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Suggestions for removable panel cabinet doors

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Forum topic by Dyllan posted 12-11-2014 06:22 AM 1187 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dyllan

1 post in 728 days


12-11-2014 06:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m very much of a novice, but I’m planning to build new cabinet doors for our kitchen, and could use some advice. I’m making them like in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-fCL-ZAVWs

Basically, a 1×2 frame with grooves inside it that a thin board slides into. I was going to join the sides of the frame with pocket holes using a Kreg jig.

However, I’d like to be able to remove the top of the door and change the panels so we can effectively redecorate our kitchen with just a panel swap (my daughter can paint some to show off her artwork, we can put some together seasonally, or whatever). My question is, how can I make the top 1×2 easily removable while still keeping it firmly in place? I’ve heard of threaded inserts, but I’m not sure if they can be installed into pocket holes, or if there’s some other method that would work better (perhaps an alternative to pocket holes)?

Thanks for any advice.


9 replies so far

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runswithscissors

2189 posts in 1490 days


#1 posted 12-11-2014 08:07 AM

One way would be to have a groove in the top rail (I assume the tops would be above eye level?) that you could slide panels into. It would be tricky to accomplish, but I think it could be done by using loose tenons for the top rail. In fact, you wouldn’t need to make a slot at all—just glue front and back faces of the rail to the loose tenons to make a lamination. I guess you would have to remove the doors to change panels, as they would probably be too close to the ceiling.

And as you surmised, pocket screws wouldn’t work for this, at least for the top rail. I like mortise and tenon better anyhow.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2696 days


#2 posted 12-11-2014 05:23 PM

My thinking is the panels would rattle every time the door is opened or shut. I wouldn’t attempt it.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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LeTurbo

217 posts in 1051 days


#3 posted 12-11-2014 06:10 PM

I’m doing something similar for an artist friend, but the panels will be canvasses, and the frame will be … well, the frame. In this case, they’ll mount in from behind, with simple twist tabs to hold them in place. Another thought though, is that magnets could do a good job here, even those basic ones that are used to hold cabinet doors shut.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#4 posted 12-11-2014 06:55 PM

I also think it’s going to rattle, not something I would do, but doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t. What if you made the frames such that they aren’t meant to be disassembled, but focus more on how to get the panel out without needing to tear the frame apart apart. A couple thoughts come to mind :
- Attach the panel to the frame with hinges on one side (on the inside of the cabinet), and a turnbutton or two on the other. That way, as your tastes change, open the panel, slide a new insert in, and close it back up. If you installed glass as well, so the insert got sandwiched when you closed to door, it would allow you to put in thinner stuff, like art, fabric, etc.
- Turnbuttons on all sides, much like a picture frame has on the back.
- Rout a recess in the back of the top rail, so you can side new inserts down into a groove cut on the stiles and bottom rail

Basically, my ideas all seem to go back to the idea of building the cabinet door more like a picture frame, and less like a cabinet door.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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runswithscissors

2189 posts in 1490 days


#5 posted 12-11-2014 07:57 PM

I realize my original idea wouldn’t work very well, or rather, would be very hard to do. The joinery would be too complicated. Instead, you could use the little clips that are made for holding glass panes into a rabbet. I used them for glass panels in the cupboard doors in my kitchen.

It’s true they do rattle, but not all the time. Only when there are earthquakes, which I guess means they’d be problematic in southern California. Ours rattle, but we quickly learned not to hear them.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Dan Krager

3267 posts in 1699 days


#6 posted 12-15-2014 12:51 PM

Why not make a rather common rabbet in the frame pieces with a special saw kerf dado to hold a rubber retaining tape that looks like quarter round when installed. This makes for a strong frame (however you decide to build it) and allows all sorts of different panels including stained glass or raised panels just by pulling the “tape” and then re-inserting it.
The rabbets can be cut with a common bearing bit after the door is assembled. The special dado for the tape can be cut with a 1/8” slot cutter. This arrangement takes full thickness frames.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com There are three types of people...those who are good at math and those who aren't.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#7 posted 12-15-2014 01:02 PM


Instead, you could use the little clips that are made for holding glass panes into a rabbet. I used them for glass panels in the cupboard doors in my kitchen.

- runswithscissors

This is what I did with an entertainment center, I tightened mine down so they didn’t rattle; worked fine.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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NoThanks

798 posts in 994 days


#8 posted 12-15-2014 02:06 PM

Dovetail the top Rail

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#9 posted 12-15-2014 06:45 PM

I think the most traditional way is just to make it removable is as others have stated ,as if it were a piece of glass with wood stops or swivel hold down hardware.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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