I am going to build some cabinet doors with a raised panel. I was
looking at a few cabinets for ideas and I noticed some fundamental
differences. Some had the rail run the full width of the door and the
stile was the height of the door minus the width of the rails. Others
had the stile run the full height of the door and the rail was the
width of the door minus the stiles.
Is there a "correct" way or is this something that is a personal
One other thing. Is there rule of thumb for determining the width of
the rails and stiles?
On Sat, 27 May 2006 16:25:51 -0500, Richard Cranium
Others may disagree, but it's all personal preference. You missed a
couple of easier options as well- if they are paint grade, you could
just route the center out of laminated MDF, or trim plywood with
hardwood for stain grade stuff
IIRC, rail and style is used to allow expansion and contraction of the
center panel when the panel is solid wood. If you use an engineered
product for the main panel, it's just more work to do it that way,
unless you need to match an existing door.
As always, I could be wrong- but that's the way we do it at work, and
no complaints so far.
The traditional method is for the stile to run the full length of the door,
with the rails between the stiles, and for larger doors, centerstiles
between the rails, centerrails between the centerstiles.
I've never seen doors with full width rails. You could do it for a modern
look, but it would not look traditional, and you'd have to watch your
hardware -i.e. make sure euro hinges don't compromise your joints.
As for stile and rail width:
Same width stiles and rails look more elegant, using wider stiles than rails
or wider rails than stiles gives a country farmhouse look.
Wider rails provide greater joint surface area.
Stiles and rails in the 2 1/2" range are a good compromise - looks good and
offers plenty of strength, plus you can get good yield from rw lumber.
If some of the doors will be quite large, consider using wider stiles and
rails - 2 3/4".
3" stiles and rails for typical size furniture pieces are definately
entering the "clumsily charming country furniture" realm.
I just completed a 105" tall and 82" wide cherry entertainment center. All
doors had 2 1/2" stiles and rails, and looked elegant, traditional, and
Use the same width stiles and rails for all the doors on the project. All
kitchen cab doors should use the same width stiles and rails. If you're
building a free-standing furniture piece for the kitchen, don't match the
kitchen cab doors, or your piece will look like it was made by the kitchen
Profitability-engineered production doors tend to have more narrow stiles
and rails to save $$.
Richard Cranium wrote:
Lots of good advice to which I can't add much. You might look into
books on cabinetry (I have a couple that I can't get to at the moment).
But I have to ask: does anyone call you Dick?
curiouser and curiouser,
I agree there is lots of good advice here. I believe the advise that
seemed to be the definitive was that from Slim when he said there
could be a problem with hardware compromising the joints with full
With that said I will be having the stile be full length.
Regarding your question about anyone calling me Dick. No, they
usually call me by my real name -- Paul. Hehehe. I saw a bogus
credit card once that was in the name of Richard Cranium and I thought
it would be a good nick name for the usenet. It's surprising how many
believe it's my name.
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