Frame and Panel Door - Need To Offset The Panel

OK, so for those of you who have been extremely helpful regarding my kitche n door project, first off I offer my thanks for all the advice so far. That said, the design has changed and I need some more help.
Last night I made a full-size prototype of a cabinet door so that SWMBO and I could get a visual. Using stub tenon joints, I centered the 1/4" MDF pan el in the frame. I hung the door on an upper cabinet with Command Strips (l ove those things!), stepped back and said to myself "Hmm...the reveal aroun d the panel seems too narrow."
I then called SWMBO into the kitchen and asked for her opinion, without tel ling her what I thought. Her first comment was "Can the panel be set back i nto frame a little farther?"
So it now looks that the fairly simple setup used to center the grooves and tenons needs to be scrapped. My questions are these:
1 - How far back can I recess the 1/4" MDF panel in the 3/4" poplar frame a nd still have enough strength to use a simple stub tenon joint? Is 1/8" eno ugh frame stock on the inside of the door? Is there a better method to buil d the doors, keeping in mind that I don't have a mortising jig, tenoning ji g, etc. Just a fairly basic shop - table saw, router table, band saw.
2 - If I can get enough reveal using a stub tenon joint, does the process i nvolve nothing more than extra set up time? In other words, instead of flip ping the stock end to end to center the groove, I'll have to run the stock through at 2 different fence settings - unless I get a 1/4" kerf blade. For the tenons, once again it would be a matter of cutting one cheek at one da do blade height and then cutting the other at a different height. If I use the table saw, it's still just a matter of sneaking up on the fit, correct? Of course, the other option is to use a T&G bit and the (new) router table which would mean a one step setup for the groove then one more for tenons.
As always, thanks for any advice you can offer and thanks for putting up wi th what are probably very basic questions as I learn more about these metho ds.
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A few years ago, I built some cabinets on our screen porch. I have the panel - 1/2" MDF - off center but toward the front, no more than 1/8" reveal (I prefer minimal horizontal surfaces, less space for dust to accumulate).
In my case, IIRC, I accomplished the offset by making a rabbet around the panel, keeping the groove in the face frame centered. IMO, you could move the groove toward the back, leaving 1/8" on the face frame should be OK. As you said, that will complicate your cutting.
You could also do as I did; i.e., skinny down the MDF by making a 1/8 tongue on it but given the inherent weakness of MDF I don't think that would work well. You could also use 1/8" plywood (door skins) rather than MDF.
You could use thicker stock. Unless you have a way of dressing rough stock, about the only way you could accomplish that is by making it; e.g., 1/4 ply glued to 3/4 ply (although available, I'm guessing it would be hard for you to get 1" ply). Of course, you could always buy 5/4 rough stock and have a millwork shop dress it for you. The problem with using thicker stock will be the additional protrusion from the face frame; that could be fixed by insetting the door frame but you might then have a problem in finding hinges (maybe not, don't know, I've never done it).
Still another possibility is to make the doors with the panels centered then stick a frame around them to increase reveal. There goes your clean look.
Oh yeah... you could forget the T & G for the panels and run a rabbet around the inside of the frame...plop the panel in the rabbet and hold it there with a thin (1/8"), narrow (1/2"?) piece of wood nailed (brads) or glued on. Now - lacking the groove - you have a problem with joining the stiles and rails...two solutions come to mind: half lap or bridle joints.
All in all, I'd tell the wife to learn to love it as is :)
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dadiOH
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On 1/29/2015 11:12 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Yep, best of all possible worlds.
(I was waiting on you to reply so I wouldn't have to type War and Peace.)
Thanks! LOL
That said, and if I was simply required to do it with 3/4" thickness stock, I'd do M&T (floating tenon) first, and traditional M&T second.
Router jigs are very doable for floating tenon joinery, they just take time.
But, when you have more time than money ...
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On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 12:23:12 PM UTC-5, Swingman wrote:

Uh, yeah, for you guys. You're not the ones that live in my world. :-)
Actually she was very understanding when I told her that any solution other than centered was simply going to mean a little more work and a little mor e time. I just need to learn (from you guys) how to do it. Her response: "Y ou're having fun learning new stuff and we're in no hurry, so go for it."
I think I like her.

me.

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Always happy to help out :)
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dadiOH
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On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 12:23:12 PM UTC-5, Swingman wrote:

me.

Speaking of joint choices...
The idea for this style door came from the fact that my brother had his kit chen (actually almost the entire house) gutted and remodeled. (the "almost" was that town ordinances prevented him from altering the front 15 or so fe et of the structure so everything had to be done behind that)
Anyway, he lives out of town and I took a bunch of photos and measurements at his "housewarming" few months ago. The one thing that I forgot to take a picture/measurement of was the panel location in the doors. As soon as we saw my prototype we realized that his must be set back, so I asked him to m easure it and send me a picture of the joinery.
The 3/4" doors have a 1/8" reveal on the inside and about 3/8" on the outsi de (his estimation) so that's what I'm going to try next.
The joint they used is interesting. I'm assuming that the taper and roundin g is for strength, i.e. maximum wood on the stile near the top of the tenon :
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/imagejpg1_zps935e8025.j pg
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On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 12:12:32 PM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

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I thought of that and had the same concerns about the MDF as you. Not sure where to get door skins, but I'll look into it. 1/8" seems really thin to u se as the panel itself, plus I'm not sure how the plywood would take paint.

,




3 issues with that suggestion:
1 - Check out the thread related to the DeWalt vs. the Delta TS blades wher e I posted a cash flow response to Leon. Thicker stock and mill work makes my cash flow in the wrong direction. :-)
2 - One of SWMBO's other comments was the thickness of the 3/4" doors. Yes, they stuck out a bit farther than they actually will because of the thick command strips I hung the prototype with, but even by themselves they will stick out at least twice as much as my current 1/2 overlay-1/2 inset doors.
3 - The inset - hinge issue you mentioned.
All in all, more expense and more work.



Once again, we would have the thickness issue.




Yep...I considered the rabbet but hadn't figured out what joint to use. I'l l keep that suggestion in mind.

I would (yeah, sure) but I don't really like the look either. In reality, n ot liking it means that I don't have to tell her to learn to love it as is. Hmm...maybe that's really why I don't like it. ;-)
Anyway, I called MLCS about their #7737 T&G router bit set, which can be us ed on stock up to 1.25". This bit can be used to offset the groove and teno n, requiring only one pass for each. I explained my set-back issue and he f elt confident that a full 1/8" of stock on the back of the door would be fi ne.
He even offered suggestions such as doubling up the rails with double sided tape to make cutting the tenons quicker/easier.
Thanks for the suggestions.
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You can get them at Home Depot or Lowes; if not in stock - they usually are - they can be ordered.
They are normally lauan, sized 36" x 80". Lauan paints fine but if you want smooth as a baby butt - no grain showing - you would have to fill; drywall compound works well, sands easily but if you are using water base paint you would need a coat of shellac or lacquer on top of the compound.
Another source for skinny ply is anyplace that sells wood for airplanes; it is generally birch IIRC and rather dear.
I'm not sure how well it would serve as door panels either, no stress on it though so should be OK. The only time I've had occasion to use it was to make a 24-30" x 72" hollow core door do enclose my water heater, worked fine for that.
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dadiOH
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If'n it were me, I'd do it this way. Bridle joints wouldn't look out of place in that sort of door, I think. You could add a decorative plug to make it look like the joints were pegged thru if you wanted to add a little character.
John
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