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Options for nice looking cabinet/desk doors without a router table

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Forum topic by lightnb posted 610 days ago 3988 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lightnb

1 post in 610 days


610 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: desk door cabinet doors desk doors question joining

I’ve built a desk and need to make two doors for it. The desk will be stained a dark color. The top is made of a single sheet of plywood cut in an irregular shape and has a routed round-over edge. There are two cabinets on either side, one for a computer and one for storage. The computer monitor and the persons legs go between the two cabinets.

Almost all the tutorials I’ve found for raised panel cabinet doors require a router table. I’ll buy one eventually, but not in time for this project.

I do have:
A small table-top table saw
A circular saw
A compound mitre/radial arm chop saw
A 2 1/4 HP router with straight, Roman ogre and round-over bits
An 18 gauge pneumatic brad nailer

I’m willing to buy up to $50, as long as it can be purchased locally (ie. a router bit from Home Depot). It’s a gift and needs to be finished in 5 days.

I can’t believe there’s no way to make nice looking cabinet doors with the tools above. So here’s my ideas:

1. Use the same 3/4” birch plywood I used for the cabinet bases. Use a single piece per door. Use the Roman ogre or round over on the edges. Question: You’d see the layers of the plywood exposed under the round-over since its not solid wood, would that look silly?

2. Use solid wood for the frame, mitre the corners at 45 and assemble with wood glue and pneumatic nails. Its the same as what you’d do with the router table, except the joint would be a mitred butt joint instead of a tongue and groove (or whatever its called). Then I’d need to cut a groove inside the frame for… This is where it’s confusing because some designs use 1/4” ply on the inside, but it looks like its got an inverse round over (round under?) which you couldn’t cut into 1/4” because its not deep enough. Some designs use 3/4” ply, but how do you get a 1/4” edge to fit the frame?

Thoughts on either of the above or alternate suggestions?


8 replies so far

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2371 days


#1 posted 610 days ago

The doors on this sideboard are made entirely on the table saw.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/10561 I rarely use a router for doors. Just cut the grooves for your panels and tenons on the table saw. Use stub tenons on the rails of your doors. Everything can be done on the saw. Use hardwood for the stiles and rails.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7397 posts in 2274 days


#2 posted 610 days ago

I suggest you try a recessed panel door with applied moulding.
It looks nice and is easy to make. You just build a door
frame and glue it together, then route through the front
with a rabbeting bit, square the corners, drop in a 1/4”
panel and finish with mitered wainscott mouldings.

You can raise panels on the table saw but be prepared
to do a lot of sanding if you do.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View MNgary's profile

MNgary

235 posts in 1043 days


#3 posted 610 days ago

Lightnb, you mentioned the top is plywood with round-over edges. I don’t see a problem with doors that also have exposed plies.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1470 posts in 2751 days


#4 posted 610 days ago

If you wanted to stretch (a lot), you could cut your raised panel using the standard “cut a cove on a tablesaw by sliding the piece diagonally across the blade” technique. There’s a video linked off this LumberJocks entry, a little bit of discussion here, a review of the Rockler jig, a project with tablesaw cut cove molding, a Wood Whisperer episode on cutting coves on the tablesaw, and, finally, some raised panel doors with the coves cut on a tablesaw.

Disclaimer: I haven’t done this, I don’t have a tablesaw, but it’s always seemed like a really cool abuse of tools to me!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

904 posts in 651 days


#5 posted 610 days ago

Roman ogres are extinct, along with Bavarian elves and Norwegian trolls—or do you mean “ogees”? A built up plywood door with applied moldings is certainly a legit way to do this. Also consider a vertical panel cutting bit for your router (I’m assuming it has a 1/2” collet). A 2 1/4 h.p. router should be able to handle it. These get the profile the long way instead of horizontally. Horizontal panel raisers need a powerful router and router table. If you want to try the vertical panel raiser (Rockler has them), you could build a makeshift router table out of plywood, because even a vertical bit isn’t something to try freehand. For one thing, you have to use a tall fence. Hope that all works out okay.
Sorry for the wisecrack. Sometimes I lose self control. Ogee is pronounced “Oh gee.”

View huff's profile

huff

2795 posts in 1911 days


#6 posted 610 days ago

How about doing a perfectly flat door (more modern)? Make your doors from your 3/4’ plywood and edge it with 3/4×3/4 solid stock. Your solid stock can be glued on and sanded flush. Just be careful not to sand thru the veneer of the plywood. Run your round over bit around the edges and you have a good looking modern style door.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View Austons_Garage's profile

Austons_Garage

41 posts in 657 days


#7 posted 610 days ago

You can do doors without a router table. Cut toungue and groove rails and stiles on your table saw and rabbet the edges of your door panel. If you want to make it look more finished use a bearing guided 1/4 inch roundover or campher.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1596 days


#8 posted 610 days ago

A router table can be as simple as a piece of mdf with a hole in it and a bit of 2×2 and g-cramps for a fence. You’d have it made in 15 minutes. If you haven’t got a door making cutter set, you could always do shaker style (flat panel) and cut everything on the saw, or you raise panels by cutting bevels on the saw.

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