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Forum topic by dakremer posted 07-15-2014 02:33 AM 1351 views 1 time favorited 75 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dakremer

2455 posts in 1748 days


07-15-2014 02:33 AM

Hey guys,

I need some help building some cabinet doors. My wife and I just bought our first house (YAHOO!!) and we are planning on updating our kitchen cabinets. The cabinets themselves are in good shape, however the door style is not our taste. We also plan to paint the cabinets white. I bought some select pine boards from Menards and was going to make the new cabinet doors – I’m going to keep it simple, and modern….

something like this (all white)...

I am looking for some basic advice on building techniques. My plan is to cut all the pieces to length, use a router to cut a 1/4” dado along the interior/center, use 1/4 lauan for the middle, and connect the “frame” using dowels (with my doweling jig). Is this a good technique? Is there a simpler way? Should I use 1/2” ply instead of 1/4”?

I made a mock up tonight of one, and there is a twist in it which means it won’t sit flat against the cabinet. I’m thinking if I used 1/2” MDF instead of 1/4” Lauan that it would decrease my chances of the door being twisted/warped.

I did not plane or joint any of the select boards. (By eye) they seemed really straight, and I’m pretty sure my blade was at 90 degrees when making all the cuts, but it still came out warped.

Any advice would be awesome, as I told my wife I could build these…..and don’t want to let her down….again :) :)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!


75 replies so far

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ShaneA

5306 posts in 1255 days


#1 posted 07-15-2014 02:41 AM

I would vote for maple or poplar as the frame material. I bit more stable and harder. For the panels 1/4” MDF would be a smooth, cost effective choice.

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waho6o9

4934 posts in 1233 days


#2 posted 07-15-2014 02:42 AM

Congratulations Doc on your home purchase!

Generally speaking the 3/4” face frame trade uses 3/4 inch
stock on the rails stiles and panels.

Measure the openings and add 1 inch to the width and height
that’s the size of your finished door.

Sometimes it’s more cost effective to have a shop that specializes in
doors and drawer fronts make em for you.

Good luck on your endeavors Doc and again congratulations!

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dakremer

2455 posts in 1748 days


#3 posted 07-15-2014 02:49 AM

Here’s how I built the first one.

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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dakremer

2455 posts in 1748 days


#4 posted 07-15-2014 02:51 AM

I got select pine boards 50% off at Menards, and I also bought a 4×8 sheet of 1/4” Lauan (MDF backed) plywood. The costs comes to about $5-6 dollars in wood per door! I’m just painting them white so don’t want to spend the money on Maple or hardwood (even though it would be more stable and harder)

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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MT_Stringer

1901 posts in 1887 days


#5 posted 07-15-2014 02:57 AM

Make ‘em on the table saw.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-fCL-ZAVWs

There are more videos on You tube that cove the same basic steps.

Good luck.

Note: My doors don’t have any nails, just glue and clamps.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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Iwud4u

363 posts in 185 days


#6 posted 07-15-2014 03:01 AM

EDIT: Looks like Stringer beat me to it.
Anyhu, probably the easiest and best for you.

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

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firefighterontheside

4358 posts in 513 days


#7 posted 07-15-2014 03:11 AM

I use this router bit set. Works great for me. I just built 14 doors out of poplar and birch bead board. I started with 5/4 and jointed and planed it to measure 3/4” to make sure that it would be straight. I love the bit set and there are numerous profiles available. When you do the glue up, make sure the door is sitting on a flat surface while it dries.


-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

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dakremer

2455 posts in 1748 days


#8 posted 07-15-2014 03:12 AM

How about the twist in the door at the end? I’m trying to avoid jointing and planing every single board to get perfectly flat (i’m starting with 3/4 thick select pine boards)....

using 1/2 MDF for the middle would ensure everything is glued up nice and flat – no?

of course that adds to the cost of the doors.

I really like the table saw for cutting the dados….I was having trouble getting clean cuts with my router…

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

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waho6o9

4934 posts in 1233 days


#9 posted 07-15-2014 03:16 AM

Great looking doors Bill, the bead board gives it

a nice look.

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firefighterontheside

4358 posts in 513 days


#10 posted 07-15-2014 03:17 AM

I have built doors with “straight” boards and had good success. If there is a slight bow, make sure they bow the same way as you make the doors. You can use adjustable hinges so that the door still closes flat on the handle side.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

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firefighterontheside

4358 posts in 513 days


#11 posted 07-15-2014 03:20 AM

Thanks waho. These are for my aunt who lives in Atlanta. My mom and dad will take them from St. Louis and install. She will paint them white. She wanted a more country look.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

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runswithscissors

951 posts in 681 days


#12 posted 07-15-2014 07:30 AM

I learned the hard way that if the stiles aren’t jointed perfectly square on the edges, and the rails cut perfectly square on the ends, that it’s hard to avoid warping. Of course, warped panels can contribute to the problem.

I don’t think you need anything thicker than 1/4” for the panels.

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Sawdust4Blood

348 posts in 1678 days


#13 posted 07-15-2014 10:04 AM

I have the same frame & stile bit set as Bill and also recommend them. One of the great things about that set for you is that it allows you to adjust the size of the slot to perfectly fit whatever panel material you use so they won’t rattle.

It doesn’t seem like poplar should be a lot more expensive than pine but I think that they will hold up better over time as cabinet door frames.

I also have to agree with runswithscissors in that I joint & plane everything and am meticulous with ensuring squareness. Even with that, you also have to make sure that you have a really good & flat reference surface to glue them up on. If your work surface isn’t flat, you could be inducing a twist when you glue them up.

You said that you’re looking for a modern look which I presume to mean the finished painted product needs to be smooth. If that’s the case, I would use poplar for the frames and 1/4 mdf for the panels. Lauan is a very open grain wood and I think that you’ll put a lot of time into sealing & sanding it before you get a smooth surface. Conversely, MDF will paint smooth with almost no effort.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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Jim Jakosh

11483 posts in 1762 days


#14 posted 07-15-2014 11:49 AM

If you’re paining them I think MDF for the panels would be better than the luan. Your design looks good but I think I would use poplar or maple for the frame. I’d prefer maple for wearability and dent resistance But I think pine would be too unstable. A lot of it you buy is not dried right and warps later. It can give you fits in door frames.

Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9922 posts in 1275 days


#15 posted 07-15-2014 12:02 PM

Dak, I’ve had the Panel Warping Blues, too. For me the solution was in the clamp-up. Make double and triple certain the panel is flat and true when setting to cure and you should see a better result. Don’t overclamp, as that may build some internal stresses as well, that appear when the clamps come off. Hope that makes sense…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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