Square Corners for a Let-In Door Panel Rout
Ideas for squaring a door-back rabbet with less chiseling labor. June 18, 2005
I just finished a couple sets of medicine cabinets. They turned out real nice, but I wasn't happy with the amount of time the doors took. The cabinets were prefinished maple ply, primed beaded face frames, inset doors, euro hinges. The doors were primed soft maple, square edged 2 3/8" stiles/rails. I basically made typical square edged doors, then used a Super Rabbet router bit to rout to let in the back. I used 1/4" ply back let in 5/16". The problem was chiseling the corners square. A 2' diameter router bit leaves quite a round corner. Any suggestions on a back that would work with a typical glass door profile?
When I build a door for glass/mirror, I use my standard cope and bead profile. Then I use a 1/4" laminate bit to route out the 3/16" on the back of the door. I had to modify my solid carbide bit by taking off 1/4" or so of the bottom rub area so it would fit within the 1/4" slot. This way you only have a very small radius to chisel out. I use the solid carbide with the slot taken out of it for the trim bit, not one with cutting flutes. Or you could make a "square out" jig for a small radius router bit. You would clamp the jig onto the door and use the template to get the same small radius left over. It may be a second step but it is better than chiseling by hand.
I stack my shaper cutters for a glass door. Otherwise, you might want to look for a smaller diameter rabbet bit.
Why not just radius the corners of the plywood? It is easier and faster. With glass you have to square out, but with ply, edgesander and zip.
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