Raised Panel Cabinet Doors

Newest Video! I love creating, here's what I'm up to!

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 09:24
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An easy technique to create beautiful, strong raised panel doors, without fancy tools, using easy techniques, and on the tiniest of budgets.

So I got a new shirt with no paint on it, and even a new Mother's Day Apron, (thanks Gracie!) so I thought I would try something new - a video post! 

In one of my recent posts, I constructed a raised panel cabinet door for this tilt out wood trash can/recycling center.  But I thought a video post would be much more effective in showing you how to build raised panel doors.
 If you've ever wanted to make beautiful strong raised panel cabinet doors, but never thought it possible without special tools and advanced techniques, think again!

Dimensions to fit door openings


Shopping List

1x12 for the raised panel, cut down to size
1x3 boards for the cabinet door frame

Cut List

Cut your doors to fit your project.

Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Table Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

The techniques shown in this video could be dangerous. Use at your own risk.


Step 1

To cut your raised panel doors, you will need to set your saw blade so that the minimum thickness of the cut will be 1/2".  This is shown in the video above.
After creating the cut, you will need to adjust the saw blade for the bevel.  I choose a 15 degree angle and was quite pleased with the results.  Also make sure that you have raised the saw blade high enough (test on your wood piece).

Step 2

After you have set your fence on your tablesaw, measure the width of your fence and construct a saddle jig as shown in the video. Attach the panel to the saddle jig with either clamps or screws, and run the panel through the tablesaw. Repeat for all four sides.

More details on the jig are shown in step 3.

Step 3

The above diagram shows how I built my saddle jig for the tablesaw. My fence is 1" thick and 2 1/2" high at it's highest point. My jig is about 20" long.

Step 4

In this step, we sand the edges of the raised panel.  The tablesaw does not create the smoothest edge cut, so this step is very necessary, and once you start creating the door panels, you won't be able to get a sander in there.

Step 5

And this is the easy step - drive your screws!

Step 6

Easy jig ideas - just wanted to also post a diagram of how I would make a jig to help me run the raised panel through the tablesaw. You will still want to be very cautions and make sure that you leave a wide enough gap between the boards for your tablesaw blade. If your tablesaw has a fence that is smooth on both sides, you could actually create a jig that straddles the fence.

Safety safety first. It's taken me many years to get comfortable with using a table saw, but still, I'm super cautious.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Ken Allwine (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 10:29

Great job with the videos! I love using the Kreg jig on projects.

I would like to make one small suggestion for you videos. I would suggest that you get an inexpensive wireless microphone that will pick your voice up better.

Keep up the great work!


In reply to by Ken Allwine (not verified)

Ana White

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 10:35

Really appreciate any feedback - video and video editing is new to me, and I'm open to any suggestions that will help you be able to understand my projects better.

Does anyone have a professional camera recommendation (that works with a mic?) and a video editing software recommendation?


Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:15

Good job on the videos.

DSLR cameras are a great way to get professional high quality photos and HD videos. I would seriously consider this. What ever you choose or research take a look on youtube for video samples. I just got a canon t2i for christmas and have been enjoying the photos and videos that it takes. You can get great results with the lens included with the kit. It also has a jack for an external mic.

As far as software goes, they all pretty much work the same. you just have to choose which one best fits your workflow/budget/platform. Probably the more known ones are Sony Vegas/ Adobe Premiere / Final Cut

here is a decent intro to video editing:

Jake Cornette (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 12:37

I also have a Canon Rebel T2i and I agree with eruji's recommendation. It's takes your photos to another level, and the video is great as well. I bought mine from Newegg.


I was hesitant about spending so much on a camera, but it has really paid off.

I would also have to agree with the Lifehacker recommendation. It's a great site for finding tutorials on a lot of different things like video editing, photo editing, coding, etc.

For video editing, I would look into Lightworks. It's free! Here's an article from Lifehacker about it:



Wed, 05/04/2011 - 12:43

They are a great way to really show us out here what you mean. However, the only suggestion I have would be to zoom in on what you are doing so we can actually "see" it. I'm sure that with a better camera set up as suggested would help that part out, but whatever you can do for that aspect would be great.

Really love the video idea!!!

We actually tried this out a couple months ago and didn't have the great success you had. We cut way more of the board off and had about a 10 degree bevel, how long was your blade? From the table to the top? Just curious.

Thanks again Ana, you totally rock woman!


Wed, 05/04/2011 - 10:42

Thanks Anna for making a video. I went through my first project (library cart) without know to adjust the collar and the jig. Videos can really help us newbies with the simple stuff.

