Routing MDF cabinet doors

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Forum topic by WOODIE1 posted 549 days ago 2069 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View WOODIE1's profile


77 posts in 881 days

549 days ago

Probably a stupid question but this is a budget project and don’t want to waste money on bits and material if it won’t get results I want .

I want a simple MDF slab door but want to route a simple 3/16 groove approx 2 1/2” in from the perimeter edge. I am unsure if using a simple straight bit will give me clean square corners or will I wind up with rounded corners?

Not sure if this will show up but this is what I am looking to do with the possibility of adding vertical grooves to create a bead board look within the new inner routed panel. Kind of a clean modern bead board inset design.

As always I appreciate the help.

Anybody in SOCAL make MDF doors to save me some time??? Barker is great but lead time is too long for this project.


6 replies so far

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

476 posts in 1919 days

#1 posted 549 days ago

Woodie, your corners will be rounded, with a 3/32” radius (using a 3/16” bit). Those corners can be chiseled to square the old fashioned way, or you could pick up one of these:

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1648 posts in 1095 days

#2 posted 549 days ago

Remember the bottom of the groove will have that radius as well, chiseling those square might likely require a touch of finesse.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1213 posts in 674 days

#3 posted 548 days ago

By using a smaller bit, and a template or collar settup you can at least make the inside of the corner square, and just have to chisel the outside!!

-- Who is John Galt?

View WOODIE1's profile


77 posts in 881 days

#4 posted 548 days ago

Thanks, thats what I thought but I thought maybe the straight bit vs a raised panel type would have had a different outcome.

For the cost I found a place that can knock them out in 3 days for not much more then they would cost me. I have no idea how thy do them so cheap.

View Wdwerker's profile


331 posts in 835 days

#5 posted 548 days ago

They buy MDF in full bundles. Their saws and routers are computer controlled . You are paying retail for a probably lower grade of MDF. Most of the expense is in finishing that MDF door and sanding between coats to get a primo finish!

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Loren's profile


7259 posts in 2250 days

#6 posted 548 days ago

Try Decore-ative Specialties.


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