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  • need help on making cabinet doors. ctx.

    i've done quite a bit of general woodworking, but have never attempted doors for cabinets. I'm looking at replacing my existing doors.

    here are my questions for those who have done it:

    1) what thickness of wood for the rails and wood for raised panel?

    2) Is Rockler the best place to buy quality (relative to expense) bits? here's the one i'm looking at:


    3) Do i need both the horizonal AND vertical raised panel bit?


    4) Am i screwed with my 1 3/4 HP Porter Cable Router? Will i need a bigger one to do the panels?

    That's it for now. I'm sure more questions will pop up. In the mean time i'll try to find a book on how-to.

    Thanks
    Caspian

  • #2
    Let's start at the end---in order to use a horizontal panel raising bit, you will need a 3 hp, variable speed router. Also, while I might be tempted to try Rockler bits, if you plan on buying a set of cope and raised panel bits, I'd stick with the major players such as CMT, Freud, Amana, Whiteside, etc.

    You don't need both horizontal and vertical bits---while the vertical bit takes a little less horsepower to run, you need a much more elaborate jig and fence system to support the stock. Have seen them demonstrated and frankly feel more comfortable with the horizontal bits.

    What you might consider, unless you have the money for router and bits, is a flat panel door----with the coped edge, it still looks pretty good.

    As to thickness---3/4" is pretty standard for a cabinet door. BTW----you'll have better results if you carefully pick out your rail and stile stock looking for dry, straight-grained wood. Using just any wood runs the risk of a door warping. Good luck.
    Dave

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    • #3
      thanks for the info Dave. It is already looking to be an expensive project.

      Can you tell me more about making a coped edge. What type of bit? how far into the door would the releif be?

      thanks
      chris

      Comment


      • #4
        For the wood thickness question usually the rails and styles are 3/4 inch and the panels depend on the type of bit you have. Raised panels is kind of a strange term the panels look raised but in fact the surface of the panel is even with the surface of the rail/style.
        So the panel thickness is 1/2" with a regular horizontal panel raising bit and 3/4" if the panel bit has a back cutter.
        Check the freud website for bit styles
        Freud Panel Bits

        Comment


        • #5
          Chris----one way to make the coped edge is shown in the first drawing you posed----a matched set of bits----but, in most cases, they're sold with the raised panel bit, though I have seen just the cope sets on sale.

          However, let me give you another idea that won't require a big tool/bit investment.

          First, you can do raised panels on a table saw----they require a bit more sanding, and they don't have any curves in them, but will generally give the look-----you need to make a verticle support sled to fit over your table saw fence---Norm, on his old Jig episode made one. You can then make a small rabit at the edge to fit the grooves in in your stiles/rails---just depends on the look you want.

          As to the frame----can you make mortises and tenons? Half-lap joints-----whichever for assembling the door frames.

          Then, before you cut your grooves for the panel, you can either run the inside of each piece through a roundover or ogee bit (I also got niced results with just the edge of a cove bit) on your router table----this will result in a different look at the rail/stile joint----or you can clamp/dog and dry fit the frame and just run the router bit around the inside edges of the frame. Then cut your grooves and assemble.
          Dave

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by daveferg:
            As to the frame----can you make mortises and tenons? Half-lap joints-----whichever for assembling the door frames.

            Then, before you cut your grooves for the panel, you can either run the inside of each piece through a roundover or ogee bit (I also got niced results with just the edge of a cove bit) on your router table----this will result in a different look at the rail/stile joint----or you can clamp/dog and dry fit the frame and just run the router bit around the inside edges of the frame. Then cut your grooves and assemble.
            great info. o.k., here's where i'm leaning. i looked through some back issues of "Home Handyman" (the only reference material i have at home to look for cabinet door ideas) and two kitchens i saw that i liked both had flat panel doors. our house has a contempory theme and too much detail in the cabinets would look out of place. the simple straight lines of flat panel doors may look better. (the bonus is that they're easier). my only fear is that they will look and feel "cheap".

            aren't the joints for the rails/styles addressed by using a set of router bits like in my first picture?

            i'll have won't know the final design plans until my wife and i go to Home Depot or Lowes and look at some cabinet ideas.

            By the way, i'm making 29 cabinet doors and have a four month old baby so the time saved by making flat panel doors may be the determining factor.

            any other suggestions/ideas.

            thanks
            chris

            Comment


            • #7
              Chris---by no means do flat panel doors look cheap. In fact, I think your feeling, regarding 29 raised panels looking too busy or fancy, is probably right.

              As to the cope joint set, yes, you can make them with the first set in your post----I was just saying you can do much the same with standard router bits and your table saw. As to books on cabnitry----if you have a Woodcraft store or large book store, you should be able to find a good book. My favorite is Illustrated Cabinet Making.

              Only other suggestion is to get really good plywood for the panels---even if you have to locate a good hardwood dealer----just get the veneer plywood to match the wood you're going to use or if you're painting the cabinets, get good grade of birch plywood.
              Dave

              Comment


              • #8
                I really apreciate the info you've generated on this thread. Pushes back the ignorance barrier a little bit for me.
                Thank you gentlemen.

                One question on the basic terms; Would you give me a short explanation of vertical and horizontal bits?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Vertical bits you run your stock on edge to the table; side to the fence. Much easier to tilt the stock and cause an OOPSIE.

                  Horizontal bits you lay the stock flat on the router table as the edge follows the fence. Much better control.

                  Smaller HP routers easily turn the verticle bits, larger HP routers are needed for the horizontal, especially for the raise panel area. In either case, I would want a variable speed router.

                  Here is a link to a sale on cabinet bits of high quality.

                  MLCS Pro Set

                  Katana Set

                  Hope this is of some help to you.
                  John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, very helpful, Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by daveferg:
                      Only other suggestion is to get really good plywood for the panels---even if you have to locate a good hardwood dealer----just get the veneer plywood to match the wood you're going to use or if you're painting the cabinets, get good grade of birch plywood.
                      that's really funny. i just stepped out of the break room where i was talking to a coworker who is an accomplished wood worker. while he has never made cabinet doors, he knows his wood. he cautioned me about using plywood from Lowes or HD. we have a few speciality stores he recommended.

                      thanks for the tips on doing it via table saw/router. I think since i'm looking for easy of construction i will buy the set i pictures. besides, my table saw isn't so hot.

                      thanks for all you help and reassuring me that flat panel is a way to go.

                      thanks again,
                      chris

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