How to make this thin detail on cabinet door

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Forum topic by mcg1990 posted 03-19-2015 01:48 AM 983 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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158 posts in 713 days

03-19-2015 01:48 AM

A customer wants me to build them this – or something like this:

However, I’m having a hard time coming up with a method of making those thin wooden strips in the doors. There’s no glass in those doors, so these would have to be strong. But how? In my mind the horizontals and verticals could be achieved through a time consuming collection of half-laps, but that gets thrown off with the X shaped parts that could only then by butt glued into each corner. I cannot see this being strong enough if made of any softwood. With no glass any stray foot would bust right through this.

I’m 99% certain that I’ll have to apologize and explain that I can’t do this in any way that would be affordable. However, I thought it would be worth checking here to see if anyone has come across/solved/passed on this opportunity before.

Lastly – do these things have a name?

5 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2391 days

#1 posted 03-19-2015 02:03 AM

They would be mullions if they framed separate window lites.

I have seen pieces like this made from steel, or wrought iron. That would be pretty strong.

I think making the vertical parts then half lapping the horozontal parts would be strong enough.
The X shaped parts could be half lapped in the middle, and just glued and screwed, or pinned into the rectangular openings. Make spare parts to keep on hand for later repair after the random foot breaks something.
Built in job security. You must learn to look at these challenges as opportunities in stealth.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 812 days

#2 posted 03-19-2015 02:07 AM

Can you use the glass itself as a structural component?

Glue the thin pieces to the glass for rigidity. Then the only question is how to join them to make them look nice. Should be easier than dealing with both look and strength. Maybe just mitered joints?

oops, that’s what I get for skimming. No glass…sorry, missed that.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1677 days

#3 posted 03-20-2015 12:33 AM

Practice making mitered half lap muntins before you decline the job. Please let us know the result.

-- Art

View devann's profile


2199 posts in 2113 days

#4 posted 03-20-2015 04:42 AM

Art, That looks like a pretty slick deal. I bet they have a dedicated cutter(s) & jigs for that application.
mcg 1990, I’d check and see how much Walzcraft wanted to make the doors. Then build your customer the cabinet and fit the doors to it. Probably be the way you make the most $$$ for your effort.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View barada83's profile


76 posts in 607 days

#5 posted 03-21-2015 03:17 AM

Might be too late but I would do half laps for intersecting joints and might consider this bit for the dual 45 degree cuts Might save you a otn of time but I would make sure to inquire that it is what it appears to be, a 90 degree angle. Otherwise you could always use a chamfer, miter saw, or table saw although it will be somewhat tedious.

-- Mike

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