Setting Glass in Laminate or Melamine Doors

Cabinetmakers describe how they insert glass into laminate and melamine cabinet doors. December 2, 2011

How do you put glass in a melamine slab door? We haven't figured out a slick way to do this yet.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
If you mean a laminate slab door, here is how we do it. If the customer wants square corners, we edgeband four strips of wood that are the width of the desired rails and stiles on one long edge, then pocket screw the door together as a frame with the edgebanded edge in, lam the front and back, then rabbet out the back to receive the glass. If rounded corners are wanted, we cut the door and glass area out on the CNC and wrap the interior cut with PVC, then rabbet out the back for glass.

From the original questioner:
The second method you described is pretty much what we do. I'm a little leery of pocket screwing melamine. I guess I was hoping for a piece of trim or something to save some hand banding.

From contributor B:
I rout the opening in the door, with rounded corners, wrap the edges with T-molding then plant on a piece of Plexiglas to the backside of the door with small screws and finish washers. Just need to make sure the shelves are set back enough so they don't touch the screws/plexi.

From contributor A:
I can understand not wanting to pocket screw the PB, but after you lam both faces, it is solid as a single piece door. We lam the backside of all our hpl doors when we lay up the sheets to balance, so it's not an added step for the glass door.

From contributor M:
I think the questioner is asking about melamine, not applied laminate. We route out the opening with a template, then I cut the corners square by hand with a chisel. Not a very fancy solution, but it works well for us. The back side is rabbeted for the glass and the glass is set into the rabbet with silicone of a matching color. Using a solid color silicone hides the exposed rabbet. On the front side I band the inside edges by hand and trim with a router.