1/2" panel in a 1/4" groove

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I'm looking to make new cabinet doors and have a "how to" from Workbench Magazine. In the Shaker style, the plans call for a 1/4 slot in the middle of 3/4" stock (rails and styles) however the flat panel they call for is 1/2" thick with a dado all around that's 1/4" thick.
Why couldn't I just use 1/4" plywood? Does the 1/2" stock somehow add strength to the assembled frame or is it just so that the inside of the panel is pseudo-flush with the inside of the frame? I could save a lot of time just using some 1/4" plywood that I already have but I don't want to affect the integrity of the frame.
Thanks!
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I assume you mean a 1/4" x 1/4" rabbet at the edge not a dado, just a little terminology thang, a dado is a channel or slot and a rabbet is a step.
I don't think you have any "major" strength issue regarding the frame. If the panel is solid wood then a 1/4" thick is a little unstable and maybe weak. A 1/2" thick solid wood panel will have a much better chance of staying flat over the ages. The full 1/2" thickness also adds some heft to the door. Finally, regrading strength, having the rabbet will add "some" racking strength to the frame by not allowing the frame to fall out of square because the square panel edge of the rabbets hold it in place sort of. You can do it either way really, its done that way all the time. It's just the classic detail they use I suppose and does have some advantages.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

And to further the nitpicking a "dado" is a crossgrain channel, while a "groove" runs with the grain.
Chris
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You can use 1/4" plywood however it will likely be too thin because 1/4" plywood is not 1/4" thick, it will not fill the 1/4" slot. If you rabbit the 1/2" panel on the back side you can get an exact fit. Neither panel will add integrity or strength as 99.99% of the time you don't glue the panel in to start with. It should float. Further, if you are going to stain the project, stain the panels before assembly. Eventually the rails and stiles will expand or shrink and reveal more of the panel.
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Leon now sez:

Leon?????
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Leon now sez:

Leon?????
It is the safer bet, his opening comments don't mention a plywood panel, later he mentions the possibility of using plywood. That said, I have never ever had a problem with a plywood panel that has been glued in place, at least not in the last 20 years. When I build cabinet doors with floating panels glue gets in the groves and will stick to the panels, I in fact shoot for a neer perfect fit with no clearance. I don't worry about it. Solid wood panels, a different matter, and space balls to center the panel and to help keep the glue away from the panel as much as possible.
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On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 20:38:54 +0100, Robatoy wrote (in article

because of it sinke, it be provened that it be not an wytche else must it be consumed by fyre for ye goode of ye immortal soul
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snipped-for-privacy@gasboardsmorgasbord.org says...

From "Carpentrie, Craft and Folkelore 101"?
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Brian wrote:

You certainly could use 1/4" plywood (but in this case the groove will need to be less than 1/4", since plywood is undersized).
The thicker panel will feel more solid.
Chris
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ply will work fine. It'a all about appearance.
scott
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"Brian" wrote:

It depends.
1) How large are the unsupported panel areas? 1/2" panel (probably 12MM) will eliminate any "drum skin" affect, especially on large unsupported door panels.
2) Is your existing 1/4" ply actually 1/4" or is it 6MM, in which case a 1/4" slot will provide a sloppy fit?
3) Tooling.
If you are going to do this job with only a table saw and a dado set, using 1/2"(12MM) gives you the ability to make custom rabbits to fit panels into rail & stile slot "dead nuts" so that people looking at the job years from now will recognize that the work was done by a "pro".
IMHO, if you want the job to "look good in the shower", find another use for the 1/4" material.
BTW, a T/S and a dado set provides a lot more flexibility than a rail & stile cutter set for a router for this application, IMHO.
YMMV.
Lew
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A plywood panel 'sounds' cardboardy/tinny/cheap. A solid wooden panel rabbeted into the 1/4" groove will give a more solid sound when closing. ALSO, plywood's veneer seldom matches the solid wood look of the rail and stiles after finishing.
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wrote:

ALSO, plywood's veneer seldom matches the solid wood look of the rail and stiles after finishing.
That's CRAP, Paint covers every thing and you never see the wood. ;~)
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Nice, paint the ultimate fixer.
Just a note that running the veneered ply through the same sander or sanding process as the rest of the stick stock can go a long way towards making things match better if you'll be staining or dying.

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Nice, paint the ultimate fixer.
Some times you have to do what the customer wants. Actually you always have to do what the customer wants. :~)
Just a note that running the veneered ply through the same sander or sanding process as the rest of the stick stock can go a long way towards making things match better if you'll be staining or dying.
Totally agree but I can't see, not ever doing that. Actually I tried that 20 years ago and learned you have to do that. Good to know for a newbie.
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There's a trick to convincing the customer of.......what he/she really wants. <G>
Max
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It does not always work, although I use the technique of "it will cost more to stain than to use the correct color wood to begin with". Actually, in a bath room setting and some kitchens, a quality paint job is easier to maintain and I am a decent painter so I don't mind too much.
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And paint, in some kitchens or bathrooms, looks better. But that's not quite what I was alluding to. <G> In a bit more serious vein, I think I would be remiss in my responsibility to a customer if I were to avoid offering advice as to the advantages of any particular material, design or finish. The "art" is in offering the advice in an absolutely inoffensive way and with the knowledge that the customer, in some cases, might know more about the subject than you do. (marketing 101) <BG>
Max
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Yes I agree and always point out advantages and disadvantages and then they ultimately make the decision.
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Sometimes though, it is best to just walk away and lose the customer. Saves money and aggravation.
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