Introduction: Easy Cabinet Doors Made on the Router Table

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Welcome to Penalty Box Woodshop and I hope you enjoy this video on how to make easy cabinet doors on the router table. This is my go-to way for making cabinet doors wether they are for the shop or for a kitchen remodel. Its a quick and repeatable process that can be done with just two bits and a router table. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section and Ill be sure to get to the them.

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Step 1: Cut and Lay Out Your Rails and Stiles

Let’s get started by cutting the wood of your choice to size for the door frame. The length of the rails and stiles will be determined by your particular project but I like to keep the frames of most of my doors at 2 1/2” wide.

For those of you who are new to woodworking or cabinetry, the Vertical frame pieces are referred to as stiles and the horizontal pieces are referred to as rails. Go ahead and identify and mark all of the front faces of your pieces. This will help in the later steps as all the cuts on the router table will be done with the front faces down.

Step 2: Mark a Line on the Rail at 1/8" From the Top

Lay one rail face down and mark a line on the edge at 1/8" from the top. This will be used in a later step.

Step 3: Insert and Secure the Coping Bit Into the Router

I use this cope and stick router bit set from Toolstoday on most of my cabinet door projects. I’ll put an affiliate direct link for it in the supplies section if you want to check it out.

The stick cutter bit can be identified as the bit with the bearing on the top. This bit is responsible for cutting the groove and decorative profile on the rails and stiles. You can identify the coping bit as the bit with the bearing located in the middle of the bit and between the two cutters. It’s responsible for cutting the tongue on the end of the rails. Insert the coping bit first and secure it in your router.

Adjust the bit so that the bottom of the top cutter is aligned with the 1/8” mark on your rail piece that we marked earlier. Adjust the fence using a straight edge so that the fence is even with the bearing.

Step 4:

Although I’m not showing this step, I highly recommend testing the first cut on a scrap price to insure your alignments are correct.

Using a miter gauge and a backer piece make the coping cuts on both of the ends of your rail pieces. Make sure that each cut is made with the front face of your frame facing downward on the router table.

Step 5:

Once the coping cuts are completed you can install the stick cutting bit. To adjust the high the of this bit, align the top cutter with the tongue on the coped end of the rails. Now use the straight edge and align the fence once again. Using a push-stick, make the cuts on all inside edges of the rails and stiles.

Step 6: Cut Panel and Assemble the Door

Once the cuts are complete you can check your pieces with a dry fit of the rails and stiles. With the frame assembled you can get an accurate measurement for your center panel. Make sure to adjust your measurement for the grooves in the frame.

With the center panel cut you can assemble the cabinet door using glue and clamps. Be sure to only apply glue the coped ends of the rails, leaving the center panel floating in the grooves for future wood movement.

For more details you can watch the full build video here:

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