Machining Muntins for Glass Doors

Advice on making small pieces for a glass cabinet door. April 18, 2011

I have a customer requesting mullion glass cathedral doors with four lights. I have been making my own doors for quite some time but I'm not experienced in making the thin wood pieces in mullion doors. I have done them in the past, running the rail/cope cut on a wide board and then ripping it down to about 1 - 1 1/4" wide pieces and running the stile profile by hand on both sides. I then, on my table saw, cut off the back part up to where the panel would insert, and glue the pieces to the door. Does anyone have a better way of making these pieces? And how would they be made on cathedral and arch doors?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
If you are charging what you should for these doors, you could afford to order them from a door manufacturing company and be done with it.

From the original questioner:
In this case I happen to be the door manufacturer, because my customer is a cabinetmaker with a shop. My business really isn't making doors for other shops, but I've got to stay busy.

From contributor C:
You could eliminate the table saw step by very carefully dimensioning your muntins to lose the back piece on the second sticking cut, perhaps using a back up block with a lip to retain the part as you cut off the back piece - like a push stick, but acting as a hold down as well. Might be a little squirrelly, though.

When I can, I like to make a minimal muntin - say 7.5 mm square (or whatever the dimension from the glass face to the door face happens to be for that profile) and notching the sticking. On smaller doors like I prefer to make, it looks less overwhelming than a full profile muntin.