As I began to contemplate making the doors, I knew I wanted to be as efficient as possible. What I did not want to do is have a series of identical parts, but cut at different times. The best way to cut identical parts is to do them all at once (as much as possible). For example, once I have a table saw set-up to cut rails for the door frame, I need to think about other doors which have rails with the same dimensions and cut them as well. I don’t want to later have to recreate the same set-up since the same parts (with the same dimensions) cut later can be slightly different. So, a production mindset for fabrication is key. See the image below…
Above, the blue components are the same size as are the yellow, red and green. Using the SketchUp cut list extension, I get the following material cutting diagram for the door frames shown above.
The material cutting diagram enables me to go to the home center and know how much material I will need for all the door frame components. This information helps ensure I have enough material to complete the various table saw set ups required for the rails and stiles. I chose to start work on the sink upper cabinet because it is most visible as I enter the kitchen.
With the MDF panel cut to size and the corners rounded to match the rounded grooves at the frame corners, I partially disassemble the door frame and slide the panel in place. I then re-assemble the door with glue and the pocket screws. An important note: the panel is glued into place which is where the door’s strength comes from. I am using pocket screws to join the frame, but door strength comes from the frame components being glued to the panel. The panel being MDF means it won’t expand and contract like a solid wood panel.
In the last photo, note the decorative piece in front of the window. This will be replaced with a more simple design seen at the top of this post. I’ll add a custom profile crown molding, and everything will get a fresh coat of paint. Also, we will get rid of the popcorn texture on the ceiling.
My plan is to replace all the doors and then replace the drawers after the doors are completed. There are 29 doors and 5 drawers, 6 sets of cabinets. I’ll then paint everything. This is a long-term project but I’m encouraged by the results so far.