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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I need some help with building cabinet/closet doors. The images below show you what I have now and the style I’m going for.

Now:


Going for (note I just want two sets of French doors so the small doors up top and drawers on the left in the photo below don’t apply):

If this isn’t clear I can highlight the part of the image I’m trying to copy.

After doing some reading (I’m new to wood working) I’m thinking of doing a flat panel, rail and stile for the doors. I think this is the right terminology. The rail would have a tenon to fit into the tongue on the stile I believe.

This would all be painted white so probably just 1x4 pine for the rail and stiles and ¼ ply for the panel. Another reason is I don’t have a lot of tools and while I don’t mind spending some to accumulate tools I don’t have much of a budget outside of materials and I think most of this can just be done on a table saw. I’d need to get a dado blade but that should be it.

I do have access to a number of other tools as my brother is a contractor although again from reading it seems a router table and bits would be needed (he has a P/C router I could borrow) if I didn’t want to do it with the table saw. I don’t plan on cutting 24 tenons by hand.

The rest of the construction as far as framing, mortising hinges and so forth I’m comfortable with.
 

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What are some of your questions? I personally would steer clear of pine(too soft IMO ) but use poplar and mdf for the panels.
 

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To my eyes the doors you want seem to have an applied molding. Easy to do if you have a router table, or you might be able to buy some molding and just do the miters (or my eyes could be playing tricks on me). But I want to second the motion to use poplar. It won't be much more expensive, and will paint a whole lot better. MDF would make great panels for that type of door, just keep the weight in mind. I do really like that look you're going for, should be a fun project! Bear in mind painted projects (IMHO) harder to do than clear coated ones. Any imperfection in the surface will telegraph right though the paint; and you will likely want to ask about the proper paints to use.
 

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What are some of your questions? I personally would steer clear of pine(too soft IMO ) but use poplar and mdf for the panels.
I've used poplar for other projects so thanks for the tip, I figured the white primed boards at the depot would work. As to questions I meant is the strategy I laid out a good one or could it be done easier or more efficiently another way? I’ve never built doors or panels before; framing, drywall, trim work but not custom doors or furniture.


To my eyes the doors you want seem to have an applied molding. Easy to do if you have a router table, or you might be able to buy some molding and just do the miters (or my eyes could be playing tricks on me). But I want to second the motion to use poplar. It won't be much more expensive, and will paint a whole lot better. MDF would make great panels for that type of door, just keep the weight in mind. I do really like that look you're going for, should be a fun project! Bear in mind painted projects (IMHO) harder to do than clear coated ones. Any imperfection in the surface will telegraph right though the paint; and you will likely want to ask about the proper paints to use.
I never noticed if the depot sold ¼ inch MDF, I’ve always used ½ or ¾ for my other projects. I guess hardboard could be an option. I’ll check the cost locally.

You are right it looks like in the picture they have a routed edge, I’m OK without that as the trim in other parts of the house doesn’t have any. Well most of it. I can always make or add some molding and miter it. I’ve done that on bookcases.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Have you considered using MDF door slabs?
Do you mean slab doors like this?
http://www.homedepot.com/p/JELD-WEN-Craftsman-Smooth-3-Panel-Primed-Molded-Interior-Door-Slab-THDJW137100138/202646595?N=1z0uk32%2FNtk-All%2FNtt-Interior%252BDoor%252BSlab%3FNtx%3Dmode%252Bmatchall%26NCNI-5%26lowerBound%3D10%26upperBound%3D100#.UqJEK9JDuuk

I guess that would save a lot of time but I think my concern would be height. I assume 80" is as tall as they go unless I wanted to order custom doors I'd like the doors to be almost floor to ceiling so I had only planned on 3-4" of trim up top.

The textured ceiling will be covered by white planks so I need some sort of bulkhead or I'd do full floor to ceiling doors.

Room height is 96" and I'd like something at least 90-92" so I don't have to mess with framing a bulkhead, drywall, mud, tape, yadda yadda.
 

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I never noticed if the depot sold ¼ inch MDF, I’ve always used ½ or ¾ for my other projects. I guess hardboard could be an option. I’ll check the cost locally.

You are right it looks like in the picture they have a routed edge, I’m OK without that as the trim in other parts of the house doesn’t have any. Well most of it. I can always make or add some molding and miter it. I’ve done that on bookcases.

Actually HD is the only place I've found 1/4" MDF, but only in 2'x4' pieces. That may be large enough for you though. BTW, an "applied molding" isn't the same as a router edge. The molding is a separate piece, and applied to the door at the edge of the rail/stile against the panel. On painted doors, I usually glue them in and hold them with pin nails, the holes are so small the paint usually fills it. I make mine on a router table, but you may well be able to buy something that meets your tastes. But it's also possible that is just a routed edge, you just need to figure which you want; the applied molding gives it a little more depth.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Actually HD is the only place I've found 1/4" MDF, but only in 2'x4' pieces. That may be large enough for you though. BTW, an "applied molding" isn't the same as a router edge. The molding is a separate piece, and applied to the door at the edge of the rail/stile against the panel. On painted doors, I usually glue them in and hold them with pin nails, the holes are so small the paint usually fills it. I make mine on a router table, but you may well be able to buy something that meets your tastes. But it's also possible that is just a routed edge, you just need to figure which you want; the applied molding gives it a little more depth.
That is an option as well, I've done that on other projects.
 

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design1stcode2nd said:
I've used poplar for other projects so thanks for the tip, I figured the white primed boards at the depot would work. As to questions I meant is the strategy I laid out a good one or could it be done easier or more efficiently another way? I’ve never built doors or panels before; framing, drywall, trim work but not custom doors or furniture. I never noticed if the depot sold ¼ inch MDF, I’ve always used ½ or ¾ for my other projects. I guess hardboard could be an option. I’ll check the cost locally. You are right it looks like in the picture they have a routed edge, I’m OK without that as the trim in other parts of the house doesn’t have any. Well most of it. I can always make or add some molding and miter it. I’ve done that on bookcases.

Yup a good dado blade set up accurately and a decent mitre gauge /fence and should be good to go.
 

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You could use slab type doors. For heights like that, break up the combination of heights to be both convenient, and less likely to warp. In the picture below, the overall height is 110", and slab Maple doors were used just to cover a closet opening. Couldn't get back far enough to get a total picture.
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maple closet.jpg





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