Shaker Cabinets. How to Attach Panels? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Shaker Cabinets. How to Attach Panels?

We are building shaker cabinets, but we made the insets different for ease and looks, and now we're paying for it. Basically, instead of using ply insets and doing tongue and groove to insert them, we got 1 by X boards. So they range from 1x3 to 1x10 boards. It looks nicer, but what we did was router out the back of the stiles and rails, and the panels will stick out whatever the excess is of that router cut. So they basically just lay on the stiles and rails (which we rabbeted instead of tongue and grooved) Not a problem. Don't mind it. BUT, we're left wondering how to attach them, because they are not at all friction fit anymore. They fall out the back without being attached. Unfortunately, the loosest one is probably a 32nd on each side between the panel edge and the router cut, so that adds an extra layer of "bad" to this.

We did think of this ahead of time, but we're ignorant and not skilled. My dad (who's helping us) says we can't use glue, because that would put pressure on the rails and stiles. He's said three different things at this point about what we can do. He said silicone glue, hot glue, or brad nails. He's not sure and we're not sure, it seems. We were thinking about using foaming gorilla glue, but he doesn't seem to think that would have enough give and it's "messy".

So, now that we've got ourselves into this pickle, does anyone have any suggestions for how we can attach the panels?

Thanks. :smile3:

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 11:33 AM
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I suggest you buy some 1/8" ply, cut it 1/2" longer and wider than the opening and tack as an overlay over the back of the doors using glue and brads. This will hold your panel in place.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I suggest you buy some 1/8" ply, cut it 1/2" longer and wider than the opening and tack as an overlay over the back of the doors using glue and brads. This will hold your panel in place.
We'd have to plane down the boards to do that, but, it could be done. The boards are sticking out in the back about 1/8 from the rails and stiles.
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 03:15 PM
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Sounds like something I would get myself into!! What about something like this


Google: glass retainer hardware


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post #5 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 03:21 PM
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On second thought:
Trim (rabbet) the panels for a flush fit in the door frames. You don't want them to stick out in back
Cover the entire door with the 1/8" ply. Not just the panel, the entire door
Next, using a flush cutting bit on your router, trim the panel flush with your door frame. This will result in a smooth backed good looking door. 1/8" thicker than before.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 07:30 PM
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A few dimensions are missing here

You said you used 1 X boards for the panels which means they are actually 3/4" thick, right? How thick are the rails and stiles, 3/4" also? How deep is the rabbett to have only 1/8" sticking out the back side?
Having the rails and stile and the panels the same dimension is the issue here.... :frown2:

You could also rabbett the front side of the panels to reduce the 1/8" protrusion. You are still stuck with how to retain them even if they are flush.

The full size 1/8" cover on the back side seems to be the only sure method of retention, and certainly the cleanest.

I'm not in favor of any mechanical fasteners. A small molding frame could be used to retain them. I'm not sure how that would look though....?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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You said you used 1 X boards for the panels which means they are actually 3/4" thick, right? How thick are the rails and stiles, 3/4" also? How deep is the rabbett to have only 1/8" sticking out the back side?
Having the rails and stile and the panels the same dimension is the issue here.... :frown2:

You could also rabbett the front side of the panels to reduce the 1/8" protrusion. You are still stuck with how to retain them even if they are flush.

The full size 1/8" cover on the back side seems to be the only sure method of retention, and certainly the cleanest.
Yeah, they're the same. We decided we'd rather have the problems with that than plywood. But yeah, it sticks out more like 3/8". :/ That's so much to plane down....

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I'm not in favor of any mechanical fasteners. A small molding frame could be used to retain them. I'm not sure how that would look though....?
Yeah, that's the other problem. We opted to round the corners of the panels instead of risk chiseling out the corners of the router cut for them to fit.

Just a series of bad decisions. It looks great on the front though. XD
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tomo629 View Post
Sounds like something I would get myself into!! What about something like this


Google: glass retainer hardware


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Thanks for the idea! :D

We'll probably go with 3/8" mirror fasteners like these:

I'm not totally in love with it, but it actually kind of works with the style we're doing. It's kind of a rustic gray theme, so, it's okay. It's probably the best we can do considering what we got ourselves into. Maybe one day we'll hate it enough to change it to what the other's are talking about and plane down the boards, but for now, it works. I think.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:25 PM
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I would replace them with new doors with plywood panels. Twenty years from now, you'll be glad you did.