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 10:50

I agree with Ken, great videos and great project... the jig makes it easy. I do wish you had used an external microphone though, hard to hear your beautiful voice at times.

look forward to more videos

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:21

thanks for the video! it's really helpful to visual people like me. I'd like to see a few closeups as you finish each step, if possible!

Mike Turner (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:34

I would like to suggest that you use closeups and different camera angles to show what you are doing with your hands when you are doing something like adjusting the collar on the Kreg jig. I realize that this will mean editing and multiple shots, but it will be a lot easier to see what you are doing.

You have a wonderful site. I've gotten a lot of ideas from it. Thank you.

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:37

I enjoyed the videos, I would just suggest that you do some close up shots of the pocket screw holes after you made them, and also a close up after you screwed an end piece onto the raised panel door. I was very curious, but could not see the detail very well.
Nice work what a great idea you have to do how to wood projects.

Mari (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 13:02

I loved the video, Ana! All the "boys" in my life have always shooed me away when they get out the power tools so I've felt completely out of my depth trying projects. Just watching you use the Kreg Jig was awesome. I've looked at them online but because I still feel so ill at ease with tools I didn't "get" how it worked so it wasn't a purchase I wanted to make. The same goes for the table saw. LOL My hubby has one out in the shop but I haven't a clue how to use it. Anything I can't make with a hand saw and miter box, I don't make. But maybe after watching you, I might get up the guts to try using hubby's sometime.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 13:21

"This girly-girl"? Ana, don't sell yourself short and minimize your talent.

You are the Princess of Plywood, Sorceress of the Sawblade, the Mistress of the Miter Saw, and the Countess of Kreg!

Tsu Dho Nimh

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 13:31

In step 3, using a pusher stick in your lower hand and a "feather board" on the table would make it easier to cut the bevel.

The pusher stick is just that - a notched stick that keeps your hand away from the blade as you push the board with the stick. The feather board applies gentle pressure right at table level to keep the board aligned with the fence.

Also, put the fence on the side of the blade that makes it easiest for you to hold the boards. If you are right-handed, put the fence on the left of the blade and your right hand has better access to the board.

Stacie (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 13:33

The video is great. I just bought my Kreg jig (I only got the Jr.) and I love it. Very easy to use but your video makes it easy to understand what to do and why. Keep it up! It doesn't need multiple shots and a mic to be helpful. Thanks again for all of your great plans!


Wed, 05/04/2011 - 14:27

No harm came to Ana when she was working here, but it was luck rather than skill or careful planning. That setup isn't a safe way to raise a panel door, and could have ended tragically.

The board needs to be supported securely. Building a jig to support it on the fence would be a good start. With an insecure support like was shown here, it is very likely that the piece can wobble in the blade, and the saw will grab the board and throw it, quite possibly after throwing your fingers into the blade. When a table saw throws a board, penetrating a wall, even a cement one, isn't that unusual.

Please learn how to use a table saw safely before trying this. Alternately, there are good methods for raising a panel with hand tools. They can be (but don't need to be) expensive.

Benita (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 15:10

I've seen this done so many time by men on tv like Norm Abrams and the likes. So why can't a girl use a tablesaw without a guard?

Monica Hagen (not verified)

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 16:02

I agree with claydowling. What Ana did was not safe. It has nothing to do with being a girl. I'm a carpenter and I was holding my breath when I saw that video. Why not just use a router table? You can even build one yourself and then buy raised panel router bits.

In reply to by Benita (not verified)


Wed, 05/04/2011 - 17:26

The table saw doesn't care if you've got y chromosomes or not. The issue isn't the guard. You can't use a guard for this cut (Ana mentions that in the video). The issue is securing the work properly to make sure you don't get injured.

If I were making this cut on a table saw, I'd build a secondary fence that was taller and could slide along the existing fence. I would clamp my panel to that fence and slide it through the cut that way.

I'd try to avoid making this cut on the table saw entirely though. I'd scrape my pennies together and try to buy a good second hand rabbet plane, which can also be used to raise a panel, as well as several other useful tasks. In fact I saw one today for about what Ana paid for that table saw.

The accusation of gender discrimination I'll leave alone. This post was a lot longer, but you don't need to hear my tirade.

Scott in NC

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 07:59

As a long-time woodworking instructor, I couldn't agree more with claydowling. Ana, you are to be commended for your willingness to dive into an intimidating project, but there are several safety rules being broken in the panel raising process that you employ.

If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend the book "Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone" by R. J. Decristoforo. In it you will find several safe ways to produce raised panels and a host of other woodworking tips and techniques.

Whether or not your support fence is a fixed fence or a moving jig, the portion of the panel that is removed during the cut should fall free of the blade, leaving the back of the panel fully supported by the fence. In doing so you are not only safe from potential kickback of the cut-off; but your panel is much less likely to wobble while it is still in contact with the blade.

