How to Calculate the Size of Overlay Cabinet Doors

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Master the science of properly sizing overlay cabinet doors. Designing the rails and stiles so that they fit appropriately can present a challenge, even for the most experienced woodworker. When done right, the door becomes nicely integrated into the overall cabinet design from both a form and functional perspective. But if you calculate even one aspect incorrectly you might end up starting over and losing an entire door and all the labor that went into creating it. In this video, George walks you through the process of sizing the components for overlay cabinet doors, carefully spelling out each calculation so that all of the guesswork is removed.

Good Door Design is Critical to Quality Cabinet Construction
Designing a door to the appropriate dimensions is critical, but a prerequisite is 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. Of course, a critical part of cabinet making is understanding 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 overlay cabinet doors. Designing them is simpler because they simply extend from top to bottom, spanning past the face frame of your cabinet to create the full overlay effect.

Rails Follow Stiles
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. Fear not, however, as George will break this all down and take the mystery out of the process!

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