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I just got finished build my protype of a cabinet door.  It took me three times to get it right.  I used pre primed 3x1 pine finger jointed.  I cut the styles and railes down to 2".  And cut the t&g on the table saw.

My issue is I don't know if the pine was too soft. Because when I dry fit the project, and dissemblance the style would break.  I wonted to know if my joint is to tight or should I upgrade my wood?  

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Hey Robert, it sounds to me like your joint is too tight.  You want just a little bit of room on your tongues to allow for some glue, the rails and stiles should slip together during a dryfit, you shouldn't have to force them.  If you are planning on painting your doors I would suggest going to poplar or soft maple, these are harder and do take paint a lot better than pine. 

I've used pine for doors before. I would agree that the joints are too tight. A little snug is OK, but it shouldn't take a lot of force to put them together during dry fit.

Hi Robert - Pine will work OK, at least it did for the 15 I built last fall. Sounds like your joint is to tight. As was pointed out it just needs to be a slip fit. I used MDF for the panels, that avoids expansion issues for paint grade projects and you can glue the panel in place making for a much stronger assembly. For pine, you do need a good stain sealing primer like Zinsser Cover Stain or BIN. A water base primer may or may not seal any pitch that can ooze from the stuff.

Good Luck

One of the problems could have been was that I was cutting the T&G using a single saw blade instead of a dado blade.  I have a router set from Summerfeld http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/3-Pc-Tongue-Groove-Cabinetmaking-Set...  but my Craftsman router table's insert is off by about a 1/32 of an inch.  So I'll try again next weekend.  

John

Did you use a table saw or router fort those doors? What I am trying to do is more craftsmanship less sand paper and wood filler. 

John Schaben said:

Hi Robert - Pine will work OK, at least it did for the 15 I built last fall. Sounds like your joint is to tight. As was pointed out it just needs to be a slip fit. I used MDF for the panels, that avoids expansion issues for paint grade projects and you can glue the panel in place making for a much stronger assembly. For pine, you do need a good stain sealing primer like Zinsser Cover Stain or BIN. A water base primer may or may not seal any pitch that can ooze from the stuff.

Good Luck

Hi Robert, as a cabinet and furniture maker I build doors out of all types of woods including pine.  I see one thing in your post of which I would tend to stay away from and that is the finger jointed pine for the rails and stiles. 

I would look very closely at the locations of the break in the stiles and consider that these are stressed not only by assembly but with the normal opening and closing of the door.  This is why I use 13/16 thich material as a way to get extra material thichness on each side of the panel groove.  The groove needs to be about 1/16 inch larger that the panel giving the panel about 1/32 inch on each side of the groove.  Since the panel has not been in the stile rail groove long enough to suffer from expansion it will not be your problem.  It will how ever become a factor in the coming days after the doors are assembled and put into use.

I agree with the gentlemen that stated that the groove might be too tight.  The panels have to have room to expand and contract.  I leave 1/4 inch expansion for the panel and place rubber expansion strips  or space balls in the stile groove to keep the panel tight but leave it where it will expand without blowing the door apart. This means that you have to cut the groove  about 1/2 inch deep and the panel to fit leaving 1/8  inch on each side. The space balls or rubber strips with take care of this preventing ratteling or panel movement.

I use the Sommerfeld cabinet making bit set as well and have for years finding it an excellent set but also build the tenon style door made on the table saw and following the guide lines discussed above do no have any problems with pine doors or other wood type doors.

The large arched door photos that I recently posted are examples of my method and I have made the same size and styles in pine that has given years of use in both home and commercial use.  If interested I recently posted a slide show of how I build these doors using a router table.  You can find the post under my projects posted under arched doors.  Good luck and if you have questions feel free to contact me. 

Hi Robert - I made all the doors on the router table, just cutting to initial size on the table saw. Personally I prefer making  tongues, rabbets and dados with a router. I get much better results, probably because I just use Freuds super economy dado set. Not a bad set but not really top of the line either. Anyway, I used a slot cutter for the grooves to hold the panels and a staight bit for the stub tenons. You could actually use either bit for both operations.

robert smith said:

One of the problems could have been was that I was cutting the T&G using a single saw blade instead of a dado blade.  I have a router set from Summerfeld http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/3-Pc-Tongue-Groove-Cabinetmaking-Set...  but my Craftsman router table's insert is off by about a 1/32 of an inch.  So I'll try again next weekend.  

So I did some modifications to my Craftsman router table, I am going to try to make the doors again this weekend. Don't buy this router table there is a manufacturer flaw in the collar.  It is off by about 1/32"  http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00928140000P

Hi Robert - I'm trying to understand your issue with the table. Being off center on the table, or even the plate, by 1/32" shouldn't be really a big deal unless you are trying to use guide bushings to control the workpiece. If you are guiding off a fence or a bearing, centering of the router is inconsequential.

Jay

I just got finished making the stiles and rails with the Summerfeld T&G bit.  The tongue on the rail is about 1/64" longer than the joint. Leaving a small gap on the corners of the door and no room to glue.  I was going to trim off about a 16" off the tongue.  Have you ever ran into this problem?

Jay Boutwell said:

Hi Robert, as a cabinet and furniture maker I build doors out of all types of woods including pine.  I see one thing in your post of which I would tend to stay away from and that is the finger jointed pine for the rails and stiles. 

I would look very closely at the locations of the break in the stiles and consider that these are stressed not only by assembly but with the normal opening and closing of the door.  This is why I use 13/16 thich material as a way to get extra material thichness on each side of the panel groove.  The groove needs to be about 1/16 inch larger that the panel giving the panel about 1/32 inch on each side of the groove.  Since the panel has not been in the stile rail groove long enough to suffer from expansion it will not be your problem.  It will how ever become a factor in the coming days after the doors are assembled and put into use.

I agree with the gentlemen that stated that the groove might be too tight.  The panels have to have room to expand and contract.  I leave 1/4 inch expansion for the panel and place rubber expansion strips  or space balls in the stile groove to keep the panel tight but leave it where it will expand without blowing the door apart. This means that you have to cut the groove  about 1/2 inch deep and the panel to fit leaving 1/8  inch on each side. The space balls or rubber strips with take care of this preventing ratteling or panel movement.

I use the Sommerfeld cabinet making bit set as well and have for years finding it an excellent set but also build the tenon style door made on the table saw and following the guide lines discussed above do no have any problems with pine doors or other wood type doors.

The large arched door photos that I recently posted are examples of my method and I have made the same size and styles in pine that has given years of use in both home and commercial use.  If interested I recently posted a slide show of how I build these doors using a router table.  You can find the post under my projects posted under arched doors.  Good luck and if you have questions feel free to contact me. 

Robert I have often ran into the situation where I have had to adjust the tennon length to make a tight fitting joint.  One 64th of an inch is getting real close to what you are seeking and in fact is near perfect.  I would trim off the tennon the same way you are thinking and you should have a tight joint.  I might not take a full 1/16 of an inch though as this will leave a gap in the end of the tennon.  I think I might try just sandpaper and and then clamp tight.  Remember the glue will cause the wood to swell some.

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