Keep up the good work and keep tackling the tough projects; just do all you can to stay safe by learning from the well-documented safe procedures learned by those nine-fingered woodworkers that went before us.

Make it a great day! Scott

Lady Goats

Wed, 05/04/2011 - 19:46

Ana, you've got such an amazing body, but wearing the apron makes me HAVE to ask.. Are we going to be hearing news about a baby carpenter? :-p

Now don't get mad if we're not!!! You don't look like it! But aprons (or... "coverings") always make me wonder... :-)).


Thu, 05/05/2011 - 07:33

Ana, your fast turnaround on that video is amazing. The rapid improvement in your video editing is great too. I also like that you're teaching people how to make jigs. The handle on the back is awesome.

Scott in NC

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 08:06

Make the jig just a little longer and add a permanent face on the blade side of the fence. This way you'll be able to clamp your panel rather than screw it to your jig. Ads lip to push the panel along, and or add some self-sticking sandpaper to the face of the jig to keep the panel from shifting during the cut. I can only imagine what your panel looked like after screwing and unscrewing on and off of your jig four times in order to cut it on all for edges.

Ana White

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:10

Just wanted to say thanks everyone for your advice. I believe in becoming better and this site has always been about simply helping people create better homes on a budget. And I appreciate those of you who take your time to make this site better. Thank you.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:26

Ana, I am impressed with how quickly you created a new video after some of the comments were made about the safety issues. Thank you for the service you provide to so many of us with your "project how to"; and that you are able to do it free to us is a wonderful gift. I hope you are getting sponsorships from the makers of some of the tools you demonstrate with as well as paid advertising on your web site. My brother was trying to think of a good thing that would make it possible for him to do just that and he could not think of anything but you have the perfect idea. Thank you and keep it coming.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:47

So here we have a woman who is beautiful, well spoken, and smart like no one's business, yet humble and able to take advice with class. That's what impresses me the most.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 13:25

You said that very nicely.

heidi (not verified)

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:31

***Beadboard Insert Help***
First Ana, Thank you so much for posting this!! You mentioned when you first posted this plan that beadboard could be used. I anxiously awaited your video as that is precisely what I wanted to use. However, after watching your video, I see that the method won't work... beadboard, as you know, isn't even 1/4" thick so there's no way to Kreg jig it to the stiles and rails. So what do you suggest in order to have beadboard instead of the raised panel? Thanks in advance!!

Andrew Pitonyak (not verified)

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 20:38

One of the biggest failings that I find while reading documentation and tutorials relates to skipping steps. I am frequently frustrated by this in many areas such as wood working, computer documentation, etc. I really like that you do not make this error.

I am impressed and really enjoyed the videos; you even held my wife's attention and not much in woodworking does. I guess you had us at great useful plans suitable for everyday use.

Realize that I have never made a raised panel door when I ask these questions. I am well read with limited experience (but I am gaining experience).

(1) I thought that a raised panel door is usually left to to float freely because they expand and contract. If the panel is glued in place, I expected that if the panel and the rails and styles expanded and contracted at different rates that something might split. Perhaps the screw allows thing to move a bit, but, I would not expect glue to allow that.

(2) I usually see the advice repeated that the inner panel should be finished before it is installed because things will expand and shrink at different rates so that unfinished portions may be revealed when things shrink.

Thanks for your excellent site!

Scott in NC

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 21:27

Andrew, you are absolutely correct. There are two ways of keeping the panel centered within the frame: You can use small foam rubber balls called "Space Balls", or the barrel-shaped equivalent; or you can drill a small hole in the rails and glue a small dowel or toothpick to hole the panel in place. This is what the Shakers did, and their stuff turned out nicely.

As for pre-finishing the panels, this is important because if you don't when the panel shrinks (and it will seasonally) a nasty "boogery" finish that you weren't able to wipe clean will become exposed. In the case of paint it can be even more obnoxious. I remember my dad repainting a door that had wooden raised panels and him becoming frustrated when the panels shrank and revealed the old green paint that he thought he had covered with white.

Mike Kahle (not verified)

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 20:48

I have owned my Kreg Jig for a few months now, and became a member of the Kreg Jig Owners community. I learned of your site here, Ana, through the Newsletter they send out. I showed my wife the four items of yours featured in the newsletter and she picked the Garbage Can/Recycle Center for my next project. I was waiting for you to come back with the video on the raised panel before I started.
I did not get to see the safety issues, but the videos you now have up are nice and informative.
Someone mentioned above that they would like to see how you adjusted the collar on the drill bit as they are new to the Kreg pocket hole system. I would like to invite anyone who is a Kreg Jig owner or considering purchasing one in the future to come to the community. Many knowledgeable people there who are more than happy to help and answer question.
This is not an attempt to steal anyone from Ana's site. I leaned of her site there and I am sure if anyone out there is like me, once wood working gets into your blood you will be on as many sites as you can looking for projects and information.
Happy saw dust making to all.

