Building raised panel cabinet doors can be a great experience for the do it yourself (DIY) handyman. Whether the raised cabinet doors be for the kitchen or even the workshop, pride in a job well done is not out of reach. As in other tasks, quality materials are essential. For this particular project, we will be using the following tools and materials.
Materials and Hardware List for Building Raised Panel Cabinet Doors:
Wood – choose a wood that best suits the interior environment and your taste
Hinges – in harmony with location and purpose (1 hinge per every ten inches of cabinet height – for example: 2 inches for 20 inch door, 3 inches for 30 inch door, etc.)
Handles – get handles that fit the design aesthetic of the hinges or vice versa (make sure your handles and hinges include mounting screws – most do)
Wood Finishing Products – examples: stain and/or polyurethane
180-220 Grit Sandpaper
Tool List for Building Raised Panel Cabinet Doors:
Router Table – with fence and/or jigs
Phillips Screwdriver – No. 2
Common (Flat-tip) Screwdriver – No. 2
Drill with Assorted Sized Bits – to be determined depending on handle type
(Optional) Electric Screwdriver
Directions for Building Raised Panel Cabinet Doors:
Note: As we progress, it is presumed that the cabinet doors have been cut to meet the requirements of the installation plan. The selection of the router bit pattern is certainly something that you want to have decided at this point as well. With that, we will begin our first step.
1. Position wood on router table and set depth of cut by adjusting fence. Once depth has been determined (this depends on style of router bit of course), back wood away from bit and start router. With a smooth, steady motion, advance wood into router bit taking care that hands are a safe distance from the bit at all times. Run the material completely through and then position the flanking side.
2. Run the opposite side through.
Timesaving tip: If you have multiple doors (as you likely do) that have the same dimensions, then proceed to route all panel sides with corresponding measurements. This saves a lot of time that would be spent resetting the adjustments for each individual piece.
3. Reset the adjustments for the other edge of your door and repeat procedures outlined above until all cabinet door sides are routed.
4. If necessary, lightly sand the corners, rolling the paper towards the flat inner-side of cabinet door.
Having completed these tasks, your raised cabinet door panels are ready for finishing.
Tip: If you plan to install handles that use screw fasteners from the inside of the door, you will need to pre-drill holes to facilitate the collars on the handle. Many dresser drawers and kitchen cabinets utilize these types of handles. More industrial designs will feature handles with screws that fasten from the outside.
5. Finish your wood according to stain or polyurethane packaging directions and personal taste.
6. Depending upon the number selected, carefully measure for symmetry the position of each hinge and install.
This project utilizes solid wood panels. After routing, they have a beautiful raised wood appearance superior to laminated panels. While laminations can be very attractive in both appearances and sometimes cost, nothing quite takes the place of good grade solid wood.
Good luck with this and all of your future projects.