interchange = more parts.

Here are the columns in process.


-- Dan Krager, Olney IL There are three types of people...those who are good at math and those who aren't.

View ShaneA's profile


6422 posts in 2020 days

#6 posted 09-24-2012 10:54 PM

I like extra pieces for almost all projects. Helps with test cuts and perfect fits. If you have an oops moment later in the project, you have an extra rail or style ready to step in at a moments notice. But maybe I just have more than my fair share of oops moments?

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 1708 days

#7 posted 09-25-2012 12:22 AM

Well…. I’m short. REAL short on material. Originally, my concern was whether or not I’d get a NEW batch of maple milled down exactly the same thickness as the stuff I just milled. Now I’m thinking I BETTER be able to mill it down the same. :)

I have a decent jointer, planer and table saw. I milled the frame stock down to .750 and I have digital calipers to measure all this crap with. If I can’t buy more wood and make it the same size (or so close to the same size that nobody can tell unless they get THEIR digital calipers on it…) then I should just sell all this stuff and use the workshop as an art studio. :)

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