rawdoors.net and similar internet sources?

colin3May 19, 2011

I want to make a bunch of kitchen cabinets. I can make good carcasses, but I'm not set up to do joinery. (I'd also like face frames with flush doors, which raises the stakes a little).

So I'm wondering about using a place like rawdoors.net to make the doors and face frames. Has anyone here tried them, or similar businesses? Any thoughts or guidance would be welcome.

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If you can do the carcases, I think you should be able to do the face frames.

The wood suppliers I use most often sell "cabinet facing" stock. This is s4s stock ripped to spec - 1 by 2, 2.5, 3, whatever you want.

Next you need to just be able to accurately measure and cut a square cross cut. A miter saw, even one in a simple wood miter box should be able to do this.

There are several simple joinery techniques, aided by some jigs of varying costs:
- A pocket hole jig. You can get simple one and two hole Kreg models for $20 - 40.
- A biscuit joiner that allows you to do FF (face frame) sized biscuits (the Porter Cable model). This will also help you with the carcase construction. Quite a bit more expensive, but handy to have.
- A twin hole dowel jig, available at a variety of prices
- The simple model "Bead Lock" jig. This is a jig that drills a series of overlapping holes and you use their stock to create a free tenon. You can also use this model to do double dowel holes.

The first two allow you to have some lateral adjustment up until the last minute, making fitting inset doors a little easier. The latter two work well, but you have to be more precise during your marking and set up.

I've used all of these regularly and make what I call "quick and easy" joints.

For a good reference on kitchen cabinets, I recommend Jere Cary's "Make Your Own Kitchen Cabinets." There's a chapter on each major component, construction options and techniques, and how to resolve problems.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 7:49AM
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Thanks for the encouragement, Bob's nephew! This makes a lot of sense.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:55PM
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The way I would approach this is to sketch out full size pattern, either on story sticks (see Cary's book on this), or on paper (rolled kraft paper).

Measure and order your doors.

When you have the doors in hand, use them to lay out your face frame. Do the final fit with the doors in place.

Use the completed face frame to build your carcases to.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:28PM
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Can anyone comment on how much the material would cost them, where they would get it, and the time required to assemble and sand? How does this compare to buying them out?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:52AM
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Friends of mine have done this and it worked out great. Don't cheap it out on the hinges!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:19PM
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