MichelleRas (not verified)

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 14:37

Hi Anna- I've been looking everywhere for plans to build wood sling chairs.will you be posting the plans for the "surprise" chairs in the video???

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 08:41

Can this technique be used with MDF to make a larger raised panel?

Jim Howe (not verified)

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 17:19

I'm stuck between Step 4 "Drawing a Rectangle" and Step 5 "Pulling a Rectangle into a Board". Setting at Fractional-Units Plan View feet/inches...
Step 4. Using .75,11.5 dimenisions, I endup with a small blip at the GREEN/RED axis as '|'. Step 5 Pulling will only drag above the RED axis with a dark-gray area, after entering 36.
Am I missing some other settings? Have tried this numerous times.
Ana, you're doing great work. I am a KREGer with a Kreg Jig K3, since 2007. I am a retired elder (81 great years) and have FUN mading nite-stands and a few bookcases for my grandkids, next are coffee-tables. Would Love using Sketchup for my plannings into my 82nd year. My background was computer systems, but now I am stumped. Should I go back to punched-cards where I could see the holes in the cards??

Jim Howe


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 06:02

Jim, don't feel bad. I'm a programmer too, and Sketchup gives me fits. Fortunately drafting was a required component of my secondary curriculum, so I don't actually need Sketchup, but my lettering was never legible, so my drawings can still be a bit of a mystery to outsiders.

For the sketchup challenged like us, there is a nice series of videos available: http://www.shopwoodworking.com/category/s?keyword=sketchup

I haven't used the videos yet, because I haven't designed anything that I couldn't keep in my head. I have built some things where sketchup plans were helpful though, so at some point I suspect I'll need to learn.


Thu, 04/05/2012 - 20:29

Ana I am curious about seasonal wood movement when Kregging (to coin a phrase) a raised panel to the stiles and rails. I imagine that you have the most extreme weather variation around. Do you have problems with wood splitting, paint peeling or polyurathane cracking?

Jesse K (not verified)

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 07:08

If I didn't have scraps to use for this project, how much do you think a single 20"x30" door would cost? I'm thinking about using this tutorial to help with redoing our kitchen cabinet doors. Thanks for your help!

In reply to by Jesse K (not verified)


Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:04

It's really hard to say what this will cost you. It's really wasy to figure out though.

Measure the height and width of the door, in inches. Divide each measurement by 12, to convert it to feet. Now multiply the height and width, in feet. Multiply that number by 1.5. That will give you the amount of wood you need in board feet.

Now you can find a lumber dealer, who will price their material in board feet. A board foot is 1 inch thick and one foot square. The cost will depend on what kind of deals you can get from your dealer and what materials you choose to use.

Don't buy your lumber from any kind of store on the retail strip if you can help it. Not from home centers, not from hardware stores. You'll get lower quality wood at higher prices.

If you use google to find local dealers, you should be able to get oak for somewhere between $2.50 and $3 per board food (with $2.50 being much more likely). This wood will probably be unsurfaced (i.e. rough off the saw). The dealer may be willing to surface it for you, but you can also do it yourself with a couple of second hand planes and a little reading on the topic of surfacing lumber by hand.

Braxtons momma (not verified)

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 21:06

I want to make this doors for my house remodel and was looking for a kreg jig- the big one like you have costs 100+ dollars. Would a mini one work? Its alot cheaper than the big one in you video. I want to make one first and see how I do before spending that kind of money and never using it again.... (Have not worked with wood EVER)

Which Kreg would work with this and many more projects?

In reply to by Braxtons momma (not verified)

Scott in NC

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:36

I've owned three generations of the Kreg pocket hole jigs and feel that they are the best in their field. But that said, there is a field. You can pick-up a bargain basement version of a fine pocket hole jig from a Harbor Freight for about 1/3 the kist if the Kreg, and if you desire you can still use the Kreg screws, drivers and accessories.

In reply to by Braxtons momma (not verified)

Scott in NC

Sun, 08/05/2012 - 22:38

I've owned three generations of the Kreg pocket hole jigs and feel that they are the best in their field. But that said, there is a field. You can pick-up a bargain basement version of a fine pocket hole jig from a Harbor Freight for about 1/3 less than the Kreg, and if you desire you can still use the Kreg screws, drivers and accessories.

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