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Cherry Interior Shaker Doors

Dan Sadler Member

Hello folks.
I'm a contractor in California and am building myself a home. I'm considering building my interior doors and wanted to reach out for some advice.
I do build my own cabinets and my own doors for them, mostly shaker.
I do have a decent shop setup, with shapers, 8" jointer, 15 "planer, and plenty of space.
I don't need the doors till next summer, so I have quite a bit of time. I have 11 doors total.
I have a simple shaker door in mind. Was thinking 1 3/4 doors with two pieces 1/2" cherry ply back to back for the panels.
Would I use square sticking adjusted to the panel thickness? Should the joint be reinforced?
I have been considering purchasing a domino for floating tenons, seems like it could come in handy for doors.
What do folks recommend for stiles and rails, solid stock, laminated, or stave core?
Feedback appreciated, I've gotten a lot from perusing the forum here

12/4/14       #2: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...

Plywoods or panels good two faces is not real common, especially in 1/2". You can have "A" two face panels made up and calibrated to what ever thickness you want over mdf core. You might also be able to find true 1/4" mdf core in stock good one face and glue them with a filler to reach desired thickness which could save a few bucks.

As for stiles and rails we use only finger joint stave core period. Yes I know the purist will school you on face jointing and stress relieving, so on and so forth, but that's what works for us. Being your own house you could try solid or three piece glue up knowing if it warps you'll live with it or fix it at your own leisure.

I also have the big domino cutter and it would work very well for building your interior doors. Good luck.

12/4/14       #3: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...

I think a 1" thick panel with 3/8" square profile will be fine. I've never used a domino machine but it should be fine too.

Finding 8/4 cherry with no sap wood can be hard. You need to get furniture or 90/80 (90% heart wood on one face and 80% on the other) grade and order wide stock. Unless you don't mind sap wood. Otherwise 3ply or stavecore are both good options.

12/5/14       #4: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...
Mark B Member

This sounds like it will end badly.

12/5/14       #5: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...
Billy Statham Member

I build custom doors and engineered stiles with 5/16 viners work well and a 1/2 soild wood panels for my shaker still doors

12/7/14       #6: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...

We've made a lot of doors and have settled on using stave core because it has been most reliable. I've got a band resaw so make my faces finish @ 1/8". I think that is about the max you can go and still have it function like a veneer. Gene W. has commented on that before.

I've got the smaller domino machine. Based on my experiences with the smaller one I think the bigger one would be would be great.

I'm not a fan of plywood, so would use mdf core panels. Your doors are going to be heavy either way. I'd opt for 1/4" mdf panels on each side of a light weight filler core. For my own house I'd veneer my own because I have the facility. You may not have, so have the panels custom veneered by a major supplier. Figured cherry, star burst pattern, or even a different wood than the cherry frames. There are veneer sellers that have very good photos of their offerings on-line. You want to have it make a statement "made special." Sign them in a lower corner, small, like an artist.

Doors of that weight and cost deserve ball bearing hinges. Sounds like a fun project. I did get carried away, didn't I?

12/8/14       #7: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...

"This sounds like it will end badly"............... Care to elaborate?

12/9/14       #8: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...
Bruce H

I recently build a half dozen doors using Sapele. Worked out ok and don't know why he couldn't do it. I cope and sticked the joints plus 4" dowels, too many but I didn't want it to fail. I used 1/2" plywood for panels which I sanded to thickness and then covered with laminate. This was a fishing boat interior and will have a lot more abuse than his house would have.

12/11/14       #9: Cherry Interior Shaker Doors ...
Rob Scaffe  Member


I think you will do just fine. Careful facing/jointing on your 8" jointer, Then light cuts on the planer to dimension. Reject any stiles that aren't straight after milling. The loose tennons will work well, I am assuming you are using the large domino-great machine. Don't let the naysayers get you down.

Merry Christmas (Am I still allowed to say that?)


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