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I have asked for information on making flat panel(slab door) cabinets for a laundry room and an add-on room for my kitchen.  I only seem to get information on raised panel.  I really need some good directions, especially on how to make the doors so they do not warp and even a good easy free woodworkers calculator for figuring out material to make them.  Any help would be hugely appreciated.  Thanks!

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If you type in flat panel cabinets and doors in the search box  top right hand side of page , there are many Ides and posts with good info. !!!!!

Stephanie I just sent you a link to building doors per your request.

I memtioned that they are build the same way as the raised panel.  The only difference is that there is a few steps that you only omit and forget about raising the panel and or cutting the arch in the top rail.  Make the top rail the same as the lower rail.  (2-7/16" wide).  Be sure that you add the space balls and or some other type of foam or rubber in the groove and rails to prevent the panel from rattling.

As far as figuring out the sizes of the doors, that is easy if you are using 1/2" overlay doors which I recommend as the inset are much more of a challenge.  You see how this is done in the slideshow.  Directions are on the photos.  I also sent a link to sources and if nothing else take a look at the catalogue on page 30 and you will find the directions and illustrations on the building using the cope and stile bits.   Questions feel free to contact me.

Flat panel blues,

I have a solution you your flat panel situation. If you use an adjustable router bit set (with plywood inset on the door) you will have more success. Go to my pictures and you will see some kitchens I have done with flat panel doors and they have remained warp free for several years now. Any questions, let me know...I can tell you where you can get a great bit set and the process to construct the doors!

Nicholas

So I apologize for my error in terminology and hopefully did not waste too many people of their time.  I have slab cabinets doors not flat panel.  So much to learn.  Flat panel sounded like it should be right, but it wasn't.  

Stephanie,  No need to apologize as it was an opportunity to make others aware of the terminology that does exhist in cabinet building.  It was also an opportunity to make others aware that if you ask the questions someone will answer.  I am sure you learned something just by asking the question.  Now when you do wish to build the cope and stick type of door you will have some idea as to how they are done.

 

I do not feel that it was a waste of time as it did give others an opportunit to learn something too.  Reguardless of what many feel all the answers are not on Google and since Google is used so many times to answer questions it means that they too have to look it up so they had to learn something too.   So Please by all means always ask and I am sure someone can answer your questions.  This is what this community was origionally formed for.

Stephanie H said:

So I apologize for my error in terminology and hopefully did not waste too many people of their time.  I have slab cabinets doors not flat panel.  So much to learn.  Flat panel sounded like it should be right, but it wasn't.  

Stephanie H,

To insure less warping on slab doors, you need to fasten (at the top and bottom) of the inside of the door, two strips of wood going horizontally. I built a kitchen out of hickory (famous for warping) using slab doors and had no problem with the doors warping. Any questions, let me know.

Nicholas Kostella

Custom Cabinetry by Design

Good points, Jay.

Jay Boutwell said:

Stephanie,  No need to apologize as it was an opportunity to make others aware.../p>

Good point, Nick.

Thanks for mentioning this.

I too experienced some warpage, when I used some boards that were over 6-8" wide.

On some subquent builds, making some slab doors, I made the strips like 3-4" wide---

alternating the strips, edge glued them, grain cupped UP and next strip grain cupped DOWN, and this solved a warping issue.

I also made some doors, using plywood, and veneered the edges around the perimeter---

turned out good. 


Nicholas W. Kostella, Jr said:

Stephanie H,

To insure less warping on slab doors, you need to fasten (at the top and bottom) of the inside of the door, two strips of wood going horizontally. .../p>

I wonder why everyone tries to confuse the issue with building cabinet doors.  For better that 27 years I have been building cabinets as a profession,  building all sizes of doors of all types.  Amoung these have been many slab door which are pieces of stock glued up side by side to form a flat surface of which is then cut to size.  An edge treatement is applied usually a bull nose of a cove to make the outside a presentable looking door.  If a person practices good wood and grain selection, warping and or bending is not found.  In these doors I have built some that are over 5 feet in height and never have problems with warping.  Hickory is mentioned here as being a wood known to warp, and that happens to be some of my favorite wood of which is a very stable wood if it is prepared and selected correctly. 

  The doors that warp and bow the most is the cope and stick 5 piece door that has a 1/4 inch thick panel inside.  Even these can be built with little warpage by selecting the wood that is well prepared and correctly cured with little moisture content.  Most of the doors that I have found that are warped are those which are built with stock that is cupped, bowed, and or twisted when it was used to build the door panel and or frames.

 

It is getting where I see too many times where someone will request some help only to have answers that are Googled up from the internet and or have so many opinions that make the question so confused that it has little meaning to the origional intent.  I am not meaning to step on toes here but in reality how does a person get the answer when there are so many answers that confuse a person. 

 

If a person gives someone and answer then that person should explain why and how.  In this case do you inset the horizonal pieces or just glue and screw them on like the old style plank board doors seen in the early days.

If someone is going to answer someones question then it should be fully explained and not just mentioned.

It is the the incomplete answer that makes the confussion.

 
Nicholas W. Kostella, Jr said:

Stephanie H,

To insure less warping on slab doors, you need to fasten (at the top and bottom) of the inside of the door, two strips of wood going horizontally. I built a kitchen out of hickory (famous for warping) using slab doors and had no problem with the doors warping. Any questions, let me know.

