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.
Most modern cabinet doors use this construction method because it's fast and consistent.
This method of joinery may be right for you if you're not in a hurry and you like hand tools more than power tools.
||Making Door Panels
Veneered plywood panels are sturdy and stable no matter what method of joinery you choose.
You will need some glue, a few clamps, and a tape measure to make your doors solid and square.
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.
Find more articles by Scott Gibson
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.
Find more articles by Joseph Lanza
Kitchen Cabinets Made Simple makes it possible for the dedicated do-it-yourselfer to build new cabinets for a fraction of the cost of buying them.
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FURTHER RESOURCES ON FineHomebuilding.com
A Faster, Easier Approach to Custom Cabinets
Making Raised-Panel Doors on a Tablesaw
Create desks, bookcases, pantries, and more with a slick hybrid design and problem-solving pocket-screw joinery
A veteran cabinetmaker shows you how to build a Shaker-style cabinet door in six easy steps
Add Storage to Your Stair Rail
A long cabinet with traditional joinery and improvised details replaces a traditional stairwell railing
Build a Tablesaw Crosscut Sled
Trimming cabinet doors and drawers, mitering small pieces, and making wide crosscuts for shelving is safer and easier with this simple sled
Interview with a Cabinetmaker
Six skilled artisans talk about their craft
Reader Tip: Hinged cabinet jacks are better than an extra set of hands
Using a Pocket-Hole Jig
Built-in Cabinet Build Off
In this video series, builder Gary Striegler, and cabinetmaker Tony O'Malley share their best tips and techniques for building beautiful and practical built-ins
Add a Mitered Integral Bead to Cabinet Face Frames
This detail softens the edge while creating a deep shadowline