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Slot & Spline Paneled Door

Hands down, the easiest way to make a frame-and-panel door.

By Tom Caspar

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A good-looking frame-and-panel door is really quite easy to make, if you keep it simple. The doors in this cabinet are held together by splines made from 1/4-in. plywood. The panels are 1/4-in. plywood, too. The splines and panel fit into the same size slots in the stiles and rails.

All you need to make a slot-and-spline style door is a router table and a 1/8-in. slotting cutter (see photo, right). Plywood is usually undersized, so a 1/4-in. cutter would be too big. Instead, you’ll make two slightly overlapping passes using the 1/8-in. cutter. That way, you can adjust the slot’s width to perfectly fit your plywood, whatever its actual thickness.  

Click any image to view a larger version.

A 1/8-in. slotting cutter is the only bit you need to make this door. 

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker March 2006, issue #120.

Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from

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