Old 03-02-05, 06:34 AM
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Talking Mullions/Transoms

I need help with those experienced making their own mullions/transoms for glass cabinet doors. Its obvious to me they are moulding pieces fit together; however I don't know how they join smoothly where a mullion and transom cross. I will be making my own glass doors this weekend, and will have to rip 4" boards for my stiles and rails, leaving me approx. 1" wide, 30" long cherry strips with which to make the mullions. Any tips greatly appreciated!
Old 03-02-05, 06:52 AM
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Hi Greenlincoln,

I bet that Sawdustguy will be able to give you a good answer, since he's into custom cabinetry. I'm assuming you have the router bits to make the cabinet doors, so what you need for the divided lite grids and mullion is a reversable sash bit.

I believe you could also do this with your rail/stile bit, but you would have to cut the 3/32" lip off the back for the glass to fit in. Once the profile is routed on the hirizontal mullion, for example, the ends of the vertical grid will need to be coped with the opposite stile bit. I've never had the opportunity to do this, but have always wanted to. I've got the bits, but not the time!
Old 03-02-05, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for thinking of me Xsleeper!

The joint where the vertical and horizontal pieces come together, is called a lap joint.

You take out equal amount of wood on both vert and hori pieces using a dado blade that is the same thickness as your pieces are wide, or you'll need to make two passes. Blah! "You would then press em together so it's flat on both sides" "Make some test pieces" The key is to make sure that the mullions are run through the planer at the EXACT same thickness setting and on the money at 9/16". Measure off of the 1" mark, not off the end of the tape. I would make your mullions 3/4" wide or less. 1" is a bit too beefy.

If you're going to do square inside edges of your doors, you can snugly fit your pieces in with a dab of glue where they all meet the stiles and rails. Before you do this, you'll need to use a rabbiting bit on the back side of the door to accept 3/16" glass. If you have a 23 gauge pin nailer, you can flip the door in and pop a couple of pins in on an angle.

If you're going to have a profile on the inside, you'll need the exact opposite profile for the mullions. So if you have a 1/4" round over, you'll need a 1/4" cove bit to use on the mullions, so they come together.

Another option would be to mortise and tennon the mullions where they meet the edges of the stiles and rails. A lot more work, but also a lot stronger.

This project is a lot of work and you might want to just look into ordering the doors from a company. It will cost you a lot less time and a lot less money.
More questions?
Old 03-02-05, 08:03 AM
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Lot Less Money?

No, I'm afraid that is NOT the case, that's why I am making my own doors. Besides, what's the fun of ordering them when I can learn to make them myself? 7 doors for glass was going to cost $600 in cherry.

Thanks for the answer, I may have the opposite cove bit to match the roundover I used on the edges of the door openings. If not, I'll go buy one. Thanks again!!!
Old 03-02-05, 08:10 AM
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Remember to route your profile edges BEFORE you route the backside for the glass. "If you're doing mitered doors"

If not, then you'll need to route the rabbit and profile on the inside edge after the door is assembled. Which ever you choose to route first, make sure you leave yourself enough "Flat" for the bearing to ride on.

If you're using a stile and rail set, then you'll need to rabbit out the back side, so you can put the glass in and remove it if it ever breaks. You can always put the glass in the groove, but if it breaks, then you'll have a "we" bit of a problem
Old 03-02-05, 08:12 AM
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p.s. Make sure you buy the SAME manufactuers routerbit. It wouldn't be a bad idea to buy two brand new bits. I don't know if you've ever had them sharpened, but it does take off some metal and could alter your profile.

Remember to run ALL of your pieces at once on the cove and ALL of your pieces on the roundover when it's in the exact same position, as you'll never get it to sit back in the exact same position. Make extra pieces!
Old 03-02-05, 08:23 AM
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Great Tip

Thanks for the tip of running them all at one time; never thot of that. You're right. Getting them at exactly the same depth by not running them all at the same time means I would have to settle for "close" but not "exact."

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