Steps For Building Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Making Shaker Cabinet Door FramesThis is an excellent video that gives up close instructions on how to build shaker style kitchen cabinet doors. The process of making the frame is actually a lot easier than you may think. These doors can be fabricated out of any type of wood. If you are planning on painting the shaker style doors, you are going to want to use either paint grade maple or poplar.

The shop space required for milling and fabricating the frames and panels is minimal. You can build these in a single car garage if you need to.

The power tools you use must be of good quality to ensure accuracy. The final result of your efforts will be directly related to precise measurements and milling accuracy of your parts.

Here are the tools and materials needed:

  • Table Saw
  • High-Speed Router
  • One Quarter Inch (1/4″) Datto Joint Router Bit
  • Datto Saw Blade Set
  • Chop Saw
  • Bar Clamps
  • Pin Nailer Air Gun
  • Yellow Glue
  • Vibrating Sander
  • 100 to 220 Grit Sand Paper

Shaker Cabient Door AssemblyHow wide are the stiles and rail pieces of the shaker style cabinet door frames?

You can plan on them being about two and one half inches (2-1/2″) wide.

Where is the best place to buy the materials to make the doors out of?

Every city seems to have either a lumber yard or cabinet company who can supply the frame stock already milled to the correct width. All you will have to do is cut them to correct lenght and add the dado groves and tenons.

The sheets of plywood for the center panels can be bought from a cabinet supply company or a local lumber yard.

Rather than make the shaker style kitchen cabinet doors myself, is there a reputable company where I can just purchase them?

Yes, I recommend that you check out Conestoga.

Steps For Building Shaker Style Cabinet Doors

  1. Figure your cabinet door sizes and make a list of the stiles and rail sizes that you will need. The size of the rails need to take into account the depth of the dado grove (made with a router bit) on the inside of the frames.
  2. Wait to cut your panels until after all of the fame pieces have been milled and dry fitted to ensure that your door parts have been made the correct size. I am a strong advocate for double checking all of your work.
  3. As demonstrated in the video cut your center dado in the frame stock rips using your one quarter inch wide router bit with the bearing on it. Obviously you are going to need the router to be mounted in a router table.
  4. Cut the stiles and rails for the shaker cabinet doors to length.
  5. Set up your table saw with the dado set. You will be cutting the tenon of the mortise and tenon type joint. This will be a trial and error process during the setup. You want your pieces to fit perfectly flush with one another and the joints to be accurately seated together.
  6. After all of the shaker door frame pieces are milled on the table saw, dry fit a few doors and get an accurate calculation figure to use for cutting all of the center panels.
  7. Cut all of the one quarter inch thick shaker door center panel pieces of plywood to size.
  8. Now it is time to actually build the shaker doors.
  9. Using yellow glue apply the proper amount to the tenon and insert the pieces together. Inset the one quarter inch thick center panel into the groves.
  10. To ensure that the doors are square, you must measure from corner to corner. This measurement must be identical. All you have to do is rack the parts a little to get the door to square up.
  11. Once the doors are perfectly square, you can clamp the parts together and staple the joints.
  12. Wipe all excess yellow glue off with a damp rag.

Important: DO NOT GLUE THE CENTER PANEL! It must remain free floating to allow for wood expansion and contraction.

How To Fasten Shaker Cabient Door Frames TogetherThis video demonstration on how to make shaker kitchen doors is excellent. The up close footage allows the student to see exactly what the steps are for building shaker cabinet doors.

One thing I thought of is that you may be thinking that you do not need to use a router if you have a dado blade set for your saw. The dado saw set will not work for cutting the grove for the inside of the frame pieces. The reason for this is that the saw blades do not make a straight cut. This means that where the end of the tenon meets the end of the groove there must be a perfectly flat joint union. A table saw dado set will not give you a perfectly flat surface where the end of the tenon unites with it.

Finally, just be patient and take your time while you build your shaker style kitchen cabinet doors and you will be rewarded with a great sense of accomplishment in the end.

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