Simulated Raised Panel cupboard doors

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Project by Don Johnson posted 08-30-2015 12:00 PM 1651 views 4 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our friends Richard and Sue’s grandson has just reached the ‘into everything’ stage, so they were concerned that he might investigate the cupboard in the bedroom where he stays during visits, as it only had curtains closing off an area full of all sorts of stuff. They asked me if I could ‘knock up’ (UK version of the phrase!) some way of closing the area more securely – just to make it safe. As they would be painting them, I suggested plywood or MDF doors, with perhaps some moulding strips to make them look more interesting.

Getting ready to go to retire for the night, I noticed that the doors on the small built-in wardrobes on each side of our bed were about the same size as those needed, and that they had simulated raised panels, obviously created by routing. The following day I had a look on YouTube, and found Michael Robino’s video on the subject:
I decided to use the same method, so searched online for a suitable cutter – see picture 3 – and when it arrived, I made up a jig using a sheet of OSB recently liberated from a neighbour’s roof renovation project. I placed the side rails to fit the MDF sheets I had cut to the door sizes, and added a cross-piece to enable two ‘panels’ to be created in each door.

My plunge router was different to that used in the video, in that it had one flat side, which did make it a little more difficult to exactly follow the jig, and I quickly found that dust collection was vital. I attached my small vacuum cleaner hose to the router, and clamped a support to the side of the jig to keep the hose and the power cable up in the air and out of the way when routing. It was an interesting experience trying to keep the router tight against the jig sides whilst reaching across the jig, and I was very glad when each cut was finished. I moved the cross-piece after completing both smaller areas, and finished the edges of the doors with a stepped round-over bit using my small router – which, I have to say, was a considerably less stressful exercise!

I left the finish sanding and painting to Richard, but as he lives in a seventeenth century cottage which needs constant attention, he’s very handy with a paintbrush! Although the new doors do not exactly match the existing smaller doors – which can just be seen at the top of the main picture – they are close enough to look ‘right’, and I must say that they turned out even better than I had originally thought – especially as Richard replaced the doorknobs on the top doors with ones matching those he put on the new doors. He and I later added some shelves inside the cupboard, and he fitted strong spring-loaded latches to the doors to keep small hands from opening them.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

2 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 08-30-2015 01:36 PM

You did a great job on this and I think they turned out very well. Nice jig too !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View kiefer's profile


5682 posts in 3175 days

#2 posted 08-30-2015 02:48 PM

Hi Don
Those doors turned out quite well and look like they belong .
Sure solved the issue .


-- Kiefer

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