Shaker style MDF doors

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Doug71

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I'm making some built in cupboards for a customers attic bedroom which go right up in to the eaves so have a few triangular and strange shaped doors. It's a bit of a budget job so it's all mdf.

The doors will be overlay shaker style, normally I would use Tulipwood with MDF panels but these will be all MDF. I was planning on still making the doors traditionally using 22mm MR MDF for the stiles and rails joined together with Dominos (okay not that traditionally) with 12 mm floating MR MDF panels in a groove.

I see loads of people just using an 18 mm MDF slab door and sticking some 3mm MDF to the front to get the same effect but this always seems a bit diy to me.

Like I say lots of strange shapes so the slab method would be much easier and cheaper but I always imagine they will bend (some of the doors are 2.1m high x 0.6m wide).

Am I just stuck in my ways and wasting my time and the customers money doing it my way or will it make a better door than just a slab of MDF with bits stuck on?

Doug
 
I'd say you would be lucky to keep the door flat at that size, especially if you stick 6mm MDF only on the front.
Have you considered using a rail & stile cutter? It's an easy way of making a 5-piece door, and you can still use a domino for the bigger ones.
 
Agree with Steve; 22mm MRMDF rail & stile with a 9mm or 12mm panel would be my choice - you’ll get a flatter, lighter door. I wouldn’t / don’t bother with dominos, just continue the groove around the ends of the rails & stile and use loose tenons from the panel material. I may have done a video - or two - about the process...

HTH P
 
If you are making triangles Doug, leave your styles and Horizontals over width, that way you can cut notches into them to make getting clamps on them easier. I then trim to size once glued, so if I'm aiming for 80mm rails, I'll probably start with 110mm cut notches either side of say a 45 degree angle so the clamps pull the join up square rather than slipping up the rail.
 
doctor Bob":3rrbaidj said:
If you are making triangles Doug, leave your styles and Horizontals over width, that way you can cut notches into them to make getting clamps on them easier. I then trim to size once glued, so if I'm aiming for 80mm rails, I'll probably start with 110mm cut notches either side of say a 45 degree angle so the clamps pull the join up square rather than slipping up the rail.

thats a good idea!

you should do it for a living :D
 
Thanks for the input guys, I will stick to making the doors properly using stiles, rails and panels.

I will still probably Domino the joints (see, stuck in my ways) as it's no hassle when the stiles and rails are just square.

Thanks for the cramping tip for triangle ones Doctor Bob, I can easily make them oversize and trim with track saw later (how did we manage before track saws?).
 
Doug71":rhbiv4tt said:
Thanks for the input guys, I will stick to making the doors properly using stiles, rails and panels.

I will still probably Domino the joints (see, stuck in my ways) as it's no hassle when the stiles and rails are just square.

Thanks for the cramping tip for triangle ones Doctor Bob, I can easily make them oversize and trim with track saw later (how did we manage before track saws?).

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:D
 

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After using Peter Millard technique on making shaker style doors with loose tenon joints, I certainly know how I'll make these doors in the future and that's with this method, very simple yet very strong.

Here's some pictures of the door I've made to go on the under stairs storage including four doors with triangular tops.

The third pictured door is over 2.1mtrs tall and 560mm wide and is a straight as a level.

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have to agree. although I'm not sure peter invented it he certainly made it well known. it's the easiest and strongest way on panel doors. you'll have to do a tricky grooving job between dominoes otherwise.
 
johnnyb":1ekxiqfr said:
have to agree. although I'm not sure peter invented it he certainly made it well known. it's the easiest and strongest way on panel doors. you'll have to do a tricky grooving job between dominoes otherwise.
No, absolutely not my invention, the technique’s as old as the hills. It was my first ‘proper’ YouTube video though, and remains my most watched.

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but it was whilst taking photos of the process in response to a question on here, when I realised it would be much easier to show it in a video.

And so, my YouTube journey began. P
 
Another option that you may not have considered is one I use for awkward shaped stuff.

Instead of having to work out all the angles and difficult lengths for the stiles and rails I cut the shape of the whole door out of a sheet of 22/25mm material. Then plunge cut out the spaces for the panels, rebate the back and drop my 9/12mm panels into place with some glue and a couple of small nails. The corners of the rebate will be rounded so it's up to you if you square them up or make a little rounding off jig to knock the corners off your panels. I usually just square them up with a chisel and knife.

This method does use a fair bit more material but it gets around the difficult angles and means there is no sanding/filling the joints between each of the stiles/rails.

Both of these things seem to take me an inordinately long time so in my case my time saved is definitely more economical than the extra material cost!
 
petermillard":owpyswq8 said:
johnnyb":owpyswq8 said:
have to agree. although I'm not sure peter invented it he certainly made it well known. it's the easiest and strongest way on panel doors. you'll have to do a tricky grooving job between dominoes otherwise.
No, absolutely not my invention, the technique’s as old as the hills. It was my first ‘proper’ YouTube video though, and remains my most watched.

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but it was whilst taking photos of the process in response to a question on here, when I realised it would be much easier to show it in a video.

And so, my YouTube journey began. P

Hi Peter,

I’ve seen lots of your videos and they are always helpful and informative. Can I ask why you use this method rather than using a rail and style cutter like this one?

https://www.axminster.co.uk/axcaliber-stile-and-rail-cutter-shaker-951288

I’m about to embark on making my first set of shaker doors so I’m looking at the options. I’ve noticed that all of these rail and style cutters all seem to be sized for imperial rather than metric which is very frustrating and I suppose you are limited on the thickness of the panel. I do like that 15 degree bevel though.

Thanks for all the helpful content you’ve had a big impact on improving my knowledge of the craft.
 
Neocleous":2w6v1h5v said:
...Can I ask why you use this method rather than using a rail and style cutter like this one..?

Hiya, and thanks! The rail & stile cutter is a bit of a one-trick pony, whereas I can use a grooving bit for all kinds of things. Also 99% of my doors are painted, so the bevelled joint - as lovely as it is - would never be seen.

HTH P
 
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