Cabinet Door Question

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Forum topic by mdennisusa1 posted 05-24-2015 12:24 AM 1115 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mdennisusa1's profile


38 posts in 2180 days

05-24-2015 12:24 AM

I’m building some kitchen cabinets for the first time. I like the look of craftsman style cabinets that use a flat panel within the rails and styles. The router bit set I have cuts a 1/4” groove in the rails and styles. The Oak panels I can buy at Lowes are I believe 7/32” and leave a slight gap within the groove and the panels tend to rattle a bit.

My question is…what do you cabinet builders do about this? I want a tight fit, no gap showing in the front of the cabinet door. I could shim the panels from behind but that looks cheesy. And I hate the rattle from the loose fit. Should I glue the panels in? Does anyone make a true 1/4 Oak plywood? What do you guys do?

12 replies so far

View Woodmaster1's profile


984 posts in 2614 days

#1 posted 05-24-2015 12:38 AM

I purchased a shaker style router bit set from Sommerfeld tools. The set cuts a 7/32 groove in the rail and style. Checkout my review for some pictures. The set works great.

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2378 days

#2 posted 05-24-2015 01:12 AM

I cut the grooves on the table saw in two passes, that way I can dial in the exact thickness of the plywood panel.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View cabmaker's profile


1735 posts in 2836 days

#3 posted 05-24-2015 01:15 AM

On the shaper… i substitute a 5 mm cutter for the 1/4.

Works well on most import plus.

View mdennisusa1's profile


38 posts in 2180 days

#4 posted 05-24-2015 01:24 AM

Hey thanks for the quick reply guys. I don’t have a shaper but the other two options are very doable. Thanks.

View Pezking7p's profile


3217 posts in 1679 days

#5 posted 05-24-2015 02:30 AM

I have a frued shaker bit set which has an adjustable slot cutter so you can set it for whatever panel you have. I have also glued the panels and put shims in the back to squeeze the panels to the front of the slot while the glue dries, this way you only see the gap on the back of the doors and no rattle. Maybe not the best option if you’re trying to go super high end, but no one will ever notice a 1/32” gap on the back of the door panel.

-- -Dan

View skatefriday's profile


418 posts in 1510 days

#6 posted 05-24-2015 03:45 AM

I have the Freud two piece tongue and groove bit with adjustable shims, BUT it won’t go to 7/32”.

CMT makes an undersized router bit, but you still have the tongue problem.

I ended up just finding a source of true 1/4” veneered MDF. You won’t likely find this
at any of the big box retailers. Find a local hardwood plywood source and explain your
problem. They’ll be able to to tell you whether or not their stock is undersized.

View rwe2156's profile


2967 posts in 1508 days

#7 posted 05-24-2015 11:19 PM

As usual, Bondo +++++.

Forget the router bit, read my signature!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2426 days

#8 posted 05-25-2015 03:26 AM

Panel rattle can be eliminated by rubber “space balls” from Rockler ( You can also use soda straws cut into various lengths and put them in the rail and style grooves. These solutions will eliminate your rattle. A 1/32” gap between the panels and the slots will not be noticeable.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View BurlyBob's profile


5555 posts in 2293 days

#9 posted 05-25-2015 03:36 AM

Never overlook silicon caulk!

View barada83's profile


86 posts in 1214 days

#10 posted 05-25-2015 04:40 AM

Building a cabinet set currently and have some matching rail and stile sets from infinity tools. They have replaceable cutters for less than 1/4” plywood that work very well.

-- Mike

View GerryB's profile


69 posts in 2609 days

#11 posted 05-25-2015 04:48 AM

Space Balls!! soft & suishy to fill the extra space!
Google ‘em

-- The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time. Edwin Bliss

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2540 days

#12 posted 05-25-2015 10:56 AM

As suggested above, I’ve used them on every door project I’ve done, they will solve your problem, “space balls”

That or what Burlybob suggested, I never thought about running a line of caulk inside of the dado’s then allowing it to dry before putting the panels in.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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