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Hi guys, this my first visit to this forum. I am a novice to router work. My problem is that I have thermofoil (plastic) over MDF cabinets in my kitchen. I removed the thermofoil covering, and had them painted. NOW comes the issue. The wife wants me to router out the center door section of 4 cabinet doors, so I can put glass on the back side of the cabinet doors, showing the contents...any recommendations for the router bit material, that is best for this application ? The RPM speed that is best for this job ? I have read that the glue in the MDF kills the bits. Have been to a few cabinet shops, all they want to do is order me new doors, which "look like" the ones I have...appreciate any input...thank you in advance...Jim
 

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Good idea, MDF is wicked stuff to route,from the standpoint of the fine dust. Make sure you have good dust collection and a good mask.

You might consider cutting out the hole smaller than the finished opening, then cleaning up the saw cut with a router and straight bit, and template. Then turn over the door and use a rabet bit to rabet a shoulder for the glass to set, and for wood stops to hold the glass in place.
Another way would be to rabet from the front and install a decorative molding stop on the front side.

Welcome to the forum you will like it here, I am sure you will get many different ideas from the members.
Herb
 

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Hi Mutley and welcome. I would do what Herb said but here is a bit more detail. First you need to cut the hole for the glass into the doors. I would cut the hole a little small and then use a down shear spiral bit or straight bit with a down shear angle to cut the hole cleanly to size. You can get those bits with guide bearings on them which would allow you to clamp a board flush to the outside edge of the doors and follow the inside edge with the bearing. It's up to you how wide you want that to be. Once done you would rout the rabbet for the glass with a bearing guided rabetting bit. The only problem you'll have doing that is that the corners will be rounded. You may need to square them with a chisel after you rout.
 

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Good advice Chuck wrote, I might add to it is. Reapply the plastic lam to the face before you make the cut out, but if you prefer not to and apply it after the hole is cut, then re-glue it on and rough cut it to the hole and finish cut the hole size with the p-lam installed.

Another thing I was thinking is thatyou could maybe use glazer points to hold the glass in, but MDF doesn't hold nails or things like that well.
https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=.glazier+points+&atb=v1-1&iax=images&ia=images

Maybe you could set the glass flush to the back and use some other type of hardware because wooden stops might have to be glued in permenently to hold the glass.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=glass+sto...ffnt&atb=v1-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images
and if the glass is broken to replace it might become a real problem.

HErb
 

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Hi Mutley and welcome. I would do what Herb said but here is a bit more detail. First you need to cut the hole for the glass into the doors. I would cut the hole a little small and then use a down shear spiral bit or straight bit with a down shear angle to cut the hole cleanly to size. You can get those bits with guide bearings on them which would allow you to clamp a board flush to the outside edge of the doors and follow the inside edge with the bearing. It's up to you how wide you want that to be. Once done you would rout the rabbet for the glass with a bearing guided rabetting bit. The only problem you'll have doing that is that the corners will be rounded. You may need to square them with a chisel after you rout.
leave the inside corners round..
 
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leave the inside corners round..
If possible I probably would too. It's just a matter of sizing the glass to fit that way. Or getting the corners clipped off.
 

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If possible I probably would too. It's just a matter of sizing the glass to fit that way. Or getting the corners clipped off.
rabbet for the glass abs square those corners...
leave the show corners round...

build new frames from poplar w/ half lap joints and paint them...
you know the MDF will fail at some point...
 
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If possible I probably would too. It's just a matter of sizing the glass to fit that way. Or getting the corners clipped off.
I think I would square them up for the glass,with a chisel and the opening too. Have to be really careful that they are neat 90°, it will show right off if they are not. Sometimes in the opening corners I use a sanding block with the paper bent at a tight 90°to give a clean 90° corner.
HErb
 

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1... Hi guys, this my first visit to this forum. I am a novice to router work.
2... The wife wants me to router out the center door section of 4 cabinet doors, so I can put glass on the back side of the cabinet doors, showing the contents...
3... any recommendations for the router bit material, that is best for this application ?
4... The RPM speed that is best for this job ?
5... I have read that the glue in the MDF kills the bits.

