In my latest project, a built-in bookcase for the living room, I made my first attempt at building shaker cabinet doors. I went back and forth on how to do it, but finally decided on a combination of groove joints and pocket holes. The more traditional method is full tongue and groove joints, but I figured I could come up with something in the middle ground. This method with grooves and pocket holes was super simple and effective AND the doors turned out great! What more could you ask for!?
This tutorial is written for ONE 11″ x 21 1/2″ door.
Enjoy the free plans!
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Tools & Supplies
- 1 | 1 x 3 @ 6′
- 1 | 1/4″ Plywood project panel
- 2 | 1 x 3 @ 21 1/2″ (stiles)
- 2 | 1 x 3 @ 6″ (rails)
- 1 | 1/4″ Plywood @ 6 3/8″ x 16 7/8″ (Center panel. I cut it 1/8″ narrower than the width of the grooves to allow the panel to move as the wood expands or contracts)
Route a 1/4″ groove along the center of the rails and stiles. Cut a stopped groove about 2″ from the top of the stile to 2″ from the bottom of the stile. This prevents any unsightly gaps in the top or bottom of the cabinet door once it’s assembled. For more information on how to cut a stopped groove safely, see this great video from Rockler.
Cut a 1/4″ groove along the full length of the rails.
Insert panel into the stiles and bottom rail. Adjust until the stiles and rail are flush. Clamp in place and attach with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.
Repeat for the other side of the door. Clamp the rail in place and attach with wood glue 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.
This is the back of your door:
Wood glue does not take stain, so make sure to remove any wood glue from the surface of the wood.
Flip it over and admire your masterpiece!
Once the wood glue dries, sand and finish your door as desired.
I stained the doors with Varathane Weathered Wood Accelerator in brown (available at Home Depot) and attached them to my brand new built-in bookshelf!
Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Thanks for stopping by!
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