Cabinet door with MDF panel

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Quick q ... bit confused by construction technique for a cabinet door. Want to use 27mm thick Pine rails & stiles ... with 18mm MDF panel inset ... but I don't want to go to the hassle of making a groove etc., just want it to sit in a rebate.

Is that ok? Or will gluing/nailing the panel to the pine outside 'frame' defeat the whole purpose of a panel door?

This is for a living room type area - not high moisture etc.

Picture attached!

 
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if i read this correctly,you will be covering it with a bead?
if so then yes you can just make sure you nail the bead to the rails so the panel can move.
 
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Uh .. no bead involved ...

This is a view of the door from the back. The 18mm MDF panel just sits flush with the back of the stiles/rails in a 15mm rebate.

Was going to pocket hole the 'frame' together, and simply panel pin & glue the MDF to the rebates ...


 
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well it may well work out ok for you,but do bear in mind that as you have 2 differing materials they will expand and contract at different rates so it may well end up cracking.
if you can make the rebate a tad deeper then you could fix a basic beading thus allowing the panel to move independently to the frame.
 
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what size are these doors
18mm mdf is heavy heavy heavy
if your doors are less than 600mm then i would say risk will be minimum rebated and glued but what may happen is the doors may bend as gregs says expansion and contraction
 
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I guess I could speed things up and simply do the whole thing in MDF ... eg. apply pieces of 9mm MDF on top of a full size piece of 18mm ... but I do think that over time on cabinet doors MDF does tend to 'bruise', and can start to look a bit worse for wear. I like the crisper edge of proper wood, so that is why I wanted to frame it that way ...
 
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if you have a few weeks spare make one up full size with timber and see how it performs
what hinges are you thinking off using
 
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Doesn't it take a lot longer than a few weeks for any problems re: expansion/contraction to take place!?!

Was going to use butt hinges, but now it appears my wife doesn't want to see any evidence of hinges at all, so we will go with unsprung concealed ones, with a push to open latch. Having said that, I now see that if you have a thick door width (eg. 24mm+) then the reveals become quite big and this won't look so good. So might have to scale the dimensions back a bit!
 
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Uh .. no bead involved ...

This is a view of the door from the back. The 18mm MDF panel just sits flush with the back of the stiles/rails in a 15mm rebate.

Was going to pocket hole the 'frame' together, and simply panel pin & glue the MDF to the rebates ...

It won't work. Traditional frame and panel doors are made with the panel either trapped inside grooves in the door frame or rebated and held by beading (bolection moulds, etc). The panel is never glued or pinned - ALWAYS loose (except for 100% MDF doors). The reason is simple - timber expands and contracts at a different rate across the grain and with the grain - so if you fix the panel it will eventually split, or the frame will. I'd agree with the comment that 18mm is also too heavy - if you must use MDF for a panel, go with 6 to 12mm.

If you want a more robust edge with MDF, use MR-MDF (moisture resistant - green or green core). This is denser and holds crisper edge detail

Also, if you are going to use concealed (kitchen) hinges be aware than they are generally limited to doors between 16 and 22mm thickness - thicker than that and you start having to alter the mounting plates, offstand,etc
 
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Thanks Job&Knock ... appreciate your input ... esp. interesting about edge detail in MR MDF.

Yes - all in all it will probably be better to go with 21mm finished softwood frame, and then have a 12mm MDF panel set back 9mm. Lighter, and easier to get the concealed hinges to work with less of a reveal etc.

Just really wanted a flush rear face and no hassle with pre-painting the panel etc. ... but hey-ho, will proabably just have to go this route
 
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Just really wanted a flush rear face and no hassle with pre-painting the panel etc. ... but hey-ho, will proabably just have to go this route
There's a simpler way if your material is all MDF - cut a 12mm MDF door blamk, cut 12mm thick rails and stiles, glue together (and cramp, mind!). I've done "faux" Shaker doors this way in the past (6mm thick "rails/stiles" onto 12mm door) and they've worked well - although I did use MR-MDF and a good quality D4 (waterproof) adhesive

Sometimes it's possible to over think a solution IMHO
 
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Yes ... all MDF would certainly be simpler ... just dying to use some normal/proper wood on the project! Plus, as I said, I prefer the edge detail of regular wood, but I'll check out the MR stuff as a comparison.
 
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Re: mixing MDF with softwood, now I'm getting a little worried now about the make up of the rest of the cabinets ... which were started off for me by a joiner.

Because I wanted nice chunky partitions & walls, he used 25mm MDF as an outside skin, and 9mm MDF as an inside one, with some rebated 50mmx50mm PAR softwood serving as a separator front & back (see picture).

I was pretty sure it was going to be fine, obviously it is going to be painted anyway ... but now getting concerned about this movement issue! Also, I was keen to face all the 18mm MDF shelves with 5mm thick hardwood strips ... which I remember doing in a homemade kitchen 20 years back and which never seemed to be a problem ... any thoughts on either of these matters?

 
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those are normal practice
what you need to remember all stresses are within a box so no cupping and bowing any movement is contained
where as a door all stresses and cracks are on full display :D
 

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