Section Cc

Thin panels of plywood or MDF, up to about V4 in. thick, can be crapped in a groove, same as solid wood, or retained by various combinations of moldings and rabbets. Glass panels can he handled in the same way.

Since plywood and MDF panels don't move, they can be structural components. A glued panel greatly strengthens the whole door. It's the best insurance for those shallow frame joints cut with matched sets of cope-and-stick bits. The groove for a thin panel docs not have to be centered. Placing it closer to the inside of the door enhances the illusion of thickness and depth. Another way to create depth is to glue a second panel, or centerpiece, to the first one, as shown in F:ig. 4.

Retaining the panel with moldings has technical and aesthetic advantages. The rabbeted or square-edged frame is easy to cut and join. The molding can be a rich hardwood or painted wood. Rectangular profiles can fit square at the corners, though most shapes must he rnitered. A strong molding has the unusual effect of drawing attention to the inside of the frame. It is good on small doors or small panels in a larger door. It is often used to enrich contemporary doors.

Thin plywood panels, common on manufactured cabincts, often look checsy

Cowhide panel. Leather dresses up a thin plywood panel, making it look rich and elegant.

because there's no logic to the rotary-cut grain patterns. You can improve the look by veneering or by surfacing the panel with plastic laminate or leather. Or, you can introduce color by painting the panels. All these surface treatments are best done before assembly.

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Wood Working 101

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