how to extreme

Rustic Doors for Cabinets & Drawers

Cabinet, Construction How-To, Kitchen, Remodeling August 5, 2016 Sonia


First step was to cut the door blanks to size with a table saw.

First step was to cut the door blanks to size with a table saw.

“Clearly there MUST be a cheaper, faster way?”

The homeowner provided the old doors as a reference for measurement.

The homeowner provided the old doors as a reference for measurement.

After some back and forth discussion, on door construction as well as the time/cost involved to make the doors traditionally, he asked me if I would glue strips to a door blank. This way the door would appear to have a solid panel with a faux rail and stile.

Label the pieces as you work to stay organized.

Label the pieces as you work to stay organized.

After some thought I told him could do that a lot faster, and with less machine setup, than construct the frame-and-panel doors. My only reservation with this idea is the doors will be susceptible to cupping and movement. He told me he didn’t care, and we agreed to start and keep the project to 16 hours of labor.

My client wanted to use pine and wanted me to incorporate the saw kerfs in the doors’ design. Rough sawn pine is used for many homeowner projects such as siding on sheds, fencing and birdhouses, so we thought it was the perfect choice for this project.

What is Rough Sawn?

Rough sawn lumber is left rough from the saw mill and usually needs to be dried, planed and otherwise dressed by the end user. Drying is often done by leaving the lumber outside, but it can also be dried in a lumber kiln or in your workshop. Often times you can purchase this lumber from the mill after it is kiln-dried.

Wood Species

There are a few species that are best suited for a rustic appearance. We chose kiln-dried, rough sawn Pine. It is a fairly popular choice for a rustic look because it displays the visible knots for which rustic kitchen cabinets are well known. Pine is also a sustainable resource, readily available and reasonably priced.

Selecting Material

We chose to get our rough sawn lumber from a local saw mill called Parlee Lumber & Box Co., Inc. Parlee was originally established as a gristmill and was converted to a sawmill in 1815.

Parlee had an assortment of 1/4-in. (4/4) and 2-in. thicknesses in addition to the following widths: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 inches, and wider. We were able to purchase 4/4 x 18-in. wide boards.

Rough lumber thicknesses are measured in 1/4-in. increments. The thinnest rough-cut boards, labeled 4/4 and called “four quarter,” are 1-in. thick.

Tip: A common rule of thumb is to buy 10 to 20 percent more than you need (and I’m glad we did).

Don’t Forget the Countertop Overhang.