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Forum topic by KellyB posted 03-19-2015 05:55 PM 934 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KellyB

77 posts in 644 days


03-19-2015 05:55 PM

I’m making flat panel cabinet doors for kitchen cabinets, and wonder if I can get my solid red oak panels down to 1/4 inch thick without asking for trouble in terms of warping/cupping.

If I do 3/8 or 1/2 inch, I’ll end up with a gap showing on the back if I machine a 1/4 in tounge, which I’m not sure how I’d like.

The oak has been well seasoned (air dried).


16 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1159 posts in 2153 days


#1 posted 03-19-2015 06:06 PM

My preference for flat panel doors would be a reversed raised panel. Second choice would be 1/4” veneered ply. 1/4” solid wood would never enter my mind.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#2 posted 03-19-2015 06:12 PM

1/4 ply. youd save cash and it is easier. Not positive but i think this would be getting close to that “asking for trouble” area. Youd have to glue thick, 1/2 or 3/8 just to be able to get it to clamp flat and…nope, I talked my self out of even trying to offer you hope. Your glue joint would be just less than 1/4 by the length. Those cabinet doors would keep me up at night. Do me a favor and just go with ply. I will be awake until you agree to this.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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KellyB

77 posts in 644 days


#3 posted 03-19-2015 06:24 PM

Ok. No 1/4 inch. What, then, would be your minimum for solid wood glued up?
You should know that my oak is free; no plywood is going to save me money.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2280 days


#4 posted 03-19-2015 06:39 PM

I’ve glued up 1/4 inch panels before. The strength of the joint is not an issue, the glue is still stronger than the wood. You need to use cauls for the glueup but it should work. If the panels are housed in a groove they shouldn’t warp.
If it were me I’d probably be inclined to glue up a bit thicker, though, probably about 3/8. And then, rather than making a tongue on the panels, simply bevel the four edges until they fit.

Here’s a project where I did exactly what you’re thinking about:
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/79976
Pictures are lousy, but the doors have solid wood panels sized to fit a groove in 3/4 inch stiles. Nothing has warped or moved since and the glueup was not difficult.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#5 posted 03-19-2015 06:43 PM

My vote is for 1/2” panels, rabbeted to a 1/4” tongue. They will look, sound, and feel more robust than 1/4” panels.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#6 posted 03-19-2015 06:56 PM

No, use 1/4 ply and give me your free oak.

Ok, i agree with the 1/2 panels and rabbit to 1/4 tongue. But i am partial to a nice cove raised panel and think that would look the best.

You may have to really work to get them all nice and flat.

Let us know how it comes out after you bang out a door.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1571 days


#7 posted 03-19-2015 07:16 PM

I made a bunch of maple panels for a desk that were just a hair thicker than that (maybe 5/16”) and even with cauls and careful clamping I did get cupping. They flattened out fine once fit into the frame, though, and I knew what I was getting into – I just really wanted to make the entire desk out of hardwood (well, ok, the drawers were Baltic birch ply).

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1771 days


#8 posted 03-19-2015 07:20 PM

1/4 inch plywood panels Look cheap and feel cheap. Just as well go to the Borg and buy cheap cabinet.

I have done 1/4’’ solid oak panel but I use a center style and book match the panels. This make the panels narrow enough you don’t have to glue pieces together. See pictures below.

That being said if you what solid wood panels that require gluing up the panels I’d do like in the drawing below.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View sawdustjunkie's profile

sawdustjunkie

343 posts in 1179 days


#9 posted 03-19-2015 07:21 PM

Are you saying you want the doors to be only 1/2” thick?
If that is what you want to do, I don’t see anyway that thin of a door will not warp

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


#10 posted 03-19-2015 07:23 PM

I used 1/4” ply for the flat panel doors on the island I made. If I had to do it again, I’d definitely bump it up to 3/8 or 1/2”. I think even if I’d used 1/4” solid wood for the panels, I’d still have the same complaint I do now : doors feel too light.

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

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 693 days


#11 posted 03-19-2015 07:31 PM

great look. Love the center stile.

1/4 inch plywood panels Look cheap and feel cheap. Just as well go to the Borg and buy cheap cabinet.

I have done 1/4 solid oak panel but I use a center style and book match the panels. This make the panels narrow enough you don t have to glue pieces together. See pictures below.

That being said if you what solid wood panels that require gluing up the panels I d do like in the drawing below.

- AlaskaGuy


-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

900 posts in 1498 days


#12 posted 03-19-2015 07:40 PM

I’ve seen the backcut solid wood flat panels made anywhere from 3/8” to 5/8” thick. They don’t look any worse than 3/4” thick raised panels, and customers like them better than the 1/4 ply or 1/4 veneered MDF. The veneered MDF is slightly better than the ply because it’s closer to the full 1/4” and doesn’t rattle like the ply does.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View KellyB's profile

KellyB

77 posts in 644 days


#13 posted 03-19-2015 07:57 PM

I truly appreciate the input I’m getting here.
SirIrb: Go take a nap, or at least a good night’s sleep. I have abandoned the 1/4 idea.

AlaskaGuy: I like those cabinets! I’m going back to the drawing board.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1771 days


#14 posted 03-19-2015 08:06 PM



I ve seen the backcut solid wood flat panels made anywhere from 3/8” to 5/8” thick. They don t look any worse than 3/4” thick raised panels, and customers like them better than the 1/4 ply or 1/4 veneered MDF. The veneered MDF is slightly better than the ply because it s closer to the full 1/4” and doesn t rattle like the ply does.

- Underdog

My supplier has A2 1/4 inch plywood. That’s A both sides and it a full 1/4” thick. A2 is desirable so when you open the door it doesn’t look like do do on the inside. But, it still makes the door pretty light feeling and Plywood never stains the same as solid wood (if you’re staining). 1/4 plywood can be glued in to eliminate rattle since it doesn’t move like solid wood.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3392 posts in 1666 days


#15 posted 03-19-2015 08:45 PM

Kelly,

There is no physical reason you cannot use 1/4’ panels, .....as to why you would do so is a different situation.

Some 12 months ago ( Mar 2014) I made a set of work boxes for my ute. I posted a blog on he activity as well if you care to read it.
I pushed the limits of thickness to the extreme in making them. Mainly it was driven by the material I had to work with.
Now later they are still in good shape bouncing about in my vehicle.

So my answer is to you is yes you can.

Q. Why did I do it and not simply use ply?
A. because I had the materials available.
Q. Do they look odd?
A. yes they do, when you examine the actual fittment and compare them against “normal” build convention.
Q. Do they Drum?
A. Yes they do.

Q. Why did I do it that way?
A. Because I wanted to.

Q.Would I do it again under the same circumstances?
A. Yes I would.

Q. Have I done it before?
A. Yes I have made heaps of book matched panels all about 8mm or 1/4” of which no cupping has occured.

Q. Why did I do that?
A. Because I had great featured timber that was capable of doing it to.

-- Regards Robert

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