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Options for MDF Wardrobe doors?

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flanajb

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Hi,

I wanted to try and understand what options people use for making mdf wardrobe doors. In the past, I would have never considered using MDF for doors, except for the center panel on a painted shaker door. I would have made the stiles and rails with poplar, proper mortice and tenon and a 6mm center mdf panel.

It seems now though, that some companies are doing fitted wardrobes using just MDF with a CNC pattern on the front of the door.

So I was wondering whether people would say the following are all acceptable

1. Shaker doors with stiles/rails and panel made from mdf. rails and stiles jointed using Domino?

2. 6mm mdf sections layered on top of central 6mm panel to give the effect of a shaker door?

3. 18mm mdf panel with either a routed panel on the front or beading stuck on the front?

Only reason I ask is that my brother got a quote from Sharp's bedrooms and they quoted 2k for 2 fitted wardrobes. Looking at the drawings of what they are getting, it seems the doors are based on number 3.

Thanks
 

Mar_mite

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I make my mdf shaker doors like option 1. Although I don't have a domino. I run a grove on all the inside edges to receive the 6mm panel and simply form short tenons on the ends of the rails to fit the groves on the stiles. Or plant on 6mm strips onto a 12 mm panel. The problem with that is the door tends to bend if too much glue is used. If you go down the 'plant on' route I would put 6mm onto 18mm for a bit more stability. Then use either conventional hinges in a face frame. Or Blum type hinges specifically for thick doors.
 

Sgian Dubh

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flanajb":3679h3v2 said:
So I was wondering whether people would say the following are all acceptable
1. Shaker doors with stiles/rails and panel made from mdf. rails and stiles jointed using Domino?
2. 6mm mdf sections layered on top of central 6mm panel to give the effect of a shaker door?
3. 18mm mdf panel with either a routed panel on the front or beading stuck on the front?
Only reason I ask is that my brother got a quote from Sharp's bedrooms and they quoted 2k for 2 fitted wardrobes. Thanks
They're all acceptable options as long as they function satisfactorily for the intended lifespan, at a price a customer is willing to pay. There's only a problem when one or more of those three factors (functionality, lifespan, customer price acceptance) don't match. £2,000 for a pair of custom built-in wardrobes I'd say is at the economy end of the market, which suggests the reason for the door option offered, i.e., it's a relatively easy, low cost door to make that matches the rest of the package. Slainte.
 

flanajb

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Thanks chap. I thought 2k was a lot for what he was getting. 2 wardrobes fitted into the alcove either side of the fireplace. No drawers, just 2 long wardrobe doors and 2 small storage doors higher up. As far as I know the wardrobes do not have a back or sides internally and it will just be the existing wall. From a materials perspective you would be looking at about £200 for it all.

I think the time consuming part would be the spraying.
 

mailee

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I build my wardrobes the same as Mar-mite using Bob's router table set up. 2K is cheap as even I would charge more than that! But it would be built with 'proper' shaker doors and spray painted with back and sides. :wink:
 

petermillard

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I do have a domino and find it simpler to make shaker doors with loose tenons from the same material as the panel - just groove the rails on three sides. 22mm MR MDF rail and stiles with a 6mm panel makes a solid door that isn't too heavy.

FWIW I always make a complete carcass (back, sides etc...) for alcove wardrobes as it presents a cleaner look / finish for the customer. And I'd agree with the other guys - ~£2k for a pair of alcove wardrobes and top boxes, designed, fabricated, fitted and painted is pretty good.

HTH Pete
 

RobinBHM

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I agree, its much better to make a complete carcase. It is probably cheaper as well if the wardrobe carcase is made in mfc.
 

flanajb

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Thanks for all your replies on this. I will let him know that 2k is actually a good price.
 

jasonB

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I also use loose tennons but prefer to use 22mm styles and rails with a 9mm panel, the thinner option is OK on smaller say kitchen doors but feels a bit flimsy on a full height door.

Add a panel moulding around the recess if the client wants something a bit more than plain shaker.
 

Zeddedhed

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With regard the doors option 2 seems to only give a 12mm door. Personally I'd always aim to finish up at 18mm or more. In the past I've layered up 6mm stiles and rails on EITHER side of a 6mm panel or just gone with 12mm door with 6mm on outside only.
 

fuster

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I would say options 1 and 3 are both fine. Option 3, the Sharps option will be for a vinyl wrapped door and one i would use on lower budget jobs when I would make the carcasses myself and just buy the doors in. Option 1 if I am making timber or mdf doors. I too run a groove along rails and stiles and then tenon the rails, all on the router table. Very quick and easy.
I can't understand why anyone would use option 2 as it is surely both a very bad bodge but also a lot more work than option 1.
 

fuster

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Oh and re. the domino jointer, I too have a domino but wouldn't use it for frame and panel doors. Frames yes, but as you have to groove rails and stiles for the panel anyway it seems quicker just to tenon.
 

flanajb

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Ok. 22mm MDF seems to get mentioned a number of times. So for a door 2100mm * 650mm then I should go 22mm MDF with a 9mm panel?

Is this standard MDF, moisture resistant or light weight MDF?

Given the size of the doors does everyone still think that MDF is ok, or would they use poplar for the stiles and rails?

Thanks
 

jasonB

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22/9 will be fine. MR MDF though you could go with a lighter board for the panel as the edges won't be exposed as they tend to be fluffier.

Panels do want to be glued in
 

flanajb

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jasonB":30ywoik9 said:
22/9 will be fine. MR MDF though you could go with a lighter board for the panel as the edges won't be exposed as they tend to be fluffier.

Panels do want to be glued in
Thanks Jason, that is most useful. Never thought of using lightweight 9mm for the panels and MR MDF for the stiles and rails
 

custard

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flanajb":1yiqvrls said:
So I was wondering whether people would say the following are all acceptable

1. Shaker doors with stiles/rails and panel made from mdf. rails and stiles jointed using Domino?

2. 6mm mdf sections layered on top of central 6mm panel to give the effect of a shaker door?

3. 18mm mdf panel with either a routed panel on the front or beading stuck on the front?
Hello Flanajb, hingeing isn't mentioned on your list but I'd suggest that's an important issue that can decide if a job's acceptable or not. MDF is heavy and it doesn't take screws well, so I'd look for some evidence that these facts of furniture life have been recognised and dealt with. Specialist MDF hinges and screws, lipping, weight of doors reduced accordingly etc.
 
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