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12 posts 1 2

Cabinet Door Upgrades

#3796 by johnmccrossen » Sat May 19, 2007 1:18 am

I'm thinking about trying to upgrade some old 3 /4" plywood kitchen cabinet lip type doors by eliminating the lip and fabricating a 2" frame around them so they look more like a panel style. Since I'm not experienced at cabinet door making, I was wondering about problems with glueing a solid framework to a plywood door vs a floating panel. Would an attached frame tend to split at the corner joints due to expansion/contraction. These doors are over 50 years old and seem to be made of good solid plywood. Any cabinet door making advice would be appreciated. Maybe I better try some planter boxes or bird houses instead.

Thanks, John McCrossen

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#3802 by Ed in Tampa » Sat May 19, 2007 1:43 pm

johnmccrossen wrote:I'm thinking about trying to upgrade some old 3 /4" plywood kitchen cabinet lip type doors by eliminating the lip and fabricating a 2" frame around them so they look more like a panel style. Since I'm not experienced at cabinet door making, I was wondering about problems with glueing a solid framework to a plywood door vs a floating panel. Would an attached frame tend to split at the corner joints due to expansion/contraction. These doors are over 50 years old and seem to be made of good solid plywood. Any cabinet door making advice would be appreciated. Maybe I better try some planter boxes or bird houses instead.

Thanks, John McCrossen


John
Why cut the lip off. How about routing a rabbet on the front side of the lip so it now become a tendon to fit in a slot you cut in the frame? In effect you would end up with a real raised panel door.

If you don't want to do that how about cutting a groove in both the new frame and the door edge and use a spline to align the two.

If you want you could also use a biscuit.

But I think I would consider my first suggestion. The inside of the lip is already flat so all you would had to do is cut a shallow rabbet on the front side turning the lip into a tendon and ripping a mortise on the frame pieces you are going to manufacture.
Ed

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#3803 by rcartmetal » Sat May 19, 2007 2:25 pm

You will not have any expansion/contraction problems with the plywood. You can glue a frame around it with impunity.(that is not a glue!)
Floating panels are only needed with solid wood panels.

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Spike from PDX
I like hand tools, too!

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#3805 by Ed in Tampa » Sat May 19, 2007 7:20 pm

rcartmetal wrote:You will not have any expansion/contraction problems with the plywood. You can glue a frame around it with impunity.(that is not a glue!)
Floating panels are only needed with solid wood panels.


Rcartmetal
Your right the plywood won't move but the solid wood he is planing to glue to it will. It could be a problem. I doubt it will but I have seen glue joints fail for less.

I would figure a way to allow a slight bit of movement between the solid wood and the ply. I think either cutting a tendon into the ply, using a spline or biscuit with glue on one half would work. All are very easy fixes and would make his doors look like genuine raised panel doors.
Ed

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#3806 by rcartmetal » Sat May 19, 2007 9:21 pm

Well, Ed, what I am partly basing my statement on is the the cabinet doors in my kitchen and partly on everything I have read in articles and books over the last 20-30 years or so. I have yet to see a door fail constructed this way.
Of course, you never know, do you?

---

Spike from PDX

I like hand tools, too!

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#3809 by charlese » Sun May 20, 2007 9:02 pm

johnmccrossen wrote:I'm thinking about trying to upgrade some old 3 /4" plywood kitchen cabinet lip type doors by eliminating the lip and fabricating a 2" frame around them so they look more like a panel style.... Any cabinet door making advice would be appreciated. Maybe I better try some planter boxes or bird houses instead.
Thanks, John McCrossen


John here is my suggestion: First make a trial door to see if it works for you]and also the hinges [/I]you are almost there. (if you want, you can wait to this point to mill that groove on the inside edge. You can either saw or rout the groove. This groove is usually 1/4" wide, but can be another size.)

Next, saw out a new piece of 3/4" plywood - mill tongues on the four edges of the plywood so that will just slide into the frames. Holding the new "pattern panel door" up to an opening - see if this works for you. If it looks like you want - copy this pattern multiple times using your old plywood for the panels in the new doors.

You can rout round overs on the edges of the new frame if you want. If you do this in the inside - you'll have to miter the inside round overs (probably with a chisel and a 45 degree guide.

Probably the biggest problem you will find is matching colors and stain to produce a pleasing door. I'd prefer to use hardwood for the frames. I have used poplar and stain to match apple-wood cabinets. (It came out close!)

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Octogenarian's have an earned right to be a curmudgeon.
Chuck in Lancaster, CA

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#3812 by Ed in Tampa » Mon May 21, 2007 11:31 am

charlese wrote:John here is my suggestion: First make a trial door to see if it works for you]and also the hinges [/I]you are almost there. (if you want, you can wait to this point to mill that groove on the inside edge. You can either saw or rout the groove. This groove is usually 1/4" wide, but can be another size.)

Next, saw out a new piece of 3/4" plywood - mill tongues on the four edges of the plywood so that will just slide into the frames. Holding the new "pattern panel door" up to an opening - see if this works for you. If it looks like you want - copy this pattern multiple times using your old plywood for the panels in the new doors.

You can rout round overs on the edges of the new frame if you want. If you do this in the inside - you'll have to miter the inside round overs (probably with a chisel and a 45 degree guide.

Probably the biggest problem you will find is matching colors and stain to produce a pleasing door. I'd prefer to use hardwood for the frames. I have used poplar and stain to match apple-wood cabinets. (It came out close!)


If I might add a suggestion after you try Chuck's idea out and if you decide that is the look you want go buy yourself a rail and stile router bit set.

I always hesitated to use them as it seemed like it was far to complicated. However I will never forget when I finally did try them. Setup was relatively easy and the results were near perfect. The one thing I did learn is when your routing end grain (the end of a board) always use a back up board to prevent tear out and do them first then route with the grain to finish the board.

If you doing over two or three doors the time and results will justify the cost.

Good luck on your project and don't forget to show us pictures of the results.
Ed

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#3813 by johnmccrossen » Mon May 21, 2007 11:49 am

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I plan on going ahead with a trial door panel in the near future. If it comes out ok, I probably will move ahead with a project. These will end up painted so finish isn't a big issue. Thanks again everyone. John McCrossen

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#3833 by charlese » Tue May 22, 2007 11:47 pm

Wanted to show you another way to make a door frame. This method uses 3/8" halves for the rails. You can use two common router bits rather than investing in an expensive door coping set. Using this method you can use a 1/2" core box bit to "cope" the top half of the rails, before you glue it to the bottom half. (The 1/2" core box bit makes a cope that fits exactly with a 1/4" round over on the insides of the stiles. Here's a drawing of the method: It shows the top half and the bottom half of one rail. There has to be two rails - hence four halves.

[ATTACH]197[/ATTACH]

You have to mill the tongue/tenon onto the bottom half of the rail and you can do this by simply cutting a dado. I showed a 1/8" tenon and a 1/8" groove in the stile, but you can make both of them wider. Just be sure that they are the same size.

I apoligize for the inaccuracy in my drawing it shows the tenon on the rail too long to allow the top of the rail to mate with the stile. Gotta use your imagination on that. In practice, the tongue can't be that long = it can't be any longer than the end of the rail.

Attachments

[The extension bmp has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]

---

Octogenarian's have an earned right to be a curmudgeon.

Chuck in Lancaster, CA

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#3834 by Ed in Tampa » Wed May 23, 2007 10:54 am

Chuck
That is the exact way I was trying to explain how to do it. Thanks for the illustrations! Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words!

Ed

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