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How to Calculate The Size of Inset Cabinet Doors


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Master the science of properly sizing inset cabinet doors. Of all the available door types, inset can be the most challenging to size because the tolerances are extremely finicky. Too tight and the door can stick; too loose and they don’t look right. Designing the rails and stiles so that they fit appropriately can present a challenge, even for the most experienced woodworker. In this video, George walks you through the process of sizing the components for inset cabinet doors, carefully spelling out each calculation so that all of the guesswork is removed.

Door Design is Critical to Quality Cabinet Construction
Designing a door to precise dimensions is critical, but it is also important to have a good fundamental understanding of how to build cabinets. Good quality cabinet construction will ensure that the project is aesthetically pleasing and that the doors will have a good square and plumb mount point. In addition to understanding design aspects, it will also be important to know how to make cabinet doors. Having mastery of this skill will help you to understand the concepts much better as you endeavor to design the sizes for your rails and stiles.

Size the Stiles First
The easier portion of your design process will be to size the stiles, which are the vertical frame members of inset cabinet doors. Designing them is easier because they simply extend from top to bottom, spanning past the face frame of your cabinet to create the full overlay effect.

Do the Rails Next
Rails are the horizontal frame member on overlay cabinet doors, and they can prove to be a bit trickier because of the accommodation of tongues as well as the width of the stiles. By following the steps in this video you will be building perfect inset cabinet doors in no time!