1....

Hello and welcome to the forums N/A...
We're happy you found us...

About that inquisitiveness of yours... We are all over that, we can help, we really can, w/ have some ''light reading'' for you...
We've gathered together a bunch of pertinent/relative information on routering in this here link ... You should find everything (at least most) quite useful, a lot of help and get you off to a running start in the world of routers... Enjoy...

Do take some time to read the safety PDF's... PLEASE!!!
Blood and trips to the ER, we find, are very annoying... Not to mention – expensive...

We do welcome all questions here on about any subject you can come up w/ also....
Not only that, we excel at spending your money...

2...
hog out the hole w/ a saw and clean up the cut w/ a bearing guided panel/trim bit...
see the picture on how to make an easy straight guide for the clean up w/ scrap...
either rabbet a receiver to accept the glass or face mount it using clips to hold the glass in place....
keep in mind that MDF doesn't hold fasteners well...
3...
Links included as we march along...
4...
see attached charts...
5...
true... speeds up the process...

Notes/suggestions:

build new frames from poplar (so easy to work w/ and takes paint really well) w/ half lap joints and paint them... (see half-lap illustrations/PDF's)...
cut a glass rabbet...
edge profile the frame if required...

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi guys, this my first visit to this forum. I am a novice to router work. My problem is that I have thermofoil (plastic) over MDF cabinets in my kitchen. I removed the thermofoil covering, and had them painted. NOW comes the issue. The wife wants me to router out the center door section of 4 cabinet doors, so I can put glass on the back side of the cabinet doors, showing the contents...any recommendations for the router bit material, that is best for this application ? The RPM speed that is best for this job ? I have read that the glue in the MDF kills the bits. Have been to a few cabinet shops, all they want to do is order me new doors, which "look like" the ones I have...appreciate any input...thank you in advance...Jim
WOW, such a quick and informative response...have a lot of reading to do...thanks guys
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good idea, MDF is wicked stuff to route,from the standpoint of the fine dust. Make sure you have good dust collection and a good mask.

You might consider cutting out the hole smaller than the finished opening, then cleaning up the saw cut with a router and straight bit, and template. Then turn over the door and use a rabet bit to rabet a shoulder for the glass to set, and for wood stops to hold the glass in place.
Another way would be to rabet from the front and install a decorative molding stop on the front side.

Welcome to the forum you will like it here, I am sure you will get many different ideas from the members.
Herb
Great response from all.... looks like I have a great deal of research to do...thanks to all...Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good idea, MDF is wicked stuff to route,from the standpoint of the fine dust. Make sure you have good dust collection and a good mask.

You might consider cutting out the hole smaller than the finished opening, then cleaning up the saw cut with a router and straight bit, and template. Then turn over the door and use a rabet bit to rabet a shoulder for the glass to set, and for wood stops to hold the glass in place.
Another way would be to rabet from the front and install a decorative molding stop on the front side.

Welcome to the forum you will like it here, I am sure you will get many different ideas from the members.
Herb
Hi Herb, My thought on the job is very similar to yours, with the exception of rabbet the back side of the door, to inlay the glass. I am concerned that bc I am cutting and router on the inset part of a raised panel door, I could wind up with chipping of the MDF, if MDF is removed from both the front and back. Am inclined to just put small pilot holes on inside of the door, and hold the glass on the door with clips... I hope my thoughts are conveyed clearly here. Sometimes things get fuzzy from head to keyboard. Once again thank you and the rest of the members for their input...Jim
 

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If the doors were professionally made then there is a good chance that they were made with the higher density MDF. MDF comes in 3 densities that I know of. The higher density grade routes better with sharper crisper profiles and will sand smoother. It would also hold fasteners better. If I was using the low density grade I might just rabbet both sides and form a tenon around the opening. Then you could make a solid wooden frame on each side of the door and screw them to each other. The frame would just float in the opening, being held in place by the tenon and the glass would fit between them.

Melamine coated particle board also comes in different densities. The cabinet shop I worked at for a short while had some of the low grade stuff and you couldn't get a fastener tight in that stuff before the hole would strip out.
 
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