How to Make Shaker Cabinet Doors

Shaker cabinet doors are trendy and compatible with all modern furniture. They are timeless and classy style. However, if you have cabinet doors for years, you may need to paint them to look new. On the one hand, painting makes a considerable difference to remain them still dated.  

On the other hand, you can make new shaker cabinet doors for the cost of painting old doors. It’s not a joke at all. Making a shaker cabinet door is still incredibly comfortable and cost-effective. You don't need to be expert but have a little knowledge of cutting and assembling cabinets.

So, follow the instructions given below and make shaker cabinet doors for your kitchen.

Required Materials to Make Shaker Cabinet Doors

  • 3 and ½ inch plywood
  • Wood Filler
  • Quality 3/4″ wood for the rails and stiles
  • 1×3 boards for frames
  • ¼-inch plywood for panel
  • 1 ¼ inch pocket hole screws
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper or sanding blocks
  • Wood putty

Required Tools to Make Shaker Cabinet Doors

  • Miter Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Table saw
  • Clamps

Before going on the instructions,you should learn the basics of the cabinet doors.

  • The Panel- These are the center of the cabinet door.
  • Stiles- The boards which run across vertically the sides of the door.
  • Rails- The boards which run across horizontally across the bottom as well as the top of the door.

Easy Steps to Make Shaker Cabinet Door

Once you have all the tools and materials, now it’s time to manufacture your shaker cabinets. So, follow the below instructions by steps and get a trendy and classic door.

Determine Shaker Style

Shaker cabinet comes with different styles and things. But, people like it more its simplicity, quality, functionality, and innovative design. It is quite plain in design with rectangular stiles and rails which are made of the plain flat panel.

Determine the Cabinet Size

Determining the cabinet size is pretty simple. At first, measure the opening of the cabinet and add the desired overlap. The standard size is ½ inch. Here, you may be confused about measuring the cabinet. For example: if you want your cabinet size to be 17"x37”, you must have the cabinet door be 18”x 38”.

Then measure the total width and height of the door and subtract 5” from the total. Then cut two 1/3s lengths from the board. Cut all the frame boards you need from the board at one time. It lessens your work as it is required again and again.

Construct Frame and Panel

Shaker cabinet is quite easy to build. A cabinet door usually requires a panel, two rails, and two stiles. The stiles run for the height of the cabinet while the rails run between the stiles. However, you can use either a table saw or a router table for cutting and sizing the frames. In this article, I am going to use a table saw to cut the plywood and board. You can also use a router table in the absence of the table saw.

Cut the cabinet door size

As the size of the cabinet door depends on several factors such as hinge type, overlay type, and single vs. paired doors. But, the standard overlay size for the hinge is 3/4". If you take the standard measurement as a novice, you can efficiently complete the entire process without much complexity.

So, when we take the vertical opening of the cabinet, we’ll add ¾” overlay to the top as well as to the bottom of the cabinet. The overlay will be added to the stile height of the cabinet door.

Now, it's time to measure and cut the rail of the door. It seems a little bit hard, but we follow the easiest way. At first, measure the whole width of the door and then subtract the stiles measurement from the total. You’ll get the actual measurement of the rails. Now, add the length of the tenons on each side of the rails.

Build Stiles for Shaker Cabinet Doors

Now, take 2 inch wide stiles which are 3/4-inch thick. Then rip them down to 2 inches wide. After ripping the stiles, cut them to the required length. You can use stop blocks here to make the stiles identical in length.

Once you cut the exact length of the stiles, next, it's time to cut a dado along the edge. Remember that, the width must be matchedwith the thickness of the door panel.Here, you can use a ¼ inch thick MDF board to cut the dado. The dado will be set for a thin shim to allow the panel from buckling.

Build Stiles for Shaker Cabinet Doors

Once the stiles are completed, rip down the board 2 inches wide for the rails. After that, cut them down to the required length by using a tenoning jig. You can cut several extra pieces of the rails (if you are suspicious for the exact measurement). Now, use the parts to fit the rails in the dado.

Build Panels for Shaker Cabinet Doors

Door panels are the center parts of the cabinet door. Making a door panel is the easiest part of the entire process. You can make a simple, plain or a complicated design board. So, when you cut the board for the door panel, think about the opening frame, additional depth, and the width and the height of the dado. If your dado is 1/2- inch depth, make sure that the height and the width will be 7/8-inch respectively.

Assemble the parts for the Cabinet Door Frame

Once you build all three parts, now it’s high time you assembled the cabinet frame. So, make sure that all the cuts are accurate to fit into the stiles and the rails like a glove. Here, you can use quality wood glue to make it stable. However, never try to apply glue to the door panel. Otherwise, the door panel will be subjected to stresses from shrinkage and expansion.

So, it's better to apply wood glue to the rails and the stiles and then insert the panel into it. Use clamps to make the joint strong. You can also use Kreg Jig to make all the parts tight enough and dry for any season as well as any weather to last for years.

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