Looking for help with best way to cut profile for mitered cabinet doors

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Forum topic by ChadMN posted 01-18-2013 09:17 AM 2165 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2563 days

01-18-2013 09:17 AM

Hello, My first post here!

I have been a wood enthusiast for many years, but just over the last 2 – 3 years I started buying wood working equipment for my future shop build, I’m currently looking for some suggestions on how to make either of these styles of profile for making mitered cabinet doors and drawers.

I have a General 650R-T50 cabinet saw, looking to use the Magic Molder cutting head for the table saw, or are these profiles more suitable for a shaper or router? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

7 replies so far

View Melanie's profile


13 posts in 2561 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 01:30 AM

I had never heard of the Magic Molder cutting head before. Had to take a moment & google it. Those magic cutters in my opinion are very expensive for what they are. You could easily replicate those doors with a good quality router.

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Jorge G.

1537 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 01-19-2013 01:46 AM

Those molders are scary on the TS, I had the rabbet blade and it was just too scary to use. Second you are going to have a special plate for the molder, you cant use the TS plate.

If I were you I would look into the horizontal jigs for a router on this site, and get a router bit, there are millions of these bits for routers and this is the chance you needed to buy a router since it will be a tool you will use.

I agree with Melanie, I would use a router for this. Better yet, maybe you can score some hollow and round planes on e bay and make your own molding by hand….that is how real men do them… :-)

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4463 posts in 2840 days

#3 posted 01-19-2013 01:47 AM

These moldings are a natural for a molding machine. Lacking that, a shaper or table saw molder will work just fine. You will want to be sure the moldings are held down well if you use a table saw molder or shaper. A finger type hold down is OK for really light cuts like the bead, but for the larger cuts I would secure a solid hold down to the fence or table.

Now to a more fundamental question. Why? Miter joints are notoriously weak even with splines, internal joinery, or half-lap. They appear strong when first made, but the movement of the wood over time opens the joint in almost every case where the mitered stick is over 1 1/2 inches wide. The joint is essentially an end grain to end grain glue up and with the frequent shocks of closure is subject to early failure. I admit they can be pretty and they serve a decorative need in some designs. But I do not design a door frame with a miter joint because of the inherent weakness. If you use very stable woods (see wood movement charts) and keep the width not more than 1 1/2” you may be able to make long lasting mitered door frames.

Welcome to LJ where six people will offer 13 opinions! I have become very fond of the site and the interaction, information, and inspiration it offers.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL All my life I've wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.

View Jdub1's profile


4 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 01-19-2013 02:11 AM

I’d have to agree with Dan, a molder would be your best way. Not having this in my shop I would go with either a shaper or a router (never liked using a molder head on a table saw). If I was only going to do this profile once, I would use the router because the cutters are cheaper a easier to change the setup. If your going to use miter joints then I would use pocket screws and glue for the joints.

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Dan Krager

4463 posts in 2840 days

#5 posted 01-19-2013 02:16 PM

After sleeping on this, I realized that I overlooked hand planes or even scratch cutters. An awful lot of molding was cut before power tools, cut well and beautiful stuff. If you don’t have them, or a buddy to borrow them from at least to see how they work for you, then consider making a scratch stock. It is exceedingly simple and there are several advantages. You can use them while the rest of the neighborhood is sleeping. They are SAFE! And you will appreciate the finished product even more if made “by hand”.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL All my life I've wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.

View JAAune's profile


1872 posts in 2923 days

#6 posted 01-19-2013 03:00 PM

I’d go with a molder but lacking that, would use a shaper and power feed if it were available. Router table with feather boards and/or other types of hold downs would be the last option. The table saw molding attachment is not something I’d care to use.

Scratch stock would work too but could be slow if there’s a lot of linear feet to run. I usually don’t use scratch stock unless I’m working a surface around a curve. In that case, using a router is actually slower since I’d need to build a special jig.

-- See my work at and

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3283 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 04:04 PM

I’m with the others. A moulder would be my first choice, followed by a moulding head in a shaper, and a router third. If you only had a few to do, then scratch cutters would be a viable alternative.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

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