This was one of the first things I tried when I got my router table. A simple,
easy to make tongue and groove door. All it requires is a groove along
the rails and stiles, 4 tongues (tenons) on the rails and then either
a raised or flat panel.
Like with every bit of woodwork I do, big or small, I like to start with a
quick plan and cutting list which should stop mistakes when cutting the
pieces to length.
The tongues (tenons) are 10mm long so when working out the measurements for the width
of the door you take the width of the opening -in my case it’s 230mm-
then take off the width of the stiles,( I used 40mm stock so I took off
80mm) then add the length of the tongues each side -so I added 20mm –
which gives a final measurement of 170mm. That’s how long the rails need
to be and is also the width of the panel.
Plug the router back in and start running all the rails and stiles through.
You could set up a feather board to keep the pieces firmly against the
fence but as I was only doing a quick sample I didn’t bother.
Once you run the piece through on one face turn it around and run it along the
other face making sure the groove you have just cut is still facing down.
This will create a perfectly centred groove.
I used a push stick to aid the pieces through and to keep my fingers away
from the router bit and I wore a P2 dust mask.
Once you’ve run all the pieces through, raise the router bit to the final depth
(11mm) and then repeat the step above.
Afterwards you should be left with perfectly centred grooves in the rails and stiles.
If you are using a hardwood for the rails and stiles, then I would cut the groove
in at least three passes. Raising the router bit higher, taking a little
amount off at a time until you reach the final height.
Go back to the router table. Make sure it’s unplugged from the mains and then
using the rail piece you just marked 10mm and a square, set up the fence
so it’s 10mm from the edge of the router bit. Now it would make sense to change the router bit with a wider bit but as I only had two rails to rout I didn’t change bits, I just took multiple passes.
set the router bit height, lay one of the rail pieces down flat on the
router table and adjust the cutter height so it’s flush with the inside
of the groove as shown in the picture to your right.
step is optional but it does help to prevent tear out. With a square and
a marking/stanley knife carefully cut a line 10mm from the end, all the
way around each end of both the rails.
back to the router table, plug it back into the mains and with the mitre
gauge, cut a tongue on a sample piece of wood the same thickness as the
rail pieces. Try the cut out on one of the stiles and adjust the router
bit height if necessary. Once you’re happy rout the tongues on both ends
of the real rail pieces.
tear out and to support the short rail pieces I secured a scrap piece
of wood to the mitre gauge.
everything has been cut, do a dry fit to make sure all the joints are
square and flush. Although you shouldn’t have to, you can ‘tweak’ the
joints with a chisel or shoulder plane.
On one of
the rail pieces apply glue to the tongues (tenons) then attach the two
stiles to each side.
in the panel without any glue. The idea is to allow the panel to float.
I used 6mm mahogany but if you don’t want to use real wood you could use
veneered MDF/Ply or even just use plain MDF/Ply.
the final rail, clamp up, wipe any excess glue with a damp cloth then
leave to dry..
the glue has had chance to dry (over night is best) remove the door from
the clamps and give it a sanding. If you used good flat, straight, square
timber and took your time on setting up the router table all the joints
should be square and flush and won’t need much sanding.