changing panels in cabinet doors to obscure glass

Old 12-16-08, 06:38 AM
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changing panels in cabinet doors to obscure glass

We have 4 upper cabinets that have typical raised panel wood doors. I would like to replace the panels with obscured glass. How would I remove the panels so they could potentially be reused again if we later change our minds?
I was thinking of cutting the lip on the back of the door with a heavy razor knife/box cutter and a straight edge clamped to the door. Is there a better way to make nice straight cuts on the back of the door? I think a router would make a mess. The wood lip seems about 1/8" thick at most. Thanks.
Old 12-23-08, 04:04 PM
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It sounds like you have a fairly good grasp of the problem. Yes, it can be done, but reinstalling a panel might be a bit more difficult. The panels must float in the door frame or they will crack. Small molding could work for reinstalling. There are a number of gadgets for holding glass in place.

I might use a table saw, a router, and even a utility knife for removing the panels.
Old 12-23-08, 05:10 PM
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Router is your best bet provided there are not removable 1/4 round trim holding it in place. I would be surprised if there were not since how would you replace the glass if it got broken? Anyway you can re-install it with a bead of silicone - thats how the glass company does it.
Old 12-28-08, 04:13 PM
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Removing the glass

Removing the quarter round or bead from the back side is the right thing to do as everyone agrees. But... should you ever want to take it out with a router, be careful because there are brads holding the quarter round in the opening. A carbide router bit will cut them off but I still hate using the bits on metal. You can do it really neatly with no mess however.

Measure very carefully the opening. This is the opening beyond the quarter round. Get this measurement and draw it out on a piece of MDF (3/4" is what I use). Draw the opening per your measurements and use a sabre saw to cut out the opening. Leave about a 1/16" when you cut. You should be able to see your lines plus a little of the MDF showing.

You have a piece of MDF with a rectangular hole in it. Now get yourself a pattern bit for your router (one with a bearing on top). Use a straight edge and put it right smack on the line and clamp it down. Now use your router with the pattern bit and run it down the line, up to the point where you come to the corner. Now change the straight edge to the next line and do the same thing. Go around the hole like this and then use a hand saw to square up the corners.

Now you have a perfect pattern and can cut out the hole in the door if you want to do it that way. Just clamp the MDF to the door and go for it. The carbide bit will cut off the brads without much effect on the bit but it's your choice.

Good Luck.

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