Wide Glass Doors

Cabinetmakers consider glazing options for large doors, including tempered glass, polycarbonate, and plexiglass. December 28, 2005

What is the widest 5 piece door with a glass panel produced? A client wants the widest doors possible, approximately 34 to 36 inches and 60 inches tall.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Are you talking cabinet door? That is a lot of glass - maybe you could talk her into like a 6 or 9 light configuration and make the door 1-1/4Ē thick?

From contributor B:
If itís just the weight of the glass that worries you, you might consider using 1/8" clear Plexiglas. That would make a huge difference in weight and safety concerns.

From contributor C:
I like the idea of Plexiglas, however you would be much better off using Acrylic, and there is a difference. Plexiglas will cloud up in time, and is quite brittle to work with. Acrylic is more expensive but cheaper than tempered glass.

From contributor D:
I don't make any doors for cabinets over 22" wide period. And if they are taller than 32" they get a horizontal mullion in the middle. Thatís just too risky - it will probably twist on you eventually.

From contributor E:
Just a word on substituting Plexiglas for glass - aside from clouding, which I have no experience with indoors, Plexiglas is soft and will become scratched in a short time just from being cleaned with paper towels and other normal use.

From contributor C:
To contributor E: Good point - I forgot to mention that you need a special cleaner for both Plexiglas and Acrylic. Do not clean it with paper towels. A nice soft cloth works wonders.

From contributor F:
Do you think that glass door will weigh more than a 30" x 5' RTF door? I put 5 Blums on it and it works fine.

From contributor E:
My real point is that I donít believe that Plexiglas is a substitute for glass. If you believe in making something that will remain in good condition without having to baby it, then use real glass.

From contributor C:
All glass is great, but it would be heavy and in those sizes it must be tempered.

From contributor G:
The nice thing about acrylic is that you can buy it in sheet goods and cut it in the shop. Score and cut it like you would laminate, just score it deeper. Snap it on a sharp table edge that is as long as the acrylic. I find it handy to clamp a 4" piece of horridly warped plywood (convex side down) and sandwich the acrylic at the table edge.

From contributor C:
To contributor G: Thereís no need to go thru all that work. Just buy a blade for Solid Surface, i.e. triple chip, for your tablesaw and run it as if it is plywood. Acrylic cuts great, but Plexiglas on the other hand does not. The real trick on acrylic is to polish the cut edge.

From contributor H:
Let's not forget that thereís going to be some wood in the door. The width of your stiles and rails is a factor. Go as wide as you can and you'll decrease the glass and its weight. Put some big profiles on the inside and outside and the wide frames can look pretty good.