How To Make Shaker Cabinet Doors

Posted by Jim Hill on Jun 23rd 2017

If you are looking for how to make Shaker cabinet doors, this guide should help! We have also included a video version of this post as well.

Shaker Cabinet Doors are among the most popular cabinet door designs, precisely because they are simple.

They are simple in appearance and simple to make, with minimal woodworking equipment.

The steps in making Shaker Cabinet Doors are the same whether using a basic Table Saw, or modern Moulders and computerized assembly equipment.

How To Make Shaker Cabinet Doors Step-By-Step

Read the steps below to learn how to make shaker cabinet doors yourself. Always use all safety features of your power tools, safety goggles, and make safety priority #1!

Step #1. is ripping the frame stock to the desired width.

A handyman can accomplish this step on a Table Saw to an accuracy of 1/32-inch.

Although the Cabinet Door manufacturing factory produces frame stock at far greater accuracy, the Table Saw will achieve results acceptable to non professionals.

Step #2. consists of Coping the ends of the Rails to connect with the Stiles.

Coping Shaker Rails with a Table Saw has been the common method since the 1800’s, and is still the most common Handyman method used today. While this method lacks accuracy and is not considered safe for the saw operator, it usually produces a reliable joint

Manufacturing factories don’t use the table saw to cope the rails. Factories use specialized coping equipment with accuracy far exceeding table saws, and capable of insuring operator safety.

Step #3. is cutting the cabinet door’s panel to the required size.

Again, a Table can cut the panel with acceptable results.

Cabinet Door Manufacturers will cut the panel with greater accuracy and will also sand the panel before the door is assembled.

Step #4. consists of the assembly of the Shaker Door components.

The handyman assembles his Shaker Cabinet Doors with clamps to hold the door together while the glue sets. Assuring that the door is exactly square is difficult with this method.

The factory uses automated Cabinet Door clamping machines that guarantee the door is perfectly square.

Step #5 is machining the edge on the outside of the assembled cabinet door.

The handyman uses a hand router for edging.

The factory uses large wood shapers with power-feeders to produce an outside edge that is both even and smooth.

Step #6 is the sanding of the assembled and edged Shaker Cabinet Door.

A handyman will use a power disk-sander, or probably simply sanding the frame with a sanding-block

Sanding in the factory consists of passing the assembled door through a series of multi-head wide-belt sanders, each with successively finer belts. Final sanding utilizes a modern rotating-brush sander, which assures a uniform finish that will accept paint or stain evenly.

Other Ways To Make Shaker Style Cabinet Doors

There are alternate ways to make your shaker cabinet doors for your kitchen. Read through the following tips and instructions on how to make your own cabinet doos, or get in touch with for professionally made shaker cabinet doors shipped straight to you at manufacture pricing!

Using Bead Board Panels to Build Shaker Style Cabinet Doors

The process of building a custom cabinet can appear to be complicated, more so when considering the drawer and door fronts. Although, when basic instructions, building cabinet drawers and doors are not that challenging. This article will guide you through ow to build Shaker Style Cabinet Doors. The shaker style door is simple to create using basic tools around the shop, such as a router, miter saw, and table saw.

Shaker Style

Shaker style cabinetry covers several areas. Although, generally many will admire Shaker furniture because it is innovative joinery, simple, but functional and quality. Shaker doors generally have a plain rectangular rail and stile with a type of plain flat panel. Normally, stiles and rails are attached together with tenon with grooved details. Grooves of stiles allows the tenon on rail endings and holds the panels.

Panel and Frame Construction

Creating a simple panel and frame cabinet door is rather simple, and the best part is that you can do it on either a router or table saw. This article will cover how to build shaker style cabinet doors with a basic table saw. Although, you can create the grooves for tenons using a router saw as well.

To create the panel and frame cabinet doors you are going to need to create two rails, two stiles, and a single panel for each door. Stiles will run the entire height of the cabinet door, and rails run between the length of the stiles.

Sizing the Cabinet Doors

When it comes to the cabinet door size, there are many factors to consider, including the type of overlay, single or paired doors, and hinge type. In this example, we will use a Blum ¾” overlay hinge. Additionally, a paired door will be used, meaning one door is not an overlay.

Therefore, for this example we will take the cabinets overall vertical opening and add another ¾” to the bottom and top for the stile height. Calculating he rail lengths can be harder, but taking the total door width (open width and overlay on one or two sides. If using paired doors, subtract 1/16”). Then, subtract the width of both stiles. That will be your finished length for the exposed rail, but length will be added for the tenons on either side. This ensure the length will be long enough after cutting the tenons.

Building Cabinet Door Stiles

The cabinet doors in this example uses 2” wide stiles with a thickness of 3/4”. First, you are going to need to rip the stiles down to be 2” wide. Then, cut the stiles to the correct length. It is suggested to use stopping blocks so each wood piece has identical lengths.

The following step requires cutting out a dado along a long dado. The dado’s width needs to match the door panel thickness. In this example, a ¼” thick MDF bead board is used. For cutting the dado, we will set up the dado set stack from Delta to be ¼” wide with a 0.020” thin shim. The shim allows the panel to properly slide inside of the dado while preventing buckling.

Building Cabinet Door Rails

The following step is to rip an additional material 2” wide to be used for the rails. They should be cut to needed length, which is the length of tenons and exposed length. Once rails have been cut, use a tenoning jig for cutting the tenon shoulders.

Tip: When cutting rails, cut extras, including dados. These extras can be used for fine tuning tenons to fit correcting.

Once you make the shoulder cuts using the tenoning jig, you will need to set the miter gauge for trimming extra material from the shoulder. The Incra Miter Gauge has a stop built-in so you get an accurate cut each time.

Cabinet Door Panels

Door panels are among the easiest section to tackle. In this project, a 1/4” MDF bead board will be used. The panels may be simply plain, or a more complicated designed based on what you want. Door panels are cut the width and height of the door frame opening, plus an addition depth of 1/16” for the dado. As the dado in this project are ½” in depth, the panel will be 7/8” taller and wider, so both sides being 7/16”.

Assemble Cabinet Door Frames

When taking the time to properly cut the tenons accurately, door frame rails should fit like a glove. Simply apply quality glue to the tenons, along with the dado where they will join. If you are painting the doors, you may want to use a urethane glue as its stronger. Note: Do not place glue on the door panel or the door will not ‘float’ correctly, in addition it won’t be subjected to the stress of expanding and shrinking of the wooden door frame.

When assembling the door frame, ensure that the door panel is inserted into the dado around the stiles and rails Using clamps, apply pressure on joints while ensuring the door is properly square prior to letting it dry.

Purchasing Shaker Cabinet Doors

If you are looking to purchase Shaker Cabinet Doors, you can do so on our main cabinet door website or contact us for custom orders. We offer over 300 styles of cabinet doors including popular shaker cabinet doors. Save 50% over buying retail and order direct from the manufacturer by ordering from

Sign up for our newsletter: