Simple frame and panel cabinet doors. No router or pocket screws needed. Easy woodworking technique.
Here’s an easy woodworking technique for making frame and panel cabinet doors. I’ll show you a few of the usual methods, along with some of their drawbacks, and then I’ll show you a way to make the doors without the use of a router or pocket screws.
One of my favorite methods for making frame and panel cabinet doors is to join the frames with pocket screws.
Then, to hold the panel in place, I’ll cut a rabbet on the inside of the frame using a rabbeting bit on my router.
The problem here is that it creates rounded rabbet corners, so you either have to use a chisel to square up the corners, or you have to round off the corners of the panel, which is what I always do.
The problem with this method of making door frames is that it requires three tools that you might not have: a router, a pocket-hole jig, and a jigsaw (although you might have the jigsaw).
As an alternative, you could cut rabbets in your frame using your table saw. The drawback is that a visible notch will remain in your frame, and that might bother you.
Another solution is to cut the rabbets on a table saw and then make miter joints to conceal them. But miter joints aren’t all that strong without some sort of reinforcement, and the angles and connections can be fussy to make and to fit together accurately.
An elegant and super strong solution I like to use is to make half-lap joints. And all you’ll need is your table saw. A stack of dado blades will speed up the process, but, as always, you can cut rabbets and dados with a single blade by making multiple passes. The video shows what I mean.
As you use your dado blades to cut your interlocking rails and stiles, follow carefully what I do in the video for a perfectly fitted frame.
For the stile, for example, cut away the rabbet, leaving the half-lap joint, and do the opposite (i.e., cut away the half-lap side) for the rail sections. Be sure to observe in the video that I adjust my fence slightly inward for the rail pieces. You’ll understand why when you see me demonstrate on my table saw. If you do it right, you’ll be proud of the way your frame looks. Really professional, especially for us mere mortals!
Glue the frame together, cut quarter-inch plywood for the door panels, glue the panels to the frame, and install your doors!
If you enjoy learning techniques like this, I’ll be teaching tons more in my upcoming online course, The Weekend Workshop. I want you to be the first to know when the course launches, so go to theweekendworkshop.com to get on the mailing list and for more information. And also follow me on Instagram updates.
Here’s a really cool method for making cabinet doors you might want to try. Get started woodworking and set up shop for less than $1000. Download my FREE GUIDE ► https://theweekendwoodworker.com/tww-…