Simple cabinet doors?

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Forum topic by Al Killian posted 11-09-2008 06:20 PM 5751 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Al Killian

273 posts in 3986 days

11-09-2008 06:20 PM

I am starting a waitress station and planed on useing some shaker type doors. These will my first ones like this. How thick should the center panels be if the doors stiles and rails are 3/4” thick? Was thinking 3/8”, but wanted to check before I cut the maple.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

7 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4055 days

#1 posted 11-09-2008 08:03 PM

1/4” is a fairly common dimension for flat panel doors (actually it is the nominal thickness of the plywood, if that is what you are using). 5/16” also makes a pretty solid door. A true Shaker style door is in reality a raised panel door with the raised panel installed facing the interior of the cabinet. This type can be either 5/8ths or 3/4 thick depending upon your style (flush with the face frame or proud). In either case the panel mounts in a 1/4” groove in the door.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 3995 days

#2 posted 11-10-2008 04:03 AM

Actually a rather attractive and easy paneled door can be made by dadoing 1/4” grooves in your stiles and rails and using 1/4” plywood for the panel. I built paneled doors like this for my eight foot long cabinet pictured in my “Workshop in the Woods” blog.

For the stiles and rails I used 3/4” x 3” wide white pine, and the panels are inexpensive luan plywood. A clear finish of polyureathane gives a pleasing contrasting color. This was an easy door to make.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3881 days

#3 posted 11-10-2008 08:52 AM

I wouldn’t go much thinner than 3/8” with a solid wood panel – too
fragile. To do what you want to do you raise the panel on the back
so it fits a 1/4” groove set 3/8” back in the frame, which only leaves
you 1/8” on the back of the groove – which is kinda fragile.

I would try to get wood milled 13/16” if I were you at least.

You can also use ply and it’s plenty strong and fine where
authenticity isn’t needed.

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 11-10-2008 04:36 PM

Thanks, I think I am going to go with a peice of ply then veneer it. By the end of the week the cabinet should be done.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3901 days

#5 posted 11-10-2008 04:37 PM

If using plywood for your panels, keep in mind that 1/4 ply is actually about 3/16 thick. It will leave an unsightley gap inside your rails and stiles. You will need to use 1/4 mdf core with desired wood veneer facing. If using solid wood, don’t forget the space balls.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View BigBob's profile


64 posts in 3723 days

#6 posted 11-14-2008 11:20 PM

You can make some nice frame and panel doors quickly and accurately with one $20 bit and a router table.
Get a slot cutting bit with a bearing and a 1/8” slot bit. Set up the fence on a router table to be even with the bearing, or bury the bit in a zero clearance fence.
Take your 3/4” stock and cut your rails and stiles to exact lenght. Now take your panel and if it’s 1/4” or if you veneer, slighly larger and mark it’s thickness (panel) on your stock, right in the center. Raise the slotting bit to cut the first pass. Cut a 1/8 groove (rabbet) in all the pieces, the rails need a backing board to prevent tearout in the endgrain.
Then raise the bit slightly to cut to the final thckness using a test piece of panel to get a perfect fit.
Finish the final pass on all parts.
You can use solid stock or ply as a loose tenon to glue up the doors for the rails and stiles.
The doors can be made very quiclkly and look great.
Hope that helps you.

View Treverk's profile


23 posts in 3714 days

#7 posted 11-15-2008 01:05 AM

I’ve had really good results using Norm’s method for grooves. Set the blade height on the TS and set your fence so that the blade is centered on your frame material. Run your stock through and flip it so the opposite face is against the fence. Check the fit of the ply and move the fence ever so slightly and try again. With this method you get perfectly sized grooves that are centered and you don’t have to listen to that awful router whine.

-- Matt

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