Which method makes a better cabinet door, mortise and tenon or cope and stick? That's the question that designer and builder Joseph Lanza and long-time Fine Homebuilding contributing writer Scott Gibson asked each other at the start of this video series. The two craftsmen had some pretty strong opinions about the answer before they began their door build, but would seeing each of the methods through from start to finish cause a change of heart? Watch and find out.
Online Members can read this related article from Fine Homebuilding magazine.
A Matter of Preference
The mortise-and-tenon joints in Scott Gibson's cabinet door are strong, but they take several hand tools a bit of fussing to fit just right. The cope-and-stick joints in Joseph Lanza's door rely on glue to hold them together, but they fit perfectly right off of the router table.
Watch this Build Like a Pro video series to learn how to build each type of cabinet door, and decide which one works best for you.
(Playing on this page) Scott and Joseph describe the door-construction details they're about to use.
Scott and Joseph both find something to like about each other's techniques.
About the Authors
Scott Gibson was a natural choice to write about the history of Fine Homebuilding (#177). He was a senior editor at FHB in the 1990s and has been a contributing editor since 2002, and it would be pretty hard to find a topic Scott hasn't written about for the magazine. He has also served as editor and author of numerous Taunton books. Scott and his wife, Susan, live in Maine, where they're busy trimming out their new house, and walking their dog, Jack.
Architect-turned-carpenter Joseph B. Lanza is no stranger to coupling fine craftsmanship with good design. After working on the Texas Capitol as a preservation carpenter, Joe moved to Duxbury, Mass., where he’s worked on houses, cabinetry, and furniture. Although their two kids keep Joe and his wife busy, he still finds time to build and attempt to play acoustic guitars. His Web site is www.josephlanza.com.