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depth of tenon for cabinet doors

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Forum topic by Pabs posted 387 days ago 798 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pabs

175 posts in 1955 days


387 days ago

Hi all

I was just on the wood magazine web site and they had this article on making frame and panel doors (see here)

they make tenons only 3/8” in depth to basically match the depth of the groove. you can see it in the following
pdf

is 3/8 tenons enough to get a good solid joint? or should they be deeper

-- Pabs


11 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2160 posts in 1352 days


#1 posted 387 days ago

That’s how we’ve been doing it since Mr. Shaper invented Stile and Rail Set #1, Pabs. Careful gluing and it’s a door that will still be intact when your piece appears on Antiques Roadshow in 2070.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Pabs

175 posts in 1955 days


#2 posted 387 days ago

failed to mention this would be in kitchen cabinets..lots and lots of abuse on those

I’ve never done them with tenons that small.. I typically go in at least 1 inch.. but mind you i’m no pro.

just feels like there would not be enough to get a solid joint…would certainly speed up the building process by doing them this way

-- Pabs

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1080 posts in 574 days


#3 posted 387 days ago

Lee Barker,”That’s how we’ve been doing it since Mr. Shaper invented Stile and Rail Set #1, Pabs. Careful gluing and it’s a door that will still be intact when your piece appears on Antiques Roadshow in 2070.”

I could say something to back Lee’s position, but I couldn’t say it better myself.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 788 days


#4 posted 387 days ago

I built all mine with 3/8 tenons. Mine are very simple shaker style (mission style?) with a plain panel. I used 1/2 inch ply for the panels, rabetted the back of the panel and glued and clamped the rails and stiles together. I can tell you they are EXTREMELY strong. Very simple on the table saw with a dado setup too.

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Nicky

628 posts in 2593 days


#5 posted 387 days ago

A tenon that fits snug will will give the joint the mechanical strength it needs for a kitchen application. The glue will hold it together. The rail/stile method that Lee mentions is the most common in production doors.

Just to convince yourself, make a door with this method, let the glue cure (depending on the type you are using) and try an break it apart. I’ll bet you can break everything except the actual joint.

I’m always inclined to over build (an over think) my projects. I’ve learned to get comfortable with this method of making doors because it’s quick and easy to make with a router and stands up to the test of time.

-- Nicky

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1080 posts in 574 days


#6 posted 387 days ago

+1 nicky. Also a very good way to put it… and the best way to test it… kinda fun too. :)

-- Who is John Galt?

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Pabs

175 posts in 1955 days


#7 posted 387 days ago

thanks for all the replies guys… I’ll follow wisdom and go down this path!

on the subject of glue…what would be the best glue for this type of application ? the stiles and rails will be made of oak

-- Pabs

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2260 posts in 1939 days


#8 posted 387 days ago

When you make raised panel cabinet doors with the appropriate router bits the rails and stiles fit together with about 3/8” of wood. All my doors stay together that way. I recently did a bench/chest that way too. Seems to work okay.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Woodmaster1's profile (online now)

Woodmaster1

412 posts in 1088 days


#9 posted 387 days ago

I only had two doors that came apart due to abuse in 22 yrs. The glue held the wood split. This is after 7 kids and their friends.

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)

pintodeluxe

3032 posts in 1315 days


#10 posted 387 days ago

I like 1/2” better. Mostly because I can give a solid wood panel room to move, but never fear that the panel will shrink too much. I make my grooves 1/2” deep, and my tenons 1/2” long.
If the panel is plywood, it is not as critical because the panel can be glued in place.

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

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1080 posts in 574 days


#11 posted 387 days ago

Pabs…. any good pva glue, like tightbond two or three. Stainable pva glues on the market react with oak, so I like the color match of TB III to oak for stain grade.

-- Who is John Galt?

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