Should you make your own cabinet doors and drawer fronts or buy them? It's a good question to ask yourself, whether you are a professional cabinetmaker, a weekend woodworker, or just someone who has a kitchen that needs a little updating. There's no clear-cut answer. You may save a little money building your own, but you'll save a lot of time if you let someone else do it for you. You just need to ask yourself whether you're the type of person who has the time and temperament to set off on a rewarding but fairly involved project.
Maybe you didn't know that you could buy custom made doors and drawer fronts. Yes, you can, and furthermore, Rockler's Custom Door and Drawer Front program makes the process easy. You can have custom made hardwood or RTF (rigid thermo-foil) doors and drawer fronts delivered to your home or shop, ready to finish and install. It's a refreshingly simple woodworking solution - here's all you have to do:
2. Head to our Custom Door and Drawer Front Program and let our custom door and drawer order configurator walk you through the process of choosing the style, wood species and sizes you need.
It's a great solution for people who want to get a cabinetry project underway and completed, but want to - or have to, because of time constraints - limit their shop-time involvement. If the project is to update your kitchen cabinets, the custom door and drawer front program makes the door and drawer issue so easy, you may even decide to reface your existing cabinets with PSA hardwood veneer or RTF laminate, and then pick out a few swanky new knobs and pulls to top off the project. That's a fairly simple process, too. Read through the step-by-step instructions for the whole refacing / door and drawer front process in Rockler's article, Updating Your Cabinets and see how simple it can be to give a set of cabinets a new look.
The custom door and drawer program isn't just for updating existing cabinets; it’s the best way to get a cabinetry project completed when you don't have the time or inclination to build every single thing yourself from scratch. And it takes a load off your mind; your cabinet doors and drawer fronts are built by woodworkers who do a lot of that sort of thing, so you can rest easy, knowing that when your new doors and drawer fronts arrive, they'll be just about perfect and ready to hang.
What about making your own doors and drawer fronts? Do you have the skills and tools? Contrary to what you might think, frame and panel construction doesn't require expensive production machinery and years of woodworking experience. As a matter of fact, beautiful raised panel doors are made every day by hobbyists with only a modest shop and intermediate woodworking skills. But you will need a few things, and a little information.
The true benefit of making your own doors and drawer fronts is that it can be an extremely enjoyable and satisfying process, if you have the right tools and a good method to follow. We can help you get started on the right foot. First, read Rockler's article, "Raised Panel Door Tools and Techniques" to find out how a few affordable pieces of equipment, like the Rockler Rail Coping Jig and the Router Bit Set-Up Block can speed the process up and insure accurate results. Then read on to page two of the article, where you'll find step-by-step instructions for making an arched-top raised panel door. Before you head to the lumber yard, you may want to pick up a few expert tips on choosing stock, as well.
Following that, you can continue you education with information on the pros and cons of horizontal and vertical raised panel bits, and learn how to use them safely and effectively by brushing up on how router bit diameter determines the correct router speed. If that convinces you to go with the arguably safer but somewhat more difficult to use vertical raised panel bit, find out how a couple of simple accessories for your Rockler router table can help in our post on the Rockler Deluxe Router Fence. When you're ready to glue up your newly cut door parts, check out how a set of Bench Blocks can turn your ordinary pipe clamps into a highly useful frame and panel glue-up jig. You'll find help with the sometimes confusing process of choosing hinges in our article "Understanding Hinges", and when your ready for the final steps, our "Finishing Comparison Guide" will help you choose the best supplies.
That should just about cover it, but if you still thirst for knowledge, pick up a copy of Bill Hylton's Frame and Panel Magic, and learn everything you'd ever want to know about making doors from a true master. But whichever way you decide to go, we hope the tools, lumber, doors and drawer fronts, drawers and drawer parts, finishes, hardware and information you'll find at Rockler helps make the process smooth and trouble-free.