Routing out panel cabinet door - Router Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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First Name: Celeste
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Exclamation Routing out panel cabinet door

Hello, this is my not only my first posting but my first time ever even attempting to use a router. I purchased new cabinets for my kitchen and want to replace the raised panel in each door with glass. From trying to research how to do this I came across this web site that seems to be helpful to all different levels of experience. So far, it appears to me I have to rout out the inside wood frame holding panel in about 1/4" back to release the panel. I have a new Dremel Trio with 1/4" router attachment (brand new and sharp) I'm going to attempt to do this job with. I don't have a real router, table or otherwise. My concern is this: I can barely see some sort of small nails just under the wood frame holding the raised panel in. 2 nails each side, barely visible and could possibly be a brad or whatever type of nail cabinet makers use. When running the router slowly across I'm wondering when the router comes upon whatever type of small nail this is, will the router be able to handle it by cutting through it and traveling on? Or,will it jump or skitter across the nail/brad or what? I'm assuming I should take a slow pace and speed with the Dremel in consideration of the light wood that it is and the anticipation of the obvious nails.
thanks. Celeste.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 11:49 AM
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First Name: James
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Hi Celeste, welcome.
This is not going to be an easy task with new doors. How many doors do you need to do? I would not go to the Dremel for this. I would use use a full size router. This will be a delicate task now matter how you look at it. A picture of the front side & backside of a door would help to see what you are facing.

Without seeing your door I can only assume how your center panel is installed. Since the doors are new I would use blue painters tape on all tool baseplates to help soften & protect surface from tool marks. First I would drill a starter hole in center panel large enough for a jig saw blade. Use jig saw to cut out panel staying about 1/8" away from your rails & stiles of your doors to cut out the bulk of the waste. Then use a router with a flush trim bit. Adjust height so bearing will ride on small reveal of the profile on rails & stiles. This is only about 1/8" material at the leading edge of profile where it meets panel. flush up the remaining center panel with the door parts. Next I would use a rabbiting bit (maybe 1/4" to 3/8" hard to tell without looking at door) to route out the backside of door & remaining panel for recess for glass. You probably only need to set deep enough to route the door parts as once this is gone the rest of the center panel might come out easy as it should not be glued in, it should be floating for expansion. The bearing will have to ride on the front side reveal of the profile (again maybe only 1/8" of material).

Hopefully the nails you mentioned are holding the joint at top & bottom of rails & stiles when glued together. If not you will probably ruin the bits by the time you are done. The first door I would do would be the smallest or one that is not front & center in your cabinets. This is so you can get the hang of what you are doing or in case you need to replace a door. This is how I would approach this operation. But this is suggested without seeing the doors & how they are put together & you mentioned that you do not have a table to use. You can always take to a cabinet shop that has more equipment available.

Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!

Last edited by jlord; 01-30-2011 at 11:52 AM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 07:22 PM
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G’day Celeste

Welcome to the router forum.

Thank you for joining us

Sydney, Australia

I don't mind if other members disagree with my comments.
I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

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