How do I make flat cabinet doors?


I'm currently in the slow process of making my own kitchen. The cabinet doors are lipped frame and raised panel type made from painted pine (local tradition). The frames are made from 13/16" (21 mm) stock and the panels are made from 9/16" (15 mm) stock. The panels are put in a rabbet and fixed to the frame using applied modling and brads (also local tradition).
My problem is that the frames are not flat. They twist slighty making a wedge shaped gap between the face-frame and the door. I hope the panels will straighten the frames when they are fixed in place. If they are not:
1. How can I straighten my existing frames / doors? 2. How do I make a flat door-frame?
I cut the frame members perfectly square and clamped them to a perfectly flat surface while the glue cured. The frame joints are made with double biscuits.
I hope somebody can help me out here. Thanks a lot from Oslo, Norway!
- Elling
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I think that you may be trying to make your doors from wood that is not dry enough or has not been in your shop long enough to aclimate to your shop's climate conditions. Changes in moisture content after the wood is milled will cause twisting like you are describing.
--
Charley


"Elling Diesen" < snipped-for-privacy@vmetro.no> wrote in message
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I made our kitchen cabinet doors out of pine too. Bought kiln-dried lumber that sat in my shop (It's dry) a few weeks or so before I built the doors. Level surface, clamped flat, etc. All doors were nice and flat when I installed them.
However, after a couple of weeks in the house with the heat of our woodstove, several of our doors have twisted slightly and/or the panels have shrunk. Kind of a bummer, but not a huge deal for us. Short of bringing the lumber into the house with the woodstove for a couple of weeks, I'm not sure what else I could have done?
On a pair of large armoires, I simply installed a set of magnetic catches to hold the doors flat when closed. Crude, but it works.
Anthony
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I don't hink that you can

I made some cabinet doors for a pantry and they all came out slightly twisted. This was after having built 21 doors for my kitchen which were all pertty flat.
The thing is, that there was alittle twist in all of the doors and it went the same way (upper right corner stuck out a bit.)
Now that *could* have been poorly seasoned wood, but I am much more inclined to beleive that one of my machine setups got knocked out of whack. For example, If the verticle casting of my tennon jig were not 90 degrees to the table, that could account for it.
Check your setups.
Steve
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It is necessary to ensure that neither the stiles nor the rails are twisted before the joints are cut.
Twist being the root of all evil, on my website is a page about the geometry of twist and a bit of advice about hand-plane work to remove it.
Jeff G
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Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
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Thank you very much for very usefull feedback!
I dried the wood in my apartment for a few weeks (my wife loves this) before cutting the frame-members. The moisture content fell from approx. 9% and stabilized at approx. 6% during this period.
The panels was twisted from the moment I released the clamps, so I believe the problem is not related to moisture content.
I am using pre-planed (S4S) pine when making the frames. Could inaccurately planed stock make the frames twist? What if the sides are not perpendicular to the faces? I guess that could cause a problem. Am I on the right track?
- Elling
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The material probably twisted after planing, but twisted frame members (stiles, rails) produce twisted frames.

At intervals along a twisted surface, the sides will still be perpendicular to the faces.
Even when starting with pre-planed stuff, it pays to buy stuff thick enough to allow subsequent planing after the wood has acclimatised to your working conditions.
Jeff G
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Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
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