Are you getting tired of the old kitchen cabinets and are planning on getting a new look for your kitchen?. Then you should start with the kitchen cabinet doors. A nice, wooden door can bring a fresh new look to the cabinets, as well as your kitchen.
However, a new cabinet door is pretty expensive and getting the right one that matches the shape and style of your cabinet can be challenging. One of the many ways you can get a perfect cabinet door is by making it yourself.
If you love woodworking and have a routing table at home, then you can easily make doors for your cabinet. The process is quite simple and can be done without costing you too much.
Tips to Make a Cabinet Door Using a Router Table
Making a cabinet door on a router table isn’t difficult but needs proper planning and the right tools to build it to perfection. Here is a simple process that you can follow to create your own cabinet door.
Step 1: Get All The Required Tools
No project, even the simplest ones, can be done properly without the right tools. To finish this project properly, you need some tools as well.
Tools and materials you will need here are a table saw, bora clamp, router, router table, rail and stile router bits, push blocks, router lift, and a Poplar or any other wood.
Also, don’t forget to keep measuring tape, pencils, safety gear (glasses, hearing protection, gloves) with you.
Step 2: Make The Rail & Stiles
Making rail and stiles is relatively easy. First, you need to cut the wood to size for the door frame. To all those who are new to cabinetry, the vertical pieces of the frame are known as stiles and the horizontal parts are called rails.
The length and depth will be determined by the cabinet you’re working for. Make sure all the pieces have a groove cut on the inside of the board. It will help them fit a panel.
The rails must also come with a tongue cut on each of their ends. The tongue is going to connect with the groove on the stiles.
Step 3: Mark Line on The Rail
Now, take a rail and lay its face down. Mark a line on the edge, which should be at 1/8″ from the top. You will be using it in a later step.
Step 4: Inserting The Coping Bit into The Router
You can identify a coping bit by the bearing, which is located in between the bit’s two cutters. Insert the bit into the router and secure it. It will cut the tongue at the end of each rail.
The bottom of the top cutter must be aligned with the mark you put on that piece earlier. Now, adjust the fence and keep it even with the bearing using a straight edge.
Step 5: Test The First Cut and Go for Coping Cut
It’s highly recommended that you test your first cut on a scrap piece. It will help you to figure out whether your alignments are correct or not.
Now, make the coping cuts on both ends of the rails. Each of the cuts should be made with the front face of the frame facing downward of the router table.
Step 6: Install The Stick Cutting Bit
Once you are done with the coping cuts, install the stick cutting bit. Align the top cutter with the tongue of the rail and adjust the height. Now, align the face using a straight edge.
Then, with a push stick, make the cuts on the inside edges of all the frame parts.
Step 7: Assembling The Door
Once you finish the cuts, check those pieces if they fit correctly. With this dry fit, you will also get an accurate measurement for the center panel. Don’t forget to adjust the gauging for the grooves in the frame.
Assemble the door with the center panel cut using clamps and glue. Make sure you apply glue only on the coped ends of the rails so that the center panel can be moved in the future.
Now paint the door and mount it back to the cabinet.
Precautions You Must Follow
While making your own cabinet doors is a relatively simple DIY project, accidents can still happen if you’re careless. Every woodworking project must follow a general safety guideline – which is applicable here as well.
Wear The Right Clothes & Safety Gear
Never wear loose clothes. It’s because loose clothing might get caught in a running blade. Wear something that is appropriate for the environment of your workplace and can protect you at the same time. Fitted and strong fabrics are recommended.
Don’t forget to wear safety gear such as eye protection glass, latex gloves, ear protection, etc. to avoid any possible accidents.
Disconnect The Electricity
Don’t forget to disconnect the power source before you change the bits or blades of the power tools. For better safety, make sure you disconnect the machine so the switch can’t get turned on accidentally.
Avoid Multiple Extension Cords
Using multiple cords can be confusing and is a tripping hazard. To avoid this, always use a single extension cord.
Use Sharp Blades & Bits
Dull and blunt cutting tools can be extremely dangerous as they can kick back when you put pressure to cut anything. Always opt for sharp blades as they will ensure a smooth cut and protect you from accidents.
Avoid Reaching Over a Running Blade
Whether you want to remove waste or change the blade, always wait for the spinning blade to stop properly. Also, do not use your hands to remove the waste, instead, use a push stick to be on the safe side.
Once you get through building your first cabinet door, you will see how simple and fun woodworking can be. It can be a little time-consuming but can save you a lot of money and can be a fun hobby. Besides, you will get a cabinet door exactly the way you wanted.
Even if you’re not a professional woodworker, you can make your customized door by following these instructions. You just have to get the right tools and use them with proper caution.