Sanding Shaker Door Edges

Cabinetmakers describe how they manage to get square door edges sanded while maintaining a consistent size. June 16, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
We are starting to do more and more shaker doors and we have been edge sanding the edges but itís very time consuming and hard to stay consistent on sizes. How is everyone else doing this? A straight cutter on a shaper seems like it should work.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor X:
Sometimes I order s4s material at 2 5/16", then the shaper will remove the other 1/16" during the profile operation. Or I will rip long runs at 2 3/8", run the profile and then run the other side through the shaper with a straight cutter and outboard fence so it is cutting stock down to exact width. After the doors are assembled all I have to do is bump the end grains with the edge sander.

From contributor U:
Stiles have a machined edge off the moulder (or planer) and the ends get bumped on the sander. We have our jump saw stop calibrated 0.025" long and the rails get trimmed to exact size during the cope. The overall height comes out more or less dead on (even across multiple operators) after end sanding. Ditto solid slab drawer faces.

From contributor Z:
We use a tiny round over bit and go over all the doors. A small radius provides a better edge for finishing and is more forgiving to bumps, especially on white lacquered doors. Except for some architectural purists, the client will never notice the small radius and will not complain later of finishing not sticking to a sharp edge.

From contributor K:
I use a no-file laminate trimmer bit by Amana tool. It works great.

From contributor R:
We have pretty much gone to square door edges, regardless of style. We haven't profiled a door/drawer front edge in three years. Prior to that we profiled every single piece that went out the door. Tastes change I guess. I like the square edges. We ease them slightly front and back with the orbital sander during final sanding. As stated, helps finish wrap the corner.

From Contributor K:
During final sanding we turn the random orbit down to a crawl and knock the sharp edge off.

From contributor U:
We ease the edges as well, by hand or with a small router bit depending on the customer (since we sell doors to other shops who have their own preferences). I think that the original question was on whether and how to put a finished surface around the four sides of the door.

A typical shape/sand would need an oversized door and trim to final dimension. We just build the width to exact size by controlling the rail length and stile width. The glue joint ends get bump sanded and we have "dwell time" marks on the edge sander to act as a guide. The wider the part, the longer it stays in contact. So a 12" wide door might get two seconds, while a 24" wide door might get four seconds. We also flip the door and bump again on each end to average out any inconsistency. It has been surprisingly accurate and a spot check on the first few parts helps to tweak for different wood species density.