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Thread: Rail/Stile Width Question for the Pros...

  1. #1
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    Rail/Stile Width Question for the Pros...

    Question for the cabinet pros out there...

    For overlay kitchen cab doors what widths do you use for the rails/stiles? Also, do you increase the width of the lower rail to make it more "asthetically pleasing?" If so, by how much?

    How much does this change if you are using arched panels?

    Thanks
    Andy

  2. #2
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    There isn't any "rule" for widths.

    I tend to use 1.5" for as much as possible. If I was going to have under lighting I would have a wider bottom rail. If there is going to be crown then there would likely be a wider top rail. Wider stiles for scribes and possibly applied end panels.

    Joe
    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

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    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  3. #3
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    I guess you could call me an Ex-Pro. Its been about 12 or 13 years since I worked the trade for a living but I have built a few sets of kitchen cabinets for friends and family since then.

    I like 2" stiles and 2 1/4" top and bottom rails. I have never built arched top doors so I can't comment on that. I'm sure there will be other suggestions once folks start waking up this morning.

  4. #4
    Most of the time for square panel doors, I make the rails & stiles 2" wide. Sometimes I make them 2 1/4". If the panels in the doors have a curved top on the panel, I make the top rail wider. The width of the top rail depends on the type of curved panel used.

  5. #5
    Hi Andy, I use 2 1/2" all the way around, most people use 2 1/4". The edge profile I use is pretty large, so the 2 1/2" looks better to me, and gives a little more room for knobs or handles.

    I am surprised the people using 2" stiles. That dosent seem to leave a lot of "meat" if your using concealed hinges.

    I dont do many arch doors anymore. I always made them finished width + the rise of the arch.

    In My case ,2 1/2" plus 1 3/4" arch = 4 1/4"

  6. #6
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    My thots...

    2" rails and stiles. If I will have UC lighting, I will add a light rail molding that will compliment the crown.
    Bill
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

  7. #7
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    Maybe I had by dunce cap on but are we talking face frames or door parts?

    Door parts are usually 2 1/4 for kitchens and 2" for baths. Those dimensions don't change for anything but curved top panels. My original is for the face frame parts.

    Joe
    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum - Vegetius De Rei Militari III (paraphrased)

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  8. #8
    The two most common sizes that I build are 2-1/4" and 3" all around. I also have a popular style that has 2-1/2" stiles and 3" rails. This is all specified by customers, not by me. The overall scale of the kitchen is a big factor. I've done large jobs with 4" S&R.
    JR

  9. #9
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    The shop I work in measures the 'flats', or the flat face minus the profile, and adds the profile width to that. We have cutters that make 1/4" profiles for 3/4" thick doors, 3/8" profiles for 1" thick doors and 1/2" profiles for thicker or double sided doors. These are mostly high end kitchens that look more like built in furniture and less like boxes. Most of the stiles, overlay or inset, are 2" flat plus the profile width, so 2 1/4" for 1/4" profiles, 2 3/8" for 3/8" profiles and so on.

    Lowers typically get a 3" top rail and a 4 1/2" bottom rail. Arch tops vary by project by project, but the bottom rails are always wider than the widest part of the arched top rail, and are scaled to be proportional, though not being a designer I can't tell you what that proportion is. Looks good to my eye, a bit bolder than the typical 2" rail/style allotment in production boxes, though possibly too traditional for a more modern design?

    There are no rules I know of, maybe standards for big box outfits, but thats more for manufacturing efficiency in my mind than aesthetics. I think 1 3/4" styles are about the minimum that would allow the use of euro hinges? Might be wrong there for full overlay, don't do those much on face frame cabs in my shop.

  10. #10
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    The Poster did differentiate! The Question is about overlay doors!

    This is a very subjective value, and varies with the style being built. Some *Shaker-ish* cabs have top/bottom rails wider than the stiles. (a very pleasing effect) Other stile cabinets have equal width stile/rails all around. Arched doors typically add the rise of the arch to the width of bottom rail. Width of stiles can vary for a *chunky* appearance with smaller panels with 2-1/2 to 3" stiles , to a *slimmer* look with 1-3/4" stiles. The choce is totally yours.

    Draw some doors to scale and see which proportion catches your eye most. Make what pleases you for yourself! Make what pleases a customer for Them (which might be anything)!!
    Necessisity is the Mother of Invention, But If it Ain't Broke don't Fix It !!

  11. #11
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    Yup, what Chip said! Most of my doors are about 2-1/4" but I've gone up to 4-1/4". This is where it's handy to have a good sense of design and what just looks right.
    Then again if you don't have a good eye for design, then I'd recommend staying with 2-1/4' as it's a safe bet.
    good luck,
    JeffD

  12. #12
    My rail and stile widths were all over the place when I first started doing cabinets.

    I finally settled on 2-1/2" all the way around for flat panel doors.
    Arched doors, the top rail is 4"

    Once in a while I will drop back to 2" if most of the cabinet doors are narrow doors.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Sowers View Post
    Question for the cabinet pros out there...

    For overlay kitchen cab doors what widths do you use for the rails/stiles? Also, do you increase the width of the lower rail to make it more "asthetically pleasing?" If so, by how much?

    Andy
    Decide a straight top rail size.

    Divide your chosen top rail size by .618 to get your bottom rail width.

    If you decide to use an arch top use this same bottom rail number as your widest point, and the narrowest top rail point your base number.

    There is a formula to figure out the radius for each door width, if you need it I will dig it out, as I just can't remember it right now. I have it written on my drafting board at my shop.
    Last edited by Larry Edgerton; 01-12-2009 at 6:43 PM.

  14. #14
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    I'm glad I read this one. Good info. I used 2.5" rails and stiles for my doors. The arch had a 2.75" rise so the top rail was 2.5" + 2.75" = 5.25". Had I been making these for a furniture cabinet I would have added 0.5" to the bottom. Thicker bottoms always look better to me. My cabinet box is just either 1.5" or 2" depending on height. And no I am certainly not a pro. Do wood butchers count? Best of luck.

  15. #15
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    Th

    Thanks everyone!!!

    I'm working on making some test doors for our kitchen renovation, so I wanted to make sure that my design was "reasonable."

    I think I'll be going for a width of 2 1/4 all around... might bump up the rail thickness based on the prototypes, we'll just have to see...

    Thx

    Andy

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