Nicholas Kostella

Custom Cabinetry by Design

Well Jay got you beat by 3 years building custom cabinetry and furniture. LOL. You did not pay attention to the request. It is not a recessed panel (5 piece) door the question was asked about. It was a SLAB door...and yes, if hickory is used on a SLAB door, stiffeners need to be used! You forgot to take into consideration the humidity in whatever area of the country they live in. So, I didn't Google anything...my answer was based on experience.

Nicholas Kostella

Well not trying to start a big argument here but the original question that I got was for me to re-post my slide show about building a flat panel door of which does include a 5 piece door that has a flat panel in it.  The word "slab door" never came about until about after I posted the slideshow and a response was returned back to me about not knowing the correct wording.  Along with that was two photographs that were an actual sample of what the person was needing.  The pictures were slab doors which is still a flat panel door depending on what you consider a flat panel door.  The difference being that a flat panel is something that is just that and usually considered to be a 1/4" thick flat piece that is usually, but not always plywood, and the other is a raised panel door where the panel is raised using a panel raising bit.   In this same classification you can find both square framed doors and also arched framed doors.   

 In the category of flat panel doors that would also include a plank style door. The methods of building them differ some using a router with door building bits and others a table saw with a dado blade and or a mortise machine and bit.  Otherwise multiple methods and tools differ from door to door and the person building them.

I have been around cabinet and furniture building a long time and have dealt with and build many of all the known styles Including European styles and have yet seen the need for any horizontal bracing or added features to the door and I have build many that are 5 feet and better in height and 24 and better is width.  I have never had a problem with warping and or becoming out square.

My point here is why is horizontal bracing not found in all of the cabinets that are found all over the world and last many years without problems including rough use and are normally replaced due to owners wanting to change styles and or add on to cabinets.  I have not yet seen one commercially made with braces other that one that are custom made to copy some of the old style doors seen in many "Country" style and or "Rustic".

You are telling me that Hickory is one that you need to add these braces to.  Like I have said hickory is one of my favorite woods and I have never had warping or bowing problems.  I have cabinets out there that have been in use for better that 25 years and these are in homes and businesses and are working without problems.  That tells me volumes about how to build doors and cabinets that last.  I build high end custom cabinets and many are in multi-million dollar homes.  In short I only write and give anyone instructions if I can back it up from my own personal experience. 

I have cabinet that are scattered as far back as Colorado and into northern California so I do take into consideration about humidity and the changes of the heat and cold as well as moisture.  I live in the Pacific Northwest where the climate is one extreme to the next between rain and dry.  It might be noted there too that the person whom asked the question is also from the Pacific Northwest.

I never said that you Google anything I am saying that I have many times seen pieces that are posted on here in answer to a question of which the information came from Google.  I know so as I have been reading this communities writing for a very long time and I know the method of writing of most and when it suddenly differs then it tells me that it came from a source rather than from experience. 

 I have even taken the time to look at some and why is it that I find the writing to be exact wording including photos and diagrams that you find on Google.  I am not the only one on here that has noted this.  

The problem that prompted me to write about this is that normally when a  person whom asked the question is trying to learn.  Suddenly there is a mass of multiple ideas and instructions, diagrams and things that confuse the one asking the question.  The thing is that when a person gives someone some instructions on how to do something they should explain it fully so that they understand.  This is seldom done and it leaves the person not only confused but actually discourages them from doing woodwork. There is seldom a photo explaining the method and sometimes it takes more than words to explain something. 

There many ways to do woodwork and that is why it is important to show your work in detail.  Just saying how you do something is not sufficient to explain to someone who is trying to learn.  Even with as much experience as I have when you say to "fasten two strips of wood going  horizontal" does not tell me the method that you use.  Are they "inset" into the wood or "surfaced" mounted and how are the fastened,  glue and nails or screws? 

I am sorry that you and I have a difference of opinion and I would like to see your method as maybe it would be of interest to me in future projects.  I just do not want to see members who are asking to learn become confused and not understand why something is done that way it is. 

Take care, jay



Nicholas W. Kostella, Jr said:

Well Jay got you beat by 3 years building custom cabinetry and furniture. LOL. You did not pay attention to the request. It is not a recessed panel (5 piece) door the question was asked about. It was a SLAB door...and yes, if hickory is used on a SLAB door, stiffeners need to be used! You forgot to take into consideration the humidity in whatever area of the country they live in. So, I didn't Google anything...my answer was based on experience.

Nicholas Kostella

All of my kitchen and bathroom cabinets are oak.  I live in the PNW like Jay does.  None of my cabinets have stiffeners, not even sure what that is.  Solid wood strips glued together is what they are.  I posted pictures to show what I have so I would not waste anyone times trying to help me out with information that did not pertain to my situation.  Terminology is a bit confusing to me at times, but I take it in, learn and remember.  I just keep building on my database of knowledge.

Nicholas W. Kostella, Jr said:

Well Jay got you beat by 3 years building custom cabinetry and furniture. LOL. You did not pay attention to the request. It is not a recessed panel (5 piece) door the question was asked about. It was a SLAB door...and yes, if hickory is used on a SLAB door, stiffeners need to be used! You forgot to take into consideration the humidity in whatever area of the country they live in. So, I didn't Google anything...my answer was based on experience.

Nicholas Kostella

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