Door Company Accuracy

Cabinet door suppliers only promise accuracy within 1/16 inch but in reality they usually do better than that. January 26, 2008

I have been trying to find a good door shop for a while now and every time I have more problems with the doors than anyone would expect. I would love to find someone to build my doors the right size, sanded, and square. I currently do mostly frameless cabinets and am in the higher end market. We try for a 1/8" reveal around the doors and fronts. I talked to Cal door and they said that they would be + - 1/16" and that seems like a lot to me. That tells me that I could have doors 1/8" different next to each other. The other thing I would love to see is all the sharp edges softened so I don't have to spend the time doing it. In a perfect world the doors would just get drilled and finished. Is this a dream or is there a door shop that can do this for me?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
I hear the + / - 1/16" issue a lot. Making your own vs. outsourcing, one of the main issues to keep in mind is that not everyone uses the same measuring device/scale, so there will always be a variance. One of the reasons most hinges are adjustable...

A 1/16" variance is something you might notice or be overly sensitive to, but I can guarantee you that the customer won't. One way to deal with it is to order companion doors minus 1/32" on each, and along with adjustability, you'll be more than fine... Personally, if I were ordering doors, I would just short one of the companion doors 1/16" to cover myself and be done with it. One of the reality factors to deal with when outsourcing. That said, there are companies with very good reputations and excellent customer service (i.e. - will replace anything not happy with).

From contributor G:
I have used Cal door and Ciminos; both say + /- 1/16" . I have never had a variance door to door. All doors of same height or width are all the same. I believe that 1/16 variance is from your tape measure to theirs, and not door to door.

From contributor M:
Try ordering your doors in metric. We use Maplecraft doors and they are +-1/2 mm. This is a lot closer than +- 1/16". Also if you are getting doors the wrong size, why is it your problem? Get them to fix them. I have used Maplecraft for at least 20 years and I can only remember getting doors once that were wrong (other than my mistakes). They fixed the problems right away. I still ease all the edges though.

From contributor A:
The 1/16" is the margin of allowable error. It doesn't mean every door is incorrect. It's one of those save your butt contractual things. We've purchased from Conestoga, Meridean and Maplecraft. I can't remember getting one door that was off by more than 1/32". The vast majority (90%) of these doors are perfect in any measurable respect including size. If you are receiving doors from a company that are typically not accurate, it is that company's poor quality, not the industry as a whole.

From contributor J:
I buy my doors from out of Salem, Oregon. They offer all their doors in metric and they sell to plenty of frameless shops throughout the Northwest. They offer finished doors also. One cabinetmaker I know does frameless and uses them. He likes 3mm between doors for adjustment for the minor size variations. I did one frameless job with RTF doors, and everything went perfectly. They're becoming one of the best door companies in the United States while still being priced in a reasonable price range.