Easy Cabinet Doors Made on the Router Table

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About: Youtube Channel: Penalty Box Woodshop - Instagram: @penaltyboxwoodshop - Website: www.penaltyboxwoodshop.com - Step by step woodworking and DIY projects. My goal is to give back to a community that has taugh...

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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Supplies:

List of tools used during this project (affiliate):

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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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    16 Discussions

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    TimB2

    11 days ago

    I've made cabinet doors in a lot of my projects. I use beads when assembling my doors. Do you find them not needed?

    4 replies
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    penaltyboxwoodshopTimB2

    Reply 11 days ago

    Beads? I’m not sure what you’re referencing. Can you explain, please?

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    penaltyboxwoodshopTimB2

    Reply 11 days ago

    Gotcha, so they help center the panel when you’re doing a raised panel. Very cool!

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    patrick1425

    12 days ago

    Great video. I've favorited it... will be nice to refer back to when making cabinet doors. I'll also started following you here. Thanks for posting.

    1 reply
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    Jimichan

    14 days ago

    What exactly do you mean by, "Make sure to adjust your measurement for the grooves in the frame."?
    The grooves have a depth set by the router bits, don't they? So, how much do you add? I assume the panel should not be tight, so much slack do you leave?

    3 answers
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    oldtimergmJimichan

    Best Answer 14 days ago

    Floating panels should be 1/8" shorter than the total width and length of the opening including the depth of the groove cut by the bit.
    Use this formula;
    Width = finished width of door - (stile width x 2) + (cutting depth of bits x 2) - 1/8"
    Length = finished length of door - (rail width x 2) + (cutting depth of bits x 2) - 1/8"
    I place tiny rubber balls called panel spacers in the grooves before assembly to keep the panel in place and prevents rateling while letting the panel move with temperature and humidity fluxuations.

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    penaltyboxwoodshopoldtimergm

    Answer 14 days ago

    I was just sitting down to respond to a few of these questions and noticed your response. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and answer that question for me. I appreciate the well written answer and I could not have expained it better myself!

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    PaulG80

    14 days ago

    How much longer do you need to cut your rails to have the proper size so everything comes together for your total door width?

    2 replies
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    oldtimergmPaulG80

    Reply 14 days ago

    My bits have a cutting depth of 3/8" so I need the rails to be 3/4" longer than the finished width of the inside of the frame. Assuming that you are using 2 1/2" material for your stiles you would need the rails to be 4 1/4" less than the finished width of the door.
    If your bits have a different cutting depth than 3/8" then you will need to adjust these measurements accordingly.
    Use this formula; finished width of door - (stile width x 2) + (cutting depth of bits x 2)

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    penaltyboxwoodshopoldtimergm

    Reply 14 days ago

    This is exactly right and the bits that I use in this Instructable also have a 3/8" cutting depth. Again, thank you for your detailed and well written responses.

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    seamster

    21 days ago

    Very nice!

    If you're inclined, using a photo of the actual project built (in this case your completed door) as your cover image will likely attract more viewers. Just a tip! : )

    1 reply