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelley, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to recognize that an LZ was too hot, moments before before being killed by a single shot, July 1, 1964.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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I would replace them with new doors with plywood panels. Twenty years from now, you'll be glad you did.
These are the new doors...Haha. We really didn't like the look of plywood. So we made a decision. Good or bad. *shrugs* They certainly beat the cabinets that were in there.
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:49 PM
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Okay. :)

I vote we re-visit this issue A) when you decide to replace them, or, B) in twenty years.

You make it twenty years, I'll admit I was wrong. (Of course, I'll be a drooling old man by then, but it's the thought that counts.)

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelley, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to recognize that an LZ was too hot, moments before before being killed by a single shot, July 1, 1964.
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. :)

I vote we re-visit this issue A) when you decide to replace them, or, B) in twenty years.

You make it twenty years, I'll admit I was wrong. (Of course, I'll be a drooling old man by then, but it's the thought that counts.)
Haha. You may very well be right. I think we're just ready to wave the white flag for now. On the plus side, if we do decide to replace them down the road, it will be really easy because we can just remove the panels with a screw driver. Lol.
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 09:54 PM
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Can you post a few pics? Like to see what you have there.
Mike Hawkins:smile3:
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-16-2016, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Can you post a few pics? Like to see what you have there.
Mike Hawkins:smile3:
Sure.

Provided I attached the pictures right... I haven't finished the backs yet. The smallest cabinet there is what we're thinking about doing. Only messy. It's a test piece. Lol.
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-17-2016, 09:06 PM
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FG,
Do you have a thickness planer? I would run those through to get rid of the excess sticking through the back. Then I would use an acrylic caulk that's paintable to glue the panels in with. I made a new kitchen for my son's house he just bought. They're shaker style with birch face frames with a 1/4" dado to accept a 1/2" panel that has its edge rabeted down to a 1/4". Very sturdy, no rattles. They are going to be painted white.
Mike Hawkins:smile3:
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-17-2016, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
FG,
Do you have a thickness planer? I would run those through to get rid of the excess sticking through the back. Then I would use an acrylic caulk that's paintable to glue the panels in with. I made a new kitchen for my son's house he just bought. They're shaker style with birch face frames with a 1/4" dado to accept a 1/2" panel that has its edge rabeted down to a 1/4". Very sturdy, no rattles. They are going to be painted white.
Mike Hawkins:smile3:
No, we don't have a thickness planer. :frown2: Honestly, I don't mind it sticking out too much. Since I made them knowing they would stick out, I made sure that the proportions were right that they wouldn't even come close to the face frame.

I wonder if we should use acrylic caulk even if they are sticking out? Would you suggest doing that?

Very nice looking cabinets btw. Far, far, far beyond my skill level.
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post #17 of 21 Old 08-17-2016, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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FG,
acrylic caulk that's paintable
Would this stuff stick to water based polyurethane?
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-18-2016, 06:38 AM
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Are they flush on the front side?

[QUOTE=ForgottenGold;1453258]No, we don't have a thickness planer. :frown2: Honestly, I don't mind it sticking out too much. Since I made them knowing they would stick out, I made sure that the proportions were right that they wouldn't even come close to the face frame. QUOTE]

Just make a small rabbet all around the front side of the panels to reduce the protrusion on the back side. It's easy to do, and will look better. A router table or a dado set in the table saw will work.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-18-2016, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Just make a small rabbet all around the front side of the panels to reduce the protrusion on the back side. It's easy to do, and will look better. A router table or a dado set in the table saw will work.
I thought about that. But, considering how I am far from an expert, what I'm pretty sure is going to happen is that edge won't connect perfectly to the rails and styles, and we'll end up seeing gaps. I would do this if my skill level was higher and my table saw was better, but neither of those things are the case, and I'm afraid I'll end up making an even bigger mess.

That and it would push the board forward and make it more flat and less shaker styled. *shrugs* It is what it is. I don't hate it. I'm far more worried about how the front looks, so whatever.

Getting it attached is the challenge.
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-18-2016, 10:59 AM
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Give yourself more credit ...

Making a rabbett is not a high skill operation. You set the height of the dado set, set the fence over for width and make a test piece. If it works, run all your panels at that setting. Almost "fool proof" :smile3:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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