Gap between panel doors?

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Forum topic by BobD posted 07-05-2013 02:07 AM 1007 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3413 days

07-05-2013 02:07 AM

I’m making a total of three garage cabinets out of ¾” MDF. There will be two slot & spline paneled doors per cabinet. A 1 ½” face frame is attached to the cabinet box. The cabinet measures 40 5/8” high, 18” deep and 31 ½” outside to outside. I’m making the ¾” frame for the doors 39 /5/8” for the stiles and 12” for the rails. So according to my measurements the doors will accommodate an opening of 30” (12”+12”+1 ½”+ 1 ½”+1 ½”+1 ½”). My question is how much gap should I plan for between the doors? What is the standard for the gap between doors made of ¾” thickness material? Is 1/8” gap using ¾” thickness material good enough so the doors won’t bind when they are opened?

-- Bob, San Diego

3 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2809 days

#1 posted 07-05-2013 02:18 AM

1/8 is a bit too much for me in most cases, but hey it’s a garage cabinet.

What hinges are you using and how much adjustment will they allow ?

View JAAune's profile


1799 posts in 2317 days

#2 posted 07-05-2013 03:17 AM

I like to put a bevel on the mating edges of the doors so the visible gap is less than a 1/16” between them yet they can open without rubbing. The bevel doesn’t extend all the way to the front face of a door and it doesn’t need to be very much.

-- See my work at and

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2837 days

#3 posted 07-07-2013 02:19 PM

Tape a few craft sticks (aka Popsicle sticks) onto the inside edges of your doors (top, middle and bottom). The thickness of a craft stick is 1/16th thick. I usually use 2 sticks for my preferred 1/8” gap for hard wood doors and frames (1/8” allows for wood movement).

I like the look of inset doors so I place 2 sticks on the bottom, top and sides of my cavity – then I fit my door to squeeze into the cavity and if I’m on the money, the door stays in place. I assume you will be having overlay doors so just tape your sticks onto the facing edges, squeeze them together and mount your doors.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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