How to Make a Louvered Cabinet Door Part 2 How to Make a Louvered Cabinet Door Part 2
After you're done with the stiles and rails and have finished making the louver slats for your louvered cabinet door, it is now time to turn your attention to the grooves which will hold the whole project together. These grooves are of the mortise and tenon type. A groove or mortise would have to be cut on each of the stiles to accommodate the tenons which will have to be made on each end of the rails. Grooves will also have to be made for each of the louver slats in your project. Always remember that it would be easier for you if you will cut the mortises first and fit the tenons to them than the other way around.
Step 1 - Making the Mortises
The easiest way of cutting grooves or mortises is with the use of a mortiser which is basically a drill press that has a square chisel attached to a drill bit. The drill bit is in the center and removes most of the wood. The square chisel forms the resulting groove that is made. But if you do not have such a tool, you can cut a groove using a power drill or drill press then square it up with a chisel. You can also use a straight bit instead of the drill bit on the router table. Ease the stock on the bit and move along the fence. You can raise the stock off again afterwards. If you have to make a wider groove, just move the fence some and make one more pass. Clean up afterwards with the chisel.
Step 2 - Measuring the Grooves
The grooves or mortises that you made should be around half of the width of your stock. If your stock is one and a half inches wide for example, your mortise should be about ¾ inch wide and centered on the stile width. You should also cut the mortise ½ inch from the back of each end.
Step 3 - Grooving the Second Stile
Once you have finished cutting all the grooves on one of the stiles, proceed with doing the same process on the other. These should be done on a 45 degree angle opposite.
Step 4 - Dry Fitting the Louvers
After you have done the grooves on both stiles, test for a perfect fit by dry fitting the louvers on one of the stiles. Brush an even coating of glue on the mortises on the stile and on the rail tenons and slip them into place. Wipe off excess glue immediately to prevent them from hardening on the surface. You can then brush on a coating of glue on the grooves of the remaining stile and on the other remaining tenons. Position each tenon with its appropriate mortise and place each of the louvers into their right grooves. You have to work fast while doing it to prevent the glue from hardening prematurely.