10:03AM | 10/16/03
Member Since: 10/15/03
2 lifetime posts
I am hoping some of you here can give me some instructions on how to do this. I have maple cabinets with a raised panel door. I want to remove the raised panel and replace it with seeded, antique glass on a few of my cabinet doors. I contacted a carpenter but he wanted to charge $250 per door which I thought was crazy just to route it out.

Can someone please give me some detailed instructions on how to do this? I have never used a router so I plan on practicing on a old cabinet door first.



02:19PM | 10/16/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Chrissie,

$250 sounds nuts to me too!

Router bits can get quite expensive, but I've found carbide-tipped sets at Costco which have worked well for me. Others have good luck mail-ordering them.

It's definitely worth practicing on some 'throwaway' material. You'll quickly find that the router is 'directional'; going the wrong way can splinter your work.

Be careful with the thing! But have fun! A router is (I believe) one of the most pleasurable tools to use.

You might still need to do some chisel work in the corners.

Good luck,
-k2 in Colorado


09:50AM | 10/17/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
By the way, consider using router bits that have ball-bearing guides for this. After you remove the raised panel, you can set the router depth and run the guide along the edge. Very satisfying, enjoy!


09:56AM | 10/17/03
Member Since: 10/15/03
2 lifetime posts

Thanks for your reply.

How would you suggest removing the panel?

Also, they guide you are referring to, is that to make sure your cuts are straight?

Approx, how much is a router?

And what type of bit would I need to make a recess to hold the glass?


04:47PM | 10/17/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi again Chrissie,

Removing the raised panel can be a bit of a sticky wicket depending on how it was assembled in the first place. A lot of raised panel doors are pretty much sandwiched in; hopefully yours will be easier to remove.

You can use trim pieces, etc., to hold the glass. It might be possible to use clear silicone caulk to hold it together--you don't have to nail around the new glass.

As far as removing the panels...hmmmm, again, let's hope it's fairly straightforward. If it looks "ugly"--like some kind of permanent assembly--well, some creativity might be needed. If you end up with a complicated job (like you need a table saw to get what you want), you may wish to reconsider the ease of this project (or, hey, you might just decide to buy a table saw! )

Cost of routers; I've had mine for many years so my experience is not too recent...but I'd guess $100-200. The cost of router bits can FAR exceed the cost of the router!!! Some professionals (which I'm not!) have several routers--so they don't have to switch bits--they just grab another router with the bit pre-loaded. Very handy if you have to switch among 2-or-3 different bits depending on what you're doing.

And yes, the ball-bearing guide rests along a piece of the work (say, the outside edge), so what you do ends up straight (say, the inside cut-out for the glass). Pretty nifty. Be sure the router is set to the right depth.

Some people really get into router bits (it's an expensive hobby, as I've said!). But for making a groove for the glass, this should be fairly straight-forward. A straight bit (again, depending on your raised-door situation) might work out fine.

Good luck; at $250 per door you could come out well ahead even if you bought some nice tools.

[This message has been edited by k2 (edited October 17, 2003).]


05:37PM | 10/17/03
Member Since: 04/10/03
116 lifetime posts
250.00 is nuts. We have done this process on numerous occasions for about 35.00 per door.Maple seems to tear out and splinter more than oak would. You more than likely already have a groove in your door for your panel.If you look on the back side of your door, I'm guessing you will see about a quarter inch thickness of lip holding in your panel. Something I would try first is taking a SHARP utility knife and a straight edge and cut that lip off. Probably measure in about 7/16" and repeatedly cut until you get through the lip. If that works, then the panel comes out and your ready for glass. To me, for someone that is inexperienced with the router, that would be the cheapest and safest way of doing it. If that does not work, I have more ideas. Let me know what you think. You can look down at the top of the door where the stiles(verticle pieces) and rails(horizontal pieces) are joined together and get an idea of how far in that lip goes.

[This message has been edited by whit.millwork (edited October 17, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by whit.millwork (edited October 17, 2003).]


05:10PM | 10/21/03
Member Since: 09/25/03
47 lifetime posts
I've done quite a few of these. I use a vernier caliper to first measure the depth the panel is set into the frame. There's a depth gauge on the caliper, I slide that between the panel & frame to get the depth (check both on the stile side and the rail side. Carefully mark where it falls on the back side of the door. Next measure the depth you will have to cut into the frame to get to the door.

I like to use a 1/4" plunge router with a solid carbide spiral bit. I like to use a edge guide against the edge of the door.

Align the router inside the line, plunge the router and go to the end of that side. Do all four sides and you'll have to do a little chisel work to square out the corners. The panels should then lift out and you're ready to do with the glass.

Either use glass retainer clips on the new glass or cut strips to hold them in. Either way, be careful, routers can do a lot of damage in inexperienced hands, as well as cause a lot of personal pain if it 'bites' you.

$35 is a fair price, $250 is outrageous to cut out a panel.


02:22AM | 11/19/03
Member Since: 11/18/03
3 lifetime posts
How about removing the panels, then creating holders for the glass by adding thin strips of wood to the back of the doors? I think you can buy mouldings that already have an 'L' shaped cutout on the back and this overlap would hold the glass in place. Another maybe easier solution is to buy some of those plastic mirror mounts. Same idea. Just use tiny enough screws so they don't go through to the face of the cabinet.


04:16PM | 11/19/03
Member Since: 09/10/03
67 lifetime posts
I have read several of the responses. I agree with Whit Millwork as to the simple solution if not well experienced. I also have did several of these and can be very touchy if inexperienced with a router. However, I have the proper tool and bits to do the job if you want to take the challenge. See my sight, and look at routers and router bits for the proper tool. you may also want to consider a rotozip at a lesser cost, and will only make a 1/8 in cut around the door lip.


06:01PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 04/27/04
3 lifetime posts
hi there,

i guess i`am a little late, but there is an artikel about that in the workbench magazine 4/2004, if somebody is still interestet i can mail that
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