Cabinet door stile/rail to panel proportions?

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Hello all,
About to undertake my first project making frame and panel doors. I'm going to "practice" on some doors and drawer fronts for a small bathroom vanity in the basement before the real project - the kitchen cabinets.
Right now I'm wondering how to size the stiles/rails for the kitchen cabinet doors. I was thinking something around 2 1/4 width, but you see, the doors range in size from 8 1/2" wide to 14 7/3" wide. On the 8 1/2, that stile width would leave just 4" of panel width in the middle. Visually, it may look like more stile and rail than panel. OTOH, there is something to be said for consistency on a large set of doors all in view at the same time....
Opinions, experience here on the wreck? Better to proportion the stile/rail to each individual door size? Or better to have a constant stile/rail width across the whole set of doors? Books and the web give plenty of how-to on making frame and panel, but haven't found anything on this yet.
Thanks
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Even if you used the bare minimum, say 1.5" wide for the r&s's the center panel would still only be 5.5" wide. So, what would look better, undersized r&s's on "all" doors or a few narrow doors with narrow center panels.
Draw this out on paper or a CAD program with all the doors and drawer fronts in the location that they will actually be in and to scale and see what you think. Additionally I typically use a solid piece of wood for moral sized drawer fronts. They too are often too short for a panel and that can create a problem with the drawer pull at times. You may want to consider using solid pieces of wood on those 8.5" wide doors.
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What do you use for immoral sized drawer fronts? <g>
OP: Kidding aside, Leon's answer presumes part of the answer to your question, with which I whole-heartedly agree--one size for the rails and stiles. And if you deviate from that, it should be stiles only that vary (you could probably get by with subtle differences between doors). But I think all the bottom rails and all the top rails have to match.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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wrote:

Darn spell checker, shoulda been "normal"

Actually the rails can be a larger and it looks fine especially if the the top and bottom rails have an arch on the panel side.
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BTDT. Don't ewe hate it when that happens?

Yeah, I didn't state it very clearly. I meant all the bottom rails should be the same size and all the top rails should be the same size.
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Keith,
I'm certainly no expert - just a weekend warrior but I have done a couple of kitchens.
You want same width on all the matching cabinetry. The stand-alone pieces which are complimentary to the kitchen cabinetry can be different and may look well but keep the kitchen cabinets the same.
That said.... You can use different widths of stiles and rails on the doors and that creates a very nice look. Using wider rails helps bring a balanced look to taller than usual counter or overhead cabinets that may extend to ceiling height. Suggest you look thru some of the latest catalogs to get some ideas.
Bob S.
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Thanks, Bob and Leon, I was actually just sketching these up in TurboCAD when I thought about getting some opinion from this group. I haven't drawn the full kitchen, just 3 doors, smallest, widest, and something in the middle, with raised panel, reveals, etc. The largest door looks fantastic. The middle one looks good. The smallest one looks ridiculous; the raised portion of the panel is only 1" wide!
As you mentioned, Leon, there's no way I'll make the rail/style narrow enough to make this work. I might have to just use a flat panel in the smallest doors. Oh, and I didn't say in the orig post, but planning on making the drawer fronts from a solid piece with a decorative routed edge - no frame.
Great suggestion on catalogs... I think I need to look for those and/or walk through some showrooms and see what they've done.
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Keith,
A 1" wide raised section will look okay once you see it with the other doors. A flat panel will look like odd-man-out amongst the others. Suggest you make it up, assemble it without glue and then decide. I've made narrow doors before and I can't tell you what the magic number is for width, it's how it looks to you. On paper, you're only seeing a 2D perspective. Trim work, reveals, coves, round-over's and all the other shapes we see are used to create shadow lines and to create a pleasing illusion to the eye. You're worried about the "technical look" - don't. Wait till you see the whole forest.... it'll work.
Give some consideration to how wide those drawer fronts are when making them out of one piece. To wide and they will most likely cup over time if you're not using kiln dried stock (6% to 8% mc). I'm making some right now for my sisters kitchen and went with one-piece for the 5" widths and 3 piece glue-up for the 9-1/2" width drawer fronts. These are being painted so I don't have to worry about grain matching but if you're staining yours then match boards for the looks and don't worry about growth ring orientation.
Bob S.
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On May 3, 10:10am, "Keith Carlson"

When I design a kitchen for a client, I try hard to eliminate the use of small/narrow doors. I either expand the cabinet beside a small cabinet or average a group of doors in such a way that none will be narrower than 12". IOW, (I exaggerate to illustrate a point) instead of 2 x 20" doors and an 8" door, I go for 3 x 16" doors. I realise one cannot alway do that. I almost always suggest solid drawer fronts. 5 piece drawer fronts are PITA to mount onto the drawers and the hardware seldom sits 'right'.
In then end, a customer that wants 5 piece drawer fronts, gets them....even cathedral upper rails...(blech) Lately I have been designing with T&G panels in rail&stile doors.
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Keith Carlson wrote:

On the narrow doors you might think about using glass or just a flat panel????
Rich
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"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
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Never leave home without a decent tape measure.
Do a road trip to a few cabinet stores and both major home centers.
This is called R&D and always works.
Keith Carlson wrote:

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Yep, took a look at some displays in the store and sure enough, they have some narrow doors where the raised panel gets very narrow. Not as bad as I thought. Now for the drawer fronts, which are too small to have *any* raised part of the panel (I suppose if I ran a small one through the raised panel bit anyway, I'd just get a sharp peak in the middle) I'm going to try the same frame as the others, but a flat recessed panel. Plans subject to change at any time :o)
I like Rob's idea of designing to avoid the narrow doors/drawers in the first place, but unfortunately, I am working with the existing cabinets for a simpler way to update the kitchen before selling. Next house?
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Look at the "mini" raised panel cutters. They are designed for boxes, but you certainly use them on drawer fronts.
http://eagleamerica.com/miniature-raised-panel-system/p/186-2815 /
Maybe some of the vertical raised panels would also work with drawer fronts.
Keith Carlson wrote:

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That's pretty funny! That's another good idea... maybe, if I can't find something else that looks good. The key though, is every dollar I spend has to be justified in making the house more marketable. And $100 here and there adds up fast.
Just finished sizing up all my pieces to thickness and width. Cut LOTS of extra pieces, so I can experiment. I could even take small pieces and put a chamfer on the edge and glue them to flat panel. It's been an enjoyable vacation day. :o)
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On Mon, 05 May 2008 14:47:01 GMT, Pat Barber
Fingers and pens work well, too.
Mark the distance from the tip in, measure when you get to the tape you forgot.
I've proportioned entire pieces based off forearms, feet, hands...
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You gonna need to watch that. I bet a clerk is going to start asking questions about the guy in cabinets doing all sorts of weird things with his arms and hands. (cabinet fetish ???)
B A R R Y wrote:

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Pat Barber wrote:

I can hear the conversation at the Police station now... <G>
Actually, I only do a few measurements, which are then used to proportion the rest of the parts in a photo.
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I'm forever looking at trim details in stores and restaurants, which gets some very odd looks from the sales staff. My wife tells them that "he does that all the time".
B A R R Y wrote:

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Funny, I always stare at the security cameras at the bank, then I notice security staring at me!
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On Wed, 07 May 2008 18:29:31 GMT, Pat Barber

I do that too. Did you ever notice just how badly done some of it is?
I have a Dr. with an office in a converted Victorian. I could spend all day there! <G>
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