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Advice required: Using MDF for frame & panel cupboard doors.

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Benchwayze

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I have to make some kitchen cupboard doors. SWIMBO wants simple, Shaker-style doors, framed with a plain panel and painted white. I envisage ripping 18mm thick MDF into 60mm and 50mm strips, for the frames and using maybe 4mm/5mm thick panels. Jointed either with No 20 biscuits or dowels, (I don't have a Domino) and timber fillets let in where the hinges will go.

So what's the consensus on using MDF like this? Has anyone gone so far as to make framed and panelled doors like this? And would I be best off using MR MDF? I don't want to spend a fortune, and the timber available locally is either mucho-dinero or absolute rubbish pine that will warp and twist like a 50s pop star.

Any advice from Pro fitters who use MDF in this fashion would be appreciated no end.

Thanks in anticipation.
John :D

PS... In case you think I am a cheapskate, I am just replacing existing doors, and making one new cupboard, to see us through to the end of Spring, when I shall hopefully be employing a real kitchen-fitter! Unless I can force my old bones into doing it all myself. :mrgreen:
 

studders

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As they're only going to be there a short while I'd be inclined to just cut the 18mm to the finished door size and then just glue and pin some 6mm to form the 'frame' effect.
 

Chrispy

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Hi John

I either use 18 or 22mm MR MDF as you say cut to 60ish mm wide 6mm grove 15mm deep for the panels, I like to use 12mm for the panels ( I think it gives a bit of weight to the doors and makes them flat in side) heres the fiddly bit I rebate the panels on the back the same 15mm to leave 6mm tongue. you do have to be very precise cutting to size. or you could just use 6mm panels or 9mm in 22mm frames.

I then cut a stub tenon 5mm long to fit the grove on the ends of the rails. glue panel, rails, tenons the lot to make up for the poor corner joints!

I did try using 12mm and glueing 6mm false rails on the face but even in a veneer press they don't stay flat.
 

Benchwayze

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studders":2ddtk7pl said:
As they're only going to be there a short while I'd be inclined to just cut the 18mm to the finished door size and then just glue and pin some 6mm to form the 'frame' effect.
That's an idea... Filed away ty Studders.

John
 

Benchwayze

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Chrispy":2hdzmry3 said:
Hi John

I either use 18 or 22mm MR MDF as you say cut to 60ish mm wide 6mm grove 15mm deep for the panels, I like to use 12mm for the panels ( I think it gives a bit of weight to the doors and makes them flat in side) heres the fiddly bit I rebate the panels on the back the same 15mm to leave 6mm tongue. you do have to be very precise cutting to size. or you could just use 6mm panels or 9mm in 22mm frames.

I then cut a stub tenon 5mm long to fit the grove on the ends of the rails. glue panel, rails, tenons the lot to make up for the poor corner joints!

I did try using 12mm and glueing 6mm false rails on the face but even in a veneer press they don't stay flat.
Thanks Chris.

I was intending to use a bearing guided router cutter to work a rebate after the frames were glued. Then square the corners with a hollow-chisel I keep as a corner chisel. Then I was going to the timber yard and get all the panels cut in one fell-swoop. I am confident that all my doors will be the same size you see! :lol: :lol: :lol: But maybe your groove would keep the panels from bowing! My way might not. :mrgreen:
Cheers
John :D
 

jasonB

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I tend to use 22mm with 9mm panel but 18mm and 6mm will also do.

I cut a grove in all four pieces and also grooves in teh rail and then just use strips of the panel material as loose tongues. Your panels can have a bit of leway size wise and its only one machine setting to do all the grooves.







J
 

toysandboats

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An idea I picked up on the Forum about 18 months ago was to make the door of 6mm MDF and then glue 6mm "frames" and "stiles" to the front and back with mitre adhesive (Screwfix sell it) and you end up with the look of 18mm Frame and 6mm panel doors. Mine were 2.4m high wardrobe doors and they have been in use for 12 months now.

If you want thicker doors, use 8mm MDF sheet - 3 layers will give a 24mm "frame"

David
 

chippy1970

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I do mine the same way as Jason , works well I used to cut stub tenons but its quicker and easier to just use a loose tenon/tongue.
 

Benchwayze

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Great stuff folks.

Loads to go at and I am most obliged. Well-spoiled for choice, :mrgreen: but obliged...

Regards
John :D
 

greshoff

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Old thread being revived. Can the method described by jasonB be used for doors that are not square or rectangular? If so how are the frames glued up?
 

Myfordman

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Provided that your door shape can be broken down into components joined with straight lines. the technique will work and i cant see any reason to glue up differently.
 

greshoff

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I assume the frame is clamped together or is it just glued and pushed together and left to dry? If clamped it may be difficult with a irregular shaped door. Yes the door shape can be broken down into components. The shape is square at the bottom with angled top
 

fluffflinger

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Jason's method is excellent. I can highly recommend it and have used it have used it extensively since I first saw it.

It's quick efficient and the end result will be exactly what you need. Much easier to glue up than applying thin skins to build the frame and panel effect.
 

greshoff

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Still no answer to my question regarding gluing up and clamping.
 

Mar_mite

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greshoff":1bq2k8fb said:
Still no answer to my question regarding gluing up and clamping.
I clamp together and fire a couple of pins through the back to hold the joint together while the glue dries.
 

greshoff

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So they are clamped together, I can foresee difficulties clamping the angles end. Any ideas on this? If clamping Surely the pins are not necessary unless the clamps are removed straight after pinning
 

Myfordman

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Use angled and vee blocks made from scrap on the clamp jaws to suit the angles. Or leave horns on the parts and trim off after the glue has dried.
 

Benchwayze

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Mar_mite":30lfss2f said:
greshoff":30lfss2f said:
Still no answer to my question regarding gluing up and clamping.
I clamp together and fire a couple of pins through the back to hold the joint together while the glue dries.
Which is more or less what I did. I just panel-pinned them, with a 'cordless' pin-hammer! :mrgreen:
I left enough of the pin sticking out so I could withdraw the pins when the glue was dry.
One day I might buy a nail-gun of some sort!

John :D
 

greshoff

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There is nothing to stop the the angles rails slipping even using Vee blocks or leaving horns on the rails for clamping. As pressure is applied the joints will slip.
 

greshoff

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Just constructed a angled test door and the joints at the angled end do slip when pressure is applied. Left horns for clamping on top rail.
 
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