Shaker-style door question

I'm putting together plans for some new kitchen cabinets, and am currently planning to build Shaker-style doors. I'm thinking of using maple-faced plywood for the panels, in order to save myself a bit of work (this project has to get done in a limited timeframe), and I know that plywood panels can be glued into the frame, as plywood is dimensionally stable. If I do that, can I get away with not having to mortise-and-tenon the frame, thus saving myself a *whole* lot of work?
Also, is 1/4" ply the norm here, or should I use 3/8"?
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-Chip Olson. | ceo2 at thsi dot org | remove the 2 to reply


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Chip wrote:>I'm putting together plans for some new kitchen cabinets, and am currently

Any deviation is at your own risk." "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so." Tom Work at your leisure!
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Chip Olson asks:

If you're writing of stile and rail construction with flat panels inserted, you definitely do NOT want to glue that plywood into the stile and rail frame. The plywood is fairly stable. The solid wood frame is less so. Movement will differ. Construction will suffer.
Cut your mortises full length with a dado blade. Cut the tenons on the table saw or router table, whichever is easiest for you (actually, do the mortises on a router table if that sets up easily for you, but if you mortise much deeper than 3/8", it's usually easier (IMO) with the dado).
If you're speaking of using butt joints in kitchen cabinet door frames, I strongly suggest you do not, unless you are looking to repair and replace soon and often.
Charlie Self "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." Ernest Benn
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On 10 Jul 2004 07:44:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

panel?
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igor asks:

You'd need the PC biscuit jointer to cut the slots for the FF size biscuits (Ryobi used to make a jointer that cut similar sized slots, but I haven't seen one listed for some time). I don't think I'd really care to rely on biscuits anyway. They do add strength, but door frames are not the place. Face frames would be OK, but door frames get slammed, hung on, kicked, generally whapped around. M&T does it even if the mortise is a full slot.
Charlie Self "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." Ernest Benn
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On 10 Jul 2004 17:00:22 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

yours here. Thanks. I do have the PC machine - have not yet used the FF size. As for the "full slot" M&T, I assume you are referencing the "1/4" wide X 3/8" deep groove" Lowell Holmes mentions in this thread. It is also what is used in the old Ikea cab doors now in the house. It is interesting to see that you think this is better than a biscuit. I've been thinking of using this slot approach since I like the look of a square edge on a flat panel door.
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(Charlie Self)

Those FF PC biscuits are mighty small.

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(Charlie Self)

If you're determined to make these without M&T-type joints, make up a sample door using pocket screw joinery, and see if you can live with the way it looks. Plugging the pockets helps relieve some of the ugly, where they would show on the inside door panels.
If they were mine, (and I am in the process of building some right now), I'd use the stub tenon process others have described here. Or perhaps lap joints, if they needed to be stronger yet.
My grandson needed a gate at the bottom of the stairs, when he was learning to walk this spring. For that, I used floating tenons, and cut the mortises with a router. Next time, I'll make/find a better jig. I've seen them out there.
Patriarch
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If you make a 1/4" wide X 3/8" deep groove in the stiles and rails for the panels (which must be free floating) you can make tenons on the rails that fit in the groove (they are glued). Norm shows this construction all the time. It is quick and easy to do on the table saw.

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On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 09:39:08 -0500, Lowell Holmes wrote:

Ah. Evidently I didn't explain myself well; what you describe is precisely what I was hoping I could get away with. :-) Thanks to all for your replies.
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-Chip Olson. | ceo2 at thsi dot org | remove the 2 to reply


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Don't forget Norms brads to hold until the glue dries. :-) (just joking, of course)

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Even with ply, let the panel float. It is difficult to beat mortise-and-tenon for quality construction. You can use 3/8" but think about heavier or more hinges to support the extra weight. The Shakers did not use ply, rather raised panels were used with the raised portion on the inside (rather than outside) of the door.
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Yes you can and I have seen many cabinets that are built that way; some even have the back rabbetted and the panel is simply glued into the rabbet. Wood expands mainly in it's width, very little in length or thicknesss so movement isn't really much of a concern. I built some for our master bath in exactly the same way (cope and stick joints with a 1/4" beadboard panel glued in). Two years now and no problems. If you want to save time, you could use a half lap, floating tennons, or even pocket screws.
Steve
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