Cathedral Style Cabinet Doors Galax VA
M-SA 7 am - 9 pm
SU 9 am - 7 pm
Glade Valley, NC
Cathedral Style Cabinet Doors
Cathedral Style Cabinet Doors
Cathedral raised-panel doors are beautiful, but they can be intimidating to make. After many years of teaching students how to make these doors, I've got a trick or two up my sleeve to simplify the process and remove some of the fear factor. Here's a tried-and-true recipe to help you safely and successfully make beautiful doors.
There are a few specialized tools you must have to make cathedral doors. Start with a suitable router table. It should be equipped with a2-hp or higher variable-speed router that accepts 1/2-in.-shank router bits. You'll also need a band saw or jigsaw for cutting the curves and a set of door-making router bits. The bits and a template set will set you back nearly $400, but they are a big part of what makes this technique airtight. The good news is the router bits are not specific to cathedral-top doors; they can be used to make any frame-and-panel door.
You'll need a two-piece matched rail-and-stile set (about $135) to make the frame. It's easier to get good results with a two-piece set than with a one-piece reversible bit. With a two-piece set, you feed all the pieces face down. Reversible bits use one arbor with removable cutters. Some parts are machined face up, others face down. This often results in poor alignment between rails and stiles. Plus, it's a hassle to have to change cutters on the arbor. Bits with a 1/2-in. shank will produce less chatter and a smoother cut than those with 1/4-in. shank.
The end-grain cutter is used only on the rail ends and produces the tongue and the mating profile to the molded edge. The depth of cut is controlled by a bearing that rides against the tongue. Mark a number 1on the end of the shaft with a permanent marker, because it's the first cutter you'll use.
The long-grain cutter is used on the inside edge of all the frame pieces. It makes the groove for both the panel and the tongue on the end of the rails. It also forms the molded edge you see around the inside of the frame. Label this bit with the number 2.
Usea back-cutting panel raiser (about $150) to make the panel. The main cutter cuts a broad profile in the face of the panel. At the same time, the back cutter sweeps material off the back of the panel to leave a perfectly sized tongue for the groove in the frame. Our favorite bits come with two bearings: The large-diameter bearing is used for the first pass and the small bearing for the final pass.
Make the Frame
First, cut all the frame pieces (see “Sizing a Door,”). For a good-looking, stable door, make the frame from straight-grained wood. Next, on your router table, set up the end-grain cutter for machining the rail ends. Cutting end grain before long grain helps prevent blow-out on the rails. Here's a memory device for you: Machine the Rails before the Stiles, because R comes before S in the alphabet. Mark the back of all the frame pieces. They get ...