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Rout raised panel look-alikes in minutes. 

Raised panel doors made with traditional stile and rail joinery are my first choice for cabinets. But I don’t always use them. For example, cabinets for the shop or laundry room usually don’t require fine woodworking. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have good-looking doors, especially if the doors can be made in minutes, instead of hours.

1. Because this door-making process requires no joinery, it saves an enormous amount of time on projects featuring wall-to-wall doors.

Here’s how to turn a piece of MDF into a door that mimics its traditional counterpart without going through all the traditional time-consuming steps. Making doors in multiples is a breeze with this method (Photo 1). The only caveat is that these doors must be painted—unless, of course, you’re a fool for the look of “natural” MDF.

2. (Left: Ogee profile, Right: classical profile). To make these doors, you need a plunge-grooving bit with a stile and rail-type profile and a guide bearing mounted on the shank, above the cutters.


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