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How to Make Custom Cabinets, Part 3 Door Making

Christian Tierno

This video was made in partnership with BESSEY

Level of Difficulty: Moderate-Advanced

From the Instructor: This is easily one of the most fulfilling parts of building custom cabinetry and I will say that it's something that takes time, patience, and a lot of practice to be able to hone. So practice makes perfect. Don't be deterred by that. This is just your first step in becoming a master and maybe one day opening up your own cabinet shop.

We are wrapping up this incredible 3-part series from Christian of Tierno Woodworking and we are doing it by learning how to make gorgeous custom doors. If you haven’t yet watched the first two videos, you may want to do that now!  We started with learning the basic construction of a cabinet and then learned how to prepare and fasten face frames.

A major bit of advice you’ll find in this video is to dial in your router table bit heights to ensure properly fitting stiles and rails.  Christian highly recommends starting with scrap wood to do this and making extra parts when you do the table set up.  It’s also a great idea to keep a set up block if you’re going to make the same profile door parts again another day.

There are two main different ways to build cabinet doors.  One style of planning is based on an overlay application where the door overlays the cabinet face frames.  A second option is inset, where the cabinet door fits perfectly within the face frame opening with a sleek reveal.  The inset method is more advanced and has a higher-end feel.  Christian recommends starting with the overlay application as there is a little bit more adjustability with door hinges and a little more forgiveness.

As Christian prepares to glue up his doors with the panel in place, he breaks out his K Body Jr’s to handle the clamp-up as he prefers something with a lighter feel and doesn’t need insane clamping pressure in this application.

Consider enrolling in TMCU for full access to all of the educational content and follow along with Tierno Woodworking for more tips and tricks on how to:

  • Set up your router table for accuracy and repeatability in making rail and stile parts

  • Utilize a coping sled for safety and reliability 


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